Newborn Baby's eyes and Flash

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bay_tran, May 8, 2007.

  1. I ordered a Nikon D80 to take pictures of my soon to be born baby girl on June
    13, 2007. Will the flash destroy her eyes from the D80? If so can I cover it
    with a coffee filter or anything else to soften the flash when taking pictures
    of her? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank in advance,
    Nikon Beginner.
  2. I use my sb600 and bounce it off the ceiling. Even if it doesn't really hurt their eyes, it's not comfortable as you've probably felt before. If you don't have a sb600, a filter might be a good idea. I think stofen makes something also. Congratulations by the way.
  3. The little D80 flash is pretty good for what it is, but it won't do your baby-to-be justice. Spend the extra $200 and get the SB-600 with a diffuser. You might also consider a $100 Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens which takes especially wonderful baby shots without being all up in the baby's face.
  4. for the best results you will want an external flash bounced off of the ceiling/walls. the softer light will make the biggest difference.

    And with a baby's perfect skin, direct flash will look so harsh you will want to start shooting without flash just to get the peaceful serene light to match the baby's countenance.\

    You can pick up an SB600 online for about $175 or so. Well worth the investment. Ken Rockwell (I know, I know...) even recommends the SB-400 at $129 as it allows for a simple bounce flash.

    I think though that the SB-600 is more versatile.
  5. People seem to think that flash will hurt a baby's eyes, but I've seen several references by knowledgeable people that it does not.
  6. Bounce the flash by all means off the ceiling, wall. ,,, if you really do need flash. (I doubt it.)

    You may not have to use flash at all! Especially if you want to get close to the baby.

    For a really bad experience, try flashing your own eyes from 2 feet away, straight on ... from your extended arm; if you dare. Have someone ready to drive you to an ophtalomist (spell ?) right away ... if you dare ...

    The old saying: Do onto others as you want done to yourself, Nikon beginner, still holds, even with digital! Congrats on the new one!
  7. Use the flash on the D80 as a "Commander" and bounce one or more SB-800s or SB-600s off white walls or ceilings.
  8. Also, if you can't afford another flash and have to use the on-camera pop-up flash as your light source, I've tried this LumiQuest Soft Screen Diffuser and, for $13, its better than a sharp stick in the eye:
  9. From a pediatrician's standpoint, I would not recommend using direct flash in a newborns eyes as the eyes are weak. The muscularture of the eye as well as the nerves of the eye need time to strengthen and develop. I would definetly use celing bounced flash or available light when possible. When seeing the world for the first time do you think you would have enjoyed to have been bombarded with explosions of light? The baby went through a traumatic time enough going through the birthing process.
  10. SCL


    Use bounce flash or hi speed iso, not direct flash!
  11. Consider 50mm f/1.4 can take pictures in really low light as such a fast lens. Situations which look relatively dark to your eyes will look bright.. eliminating the need for using flash.
  12. Go with a 50mm f whatever, together with a reflector. Position the baby near a window and use the reflector to fill the shadows. The lighting will be super natural.
  13. Good advice already - just to add: To reduce flash output on your camera is to use a large aperture like f 1.8 or f 2. The flash control will shut the flash off once enough light reached the sensor. Covering the flash with a thin paper is a good idea as it will work as a diffuser. This will give better pictures and be less dramatic on your baby's eyes. But remember what Frank and others said about flash use. Do not use a flash in very dark areas because the pupil will be wide open and the ill effect will be enhanced.
  14. Get a faster speed lens, say 2.8 or less f-stop and just open the curtains ! With digital, you
    can adjust the white balance to match the lighting type and still shoot without a flash. You
    do want the baby to like it, when you bring the camera into thier view, right ? :)

    Bounce the flash, if you have to use it.
  15. Here are two shots I took with print film and scanned on a cheap flat bed, then reduced for
    my web page. ( The point being they look better in person. )

    I think they were both with a 35mm f2 and simple 100 speed Kodak B&W film.
  16. Alan wrote:

    People seem to think that flash will hurt a baby's eyes, but I've seen several references by knowledgeable people that it does not.

    My reply:

    Perhaps Nikon is just covering their rear ends; but it clearly states in the Instruction Manual: "Never fire the flash unit closer than 1 meter from infants."
  17. I would invest in a SB-600. It will dramatically improve the quality of your flash photography.
  18. For baby photos, I'd strongly recommend the 50/1.8 and natural light. It will look much nicer and more natural than flash bounced off a ceiling. If you're going to shoot with a flash for baby shots, I'd recommend going off-camera and using a reflector. You'll be doing a lot of kid pics in the future so an umbrella and stand along with the SB600 would be an excellent investment.
    I used my 50/1.4 the most in the beginning, but as they got older (one's a toddler, the other's 3 now) I find the flash and umbrella to be more useful because I can't just pick them up and lay them down near a window anymore. ;-)
    Here's a sample from the 50/1.4 with my daughter placed by the sliding glass door in our kitchen:
  19. Very beautiful baby & shots, Larry. Congrats.
  20. These were taken with Kodak Tri-X 400 pushed two stops. Camera: Nikon FM2n Lens:
    Nikon 50mm f/1.8AF N

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