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Author Topic: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?  (Read 6399 times)

Jules

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2013, 03:13:06 PM »
Answer is plain and easy : yes, it can ! And I know the effects firsthand :-(

Some would say it looks like one of these Wile.E Coyote cartoon ... but recipe is easy... wanting to experiment with Photography can be tempting....
Take somebody who is a bit light sensitive (years in Texas with probably poor grade sunglasses didn't help), have fun at night with photo friends for a "lighpainting session" (ie. taking picts with lights effects at night), and fire a 430EX external flash at your face from 30-40cm below, and don't close your eyes ....
=> result is really cool "ghost like picture" like in the books (ie. your camera set on long exposure takes picts with 3 times your face for example if you move and redo it, just the face that was under flash exposure, rest of the body is invisible and you see the background thru ...), but better if you close your eyes and/or look up instead of looking in front or worst, low at your flash (like the first tries to see where to position it best, etc ...)
=> side effect after multiple attempts in the evening is darker spot in your eyes, showing "paler" zones when looking at lights (and having focus shift left/right) as if you had a water spot on the eye diffracting light a bit, and showing "greyer" areas when looking at uniform white wall (or blue sky) with high luminosity ...

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2013, 03:13:06 PM »

jdramirez

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2013, 04:25:15 PM »
 now I feel bad.. Iwas at a minor league baseball game and taking photos of my daughter andher friends.   and some kid asked me to take his picture,  so I  hit the flash pilot  and he wasn't blind immediately thereafter... but in retrospect maybe the next day.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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Skirball

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2013, 05:06:25 PM »
By the way, if you open the aperture all the way and point the camera directly at a bright sun, can it damage the sensor?

It's the same answer as the flash and the eye.

 Kind of. But there's difference too. The eye can only regulate amount of light coming in by changing size of iris. Camera has iso, aperture, and shutter speed. To destroy the sensor I think you must be in manual mode and deliberately expose.

 When a flash fires at the eyes, they blink but not fast enough to keep out the immense amount of light. The iris contracts but probably not fast enough either.

Therefore I think it's much harder to mess up the sensor than the eyes by intense light. Just my two cents.

I wasn’t referring to the mechanics of it, just the answer.  Which in my opinion is: no, for the most part.  Typical use of flash won’t blind people or you’d know of it.  Flashes would come with huge warnings, flash photography would be heavily controlled, if popular at all.  It’d be like going to a laser light show.  Likewise, despite all the talk online of the sun damaging sensors there is surprising little evidence of actual damaged cameras.  Sure, if you get a really bright flash and stand inches from it staring into it and let the flash rip you could feasibly damage your eye.  Point your camera directly at the sun and take some long exposures and I could see damaging the camera.  But if you use common sense it won't be an issue. Neither of these are looming perilous threats ready to claim hordes of unsuspecting victims; news at 10.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2013, 05:38:33 PM by Skirball »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2013, 05:25:33 PM »
Answer is plain and easy : yes, it can ! And I know the effects firsthand :-(

Some would say it looks like one of these Wile.E Coyote cartoon ... but recipe is easy... wanting to experiment with Photography can be tempting....
Take somebody who is a bit light sensitive (years in Texas with probably poor grade sunglasses didn't help), have fun at night with photo friends for a "lighpainting session" (ie. taking picts with lights effects at night), and fire a 430EX external flash at your face from 30-40cm below, and don't close your eyes ....
=> result is really cool "ghost like picture" like in the books (ie. your camera set on long exposure takes picts with 3 times your face for example if you move and redo it, just the face that was under flash exposure, rest of the body is invisible and you see the background thru ...), but better if you close your eyes and/or look up instead of looking in front or worst, low at your flash (like the first tries to see where to position it best, etc ...)
=> side effect after multiple attempts in the evening is darker spot in your eyes, showing "paler" zones when looking at lights (and having focus shift left/right) as if you had a water spot on the eye diffracting light a bit, and showing "greyer" areas when looking at uniform white wall (or blue sky) with high luminosity ...

Seeing dark spots after being exposed to a bright light is common, but its not permanent damage to your eyes.
 

GuyF

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 05:26:27 AM »
Like I said, Richard Feynman viewed a nuclear test through just a car windshield and didn't report damage to his eyes. Is there any flashgun available that is brighter than a nuke?

Marsu42

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 07:01:20 AM »
A friend of mine is an eye MD. I'll see if I could remember to ask him when I see him.

Please do, I'd really like to get a competent opinion on this - my personal guess is that apart from pre-damaged eyes it's hard to do *permanent* (not long-lasting) damage short of point blank flash or a nuclear explosion, but then again I could be mistaken.

sandymandy

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2013, 09:04:27 AM »
Well lasers can cause permanent eye damage and they arent  near the power of a nuke for sure :)

Im just curious not only when using a flash in the normal way but also in a "not normal" way for example. Just the theory behind it and possibility.

I also dont think staring in the sun can cause blindness. Scotoma yes (i got scotoma on both eyes btw) but its not like im not able to see anymore just some parts are missing (replaced by some flickering spots in my case)

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2013, 09:04:27 AM »

Jules

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2013, 10:09:34 AM »
Well, i'd say after more than 2 years it can be considered quite permanent (even if minor).
But once again, it was handheld, so regular use with camera body regulating it and not held so closely and not focusing on it in the night should be fine...
Answer is plain and easy : yes, it can ! And I know the effects firsthand :-(

Some would say it looks like one of these Wile.E Coyote cartoon ... but recipe is easy... wanting to experiment with Photography can be tempting....
Take somebody who is a bit light sensitive (years in Texas with probably poor grade sunglasses didn't help), have fun at night with photo friends for a "lighpainting session" (ie. taking picts with lights effects at night), and fire a 430EX external flash at your face from 30-40cm below, and don't close your eyes ....
=> result is really cool "ghost like picture" like in the books (ie. your camera set on long exposure takes picts with 3 times your face for example if you move and redo it, just the face that was under flash exposure, rest of the body is invisible and you see the background thru ...), but better if you close your eyes and/or look up instead of looking in front or worst, low at your flash (like the first tries to see where to position it best, etc ...)
=> side effect after multiple attempts in the evening is darker spot in your eyes, showing "paler" zones when looking at lights (and having focus shift left/right) as if you had a water spot on the eye diffracting light a bit, and showing "greyer" areas when looking at uniform white wall (or blue sky) with high luminosity ...

Seeing dark spots after being exposed to a bright light is common, but its not permanent damage to your eyes.
EOS 40D | EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM | EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 USM IS | EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS | EF 50mm f/1.8 II | EF 100mm f/2.8 L Macro IS USM | Speedlite 430EX
My flickr

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Re: Can a (DSLR) flash cause permanent eye damage?
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2013, 10:09:34 AM »