new born photo advice with 20D

Started Feb 10, 2007 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 10,011
About eye damage from flash

"In summary, to produce phototoxic retinopathy, or permanent damage, a focused intense light must be held in one location on the retina for a time several magnitudes greater than the duration of a camera flash. Fill-flash is not likely to have any effect on visual systems; flash as main light in dim light conditions may produce a temporary reduction in vision but not permanent damage. Flash on nocturnal subjects during nighttime should be used sparingly due to brief impairment of vision.

"Flash does not cause permanent damage to the eyes of animals or people, even at close range. The eye is developed to handle bright light, such as the sun. This is the reason the rod cells "turn off" in bright light. Flash is diffused light when it reaches the subject. Only very highly focused light, like looking at the sun through your telephoto, or laser application, would be expected to cause permanent retinal damage.

"Hypothetically, if scientific information indicated that flash photography, under normal use, produced permanent retinal damage, it would trigger additional rules and regulations. Flash would not be allowed in making human portraits, strobe units would be banned from theatres and dance halls, children would not be allowed to handle cameras and flash units and their instruction manuals would carry warning labels."


That last paragraph is interesting. Trial lawyers have dreamed up damage suit based on almost anything you can imagine. I spent more than four years writing about hundreds of these lawsuits, but I never heard of one claiming eye damage from a camera flash. I searched Google and also turned up nothing.

If such a claim could be even remotely rationalized, some trial lawyer would surely have exploited it by now, and the legal departments of Canon et al., would include warnings in their product manuals. See if you can find such a warning in the 580EX manual.
~ Peano

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