Help! My husband can't keep his eyes open with flash!

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by a_wilson|1, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. Hi! I am in the market for a new camera. I have narrowed it down to the Sony Cybershot H10 and H50. Problem
    is, I really would like the H50 for some of the features and my husband can not keep his eyes open when the flash
    is on. I've had a Fuji Finepix camera for the last 4 years, and most of the pics he has his eyes closed. We've
    tried everything. Is there a way I can "dim" the flash or something? I know that sounds crazy, but none of the
    Canons or Olympus cameras worked either. I am at a loss. HELP! :)
    A Wilson
  2. Many cameras have pre-flashes to get the subject to blink before the final flash. I don't know which models that would be, but must of these manufacturers have them. I think it's called pre-flash on these consumer cameras.
  3. Try turning off the anti-red-eye feature. That emits a quick burst of light BEFORE the exposure so that people's pupils will contract, which reduces the amount of red-eye reflection that's recorded when the shot actually happens. It can be somewhat effective. But, some people's reflexes or sensitivity are such that their reaction is to blink, just fast enough to be caught that way by the actual exposure that occurs a split second later.
  4. With my son, I just say "Click!" He blinks. I trip the shutter while his eyes are back opened. I know, it sounds crude. But
    it works.
  5. My daughter in law can not be photographed with a reflex camera and flash. The delay causes an automatic closing. I just use my rangefinder which does not have to wait for a mirror to rise and lens diaphragm to close.

    Use continuous light and a tripod.
  6. Scotch tape or staples. You can clone out the staples latter.
  7. Another thing to try is to ask him to close his eyes, and then open just before your click. Or to blink quickly and deliberately a half second before shooting. This works for some people.
  8. I have the same problem with flashes. Try to have the person shut their eyes then count to three and have them open then
    take the photo.
  9. Most modern digital cameras put out two bursts of light. The first one is to measure the light, and the second one actually illuminates the subject as the photo is being taken.
    The problem is that these two bursts of light may be timed such that some people will have blinked due to the first flash, and their eyes will be closed when the second flash fires and the picture is taken.
    I generally use an old fashioned flash which was designed before digital cameras. It only puts out one burst of light per photo. The burst is so quick that nobody has ever been able to react to it fast enough -- People often tell me they blinked, but when I look at the photo, I see wide open eyes. By the time their eyes react to the flash and start to close, the photo has already been taken.
    I know, that's not terribly helpful if you're looking for a modern P&S camera. If you can find one with a hot shoe and manual settings, you might be able to use an old fashioned auto flash. But I'm not aware of any digital P&S camera that doesn't have a pre-flash when using its built-in flash unit. Some high end DSLRs have a built-in flash with the ability to let you turn off the pre-flash and make the built in flash only produce one burst per photo, but the ones I know of only give you this ability if you set the flash power completely manually (The Nikon D200 works this way).
    If you can take your husband to a camera store and take some test shots of him, you might discover a camera where the two bursts of flash are fast enough that he can't blink in time. Or maybe one where the bursts are slow enough that his eyes are back open by the time the photo is taken.
  10. Would a rear curtain synch flash (flash fires after shutter opened rather than at beginning ) capability help?
  11. As Richard said, it's that TTL pre-flash that does it. If you use a camera+separate TTL flash, one option is to use the flash, if it has the mode, in non-TTL auto where the flash metering is handled by a sensor in the flash itself. This eliminates the pre-flash and all closed-eye problems and since the two are dedicated, the combination in non-TTL auto works just as automatically and in any exposure mode as if you were shooting in TTL mode.

    I use non-TTL often with my Olympus DSLR's and my FL50 flash unit if I have a subject that can keep their eyes open. Not all flash units have the non-TTL auto option. I know the Nikon SB800 does, but the SB600 does not. When I owned my Canon DSLR outfit, none of the Canon flash units of that time, the 550EX or 420EX offered non-TTL auto, but I believe at least the 580EX now does.
  12. try using toothpicks.
  13. With Nikon dSRLs and flashes one can use the FV Lock button. This fires the preflash and a TTL reading of the scene is taken. Then when you press the shutter release to take the picture, no preflashes are used and there is less chance of blinking.
  14. Canon has similar with their flash exposure lock. The only issue in using that all the time is, you wind up flashing everyone twice for every shot, which can get a little tiresome/annoying for your subjects...definitely nothing you'd want to be doing at a party or wedding, and you really only need to be doing that with static subjects since part of the pre-flash effort is determining the distance of the sensor to subject, and if the subject is moving, that procedure will cut down on the accuracy of the metering.
  15. FV Lock only prevents preflashes, but provides no help for mirror slapping sound that is also reson to close eyes.

    You need to use a Twin Lens Reflex (TLR) camera to avoid all reasons for closed eyes. No mirror sound, no
    preflashes, just shutter click that is already too fast to close eyes. This is your best bet, in addition to a range
    finder non-digital type cameras, already mentioned.
  16. >FV Lock only prevents preflashes, but provides no help for mirror slapping sound that is also reson to close eyes

    That is true, but the shutter lag on some of the faster dSRLs is faster than the blink reflex time for most people. For example, the lag time for the Nikon D3 is 37 milliseconds.

    The FV lock fires only a preflash, which most people do not even notice and substantially cuts down on closed eyes according to my own experience and that of Nikon guru and writer Thom Hogan.
  17. Thanks so much for all of your help explaining the "pre-flash" thing. That definitely sounds like it is the cause of the problem. I will look more into it.
    Thanks again,
    A Wilson
  18. Ask him to hold his breath during the shoot.....
  19. How does he look in sunglasses?

Share This Page