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Old Jul 24, 2007, 1:05 PM   #1
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I have no trouble taking flash photos of anyone else other than my 2-year-old granddaughter. Every flash photo I take of her shows her eyes closed. I have turned off the red-eye pre-flash, so that is not what is triggering her closing her eyes. What else can I do? The problem seems to be unique to my Sony A100. My wife and daughter are able to photograph my granddaughter, without her closing her eyes, using Kodak and Fuji point-and-shoot digital cameras. I'm baffled. Help??!!!
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 7:01 PM   #2
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not a camera issue, a model issue.

tell her to close her eyes, and click when you say "open". works for me.
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Old Jul 24, 2007, 8:01 PM   #3
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See this thread for a discussion of the issue and some flash solutions available.


I'll copy my last post from that thread to here:

Some people react to a preflash, and so you end up with eyes half closed or closed from the blink it can cause. Many animals tend to be sensitive to one also.

Most modern digital cameras (including Konica Minolta and Sony models) use a metering preflash to help judge the length of the main flash needed. Most Digital Cameras are designed that way because of the reflectivity of the CCD. They don't use Off the Film Metering the way you could with film (or off the sensor metering in the case of a CCD or CMOS sensor).

This preflash (and it's actually more than one according to some people that have looked at it closely using test equipment) occurs approximately 100ms before the main flash burst, and it doesn't make any difference if redeye reduction is on or off.

Ditto for your flash mode (ADI versus preflash TTL). The metering preflash is always used. It's just so short that most people don't realize it's there. That's why you can see the flash through your viewfinder (you're seeing the preflash that's occuring just before the mirror swings out of the way, since you wouldn't be able to see the flash that occurs for the actual image through your viewfinder).

You still have the metering preflash, regardless of flash mode, unless you use a 7D with manual power settings (the 5D and Alpha don't support manual power settings for flash).

I haven't run into many people that are impacted by one. I've got a niece that it tends be to an issue with in darker conditions (I've got a few images of her with partially closed eyes). But, I don't use the built in flash much either and I don't have one of the Sony or KM flashes (which also use a preflash).

One way around it is to use a flash that has it's own sensor built in to measure reflected light during an exposure. That's where a model like a Metz 54MZ3 comes in. It's got a separate Auto mode that doesn't use a preflash. Instead, it's sensor measures reflected light during the exposure and terminates the flash output when it sees enough light for the aperture and ISO speed being used. Note that this Auto mode does have some limitations (i.e.., it won't work with HSS).

You can also use an non-dedicated Auto Thryistor type flash to get around it (Sunpak 383 Super, Vivitar 285HV, etc.). For example, I use two Sunpaks (222 Auto and 333 Auto) with my 5D via an FS-1100 equivalent adapter. I just use manual exposure and set the camera and flash to match for Aperture and ISO speed and let the flash control it (terminating it's own output when it sees enough reflected light for the aperture and ISO speed).

The advantage of some of the Metz models using a newer SCA3302 foot is that they are aware of the camera settings in their Auto mode. So, you don't have to use manual exposure with them to get the same thing.

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Old Jul 24, 2007, 10:59 PM   #4
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Old Jul 25, 2007, 9:40 AM   #5
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I have found that talking to your subject and not letting them know when you are snapping the shot helps.
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Old Aug 5, 2007, 6:50 PM   #6
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I'm one of the people who suffer with this problem so my solution is not to be photographed!! I also find that with my external flash units (HS3600 when using my KM 5D) taking 2 shots in a row (if conditions allow - ie the flash has enough charge to do 2) would fix the problem.
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