Upload & Sell: On
Take the tape off. Both the fixed edge and the "clip" on the end of the screw have close fits in the grove of the lens, and I bet the tape is an issue for you. It was made to work with the tape off, and eventually the clip will show a little wear, but it is no problem.
My technique for the lens hood is to unscrew the screw all the way, and then give that side of the hood a little bump. The blade side releases from the grove, and the hood is just kind of sitting there on the lens. I then use the knob to lift the whole hood off the lens, and to then turn the hood around. I then guide it back on to the lens in shooting positon, and wiggle it to get it to drop on down into the lens. I then screw the screw in to slightly firm. It only takes one hand for the hood if you handle it by the knob, and it works well. You get fast at doing it, and it works in reverse fine also to stow the hood. Your other hand can be holding the lens or lens and camera in most any configuration, including pointing downward if the situation or weather make that necessary. I have a long RSS multipurpose rail on my 300 both for the tripod mounting, and also to act as a handle for holding the lens.
I also have an Optech quick release strap on the lens, and usually have it around my neck when I handle my 300 f2.8 for hood changes or tripod mounting, so that any mess up results in zero damage to the lens. There are just some things you really do not want to drop. The hood can drop if you loose grip of it, but not the lens. The carbon fiber lens hood is very durable, and can take a lot of abuse. An aluminum one would be bent and dented fairly fast in rugged use. Another handling technique is to set the whole lens and camera down on the ground facing downward. That is why the front of the hood has that rubber edge. Nose down seems odd at first, but it works quite well unless the ground is not very level.
The 300 f 2.8 lens is incredible, and I find my self hauling it along and using it more that I ever thought I would, because of the great IQ that it can provide. I am also quite hooked on the drop in polarizer for many situations. You may want to look into one if you currently use a polarizer for your other lenses.
Remember that Canon put the protective front element on the lens for you. The front element is a fairly low cost replaceable thin protective optical element, that is designed to handle the dirt and water and mild impacts that a front protective filter would take care of. It has the added benifits of top notch antireflection coating on it that matches the lens design, and a slight curvature to it that avoids the flare issues that a flat filter can produce. So in you mind, pretend you have the best filter money can buy on the front of your 300, because you do, and you all ready paid for it.
Edited on Aug 20, 2008 at 05:22 PM