I'm one of those who strongly believe in lens hoods. I always use all of my lenses with the hood on -- that is, except for my 100mm Macro lens. I didn't want to pay $40 or so for one of the ugliest lens hoods that was ever made. So I've been using the lens without the hood for the past few years. That all ended today with this $2.97 hood solution...
I was recently working on a DIY project of mine for flash lighting, and this particular item didn't quite find itself into the original project idea, so I was about to take it back for the refund at Lowe's where I got it from when it occurred to me that the diameter of this thing might fit the lens quite well. And sure enough, it was perfect fit!
What I mean by "perfect fit" is that, once placed it onto the lens up to the focusing ring as shown in above photos, you can't shake it off the lens, yet you don't have to "force" it to fit, either. It's just a gentle push on motion.
The material is made of strong rubber, so it's flexible yet sturdy enough to protect the lens in case of a bump. In case of a bump, it's flexibility can absorb the impact and therefore less chance of damaging the lens. Since it's not a screw on type as with the original hood, it'd come off the lens in case of a sideway bump, though.
For $2.97 it's certainly not a bad investment. It also looks more stylish than the original ugly thingy with that ridiculous price tag.