I just got a new off-camera flash, and the instruction manual says:
Never fire the flash unit closer than 1 meter from infants.
This was a little startling to me, since one of the main reasons I bought the flash was to take photos of my newborn son.
On the other hand, knowledgeable sources on the internet seem to say otherwise:
Q: What long/short term risks are there to using camera flash in photographing a 2-month old?
A: None, shoot away. — John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAO
Q: Can a camera flash harm an infant’s eyes?
A: No, it cannot. Actually infants have more protection from a flash than adults since they are usually not interested in being photographed and do not look right at the camera. Also, they typically have smaller pupils. This means less light reaches the retinas. — Don Bienfang, M.D.
Q: Can a camera flash harm an infant’s vision?
A: The flash of a camera, even if used to take many, many pictures of your newest family member, should not harm an infant’s vision. Although the flash seems very bright, it actually isn’t much different from normal daylight. — Leann M. Lesperance, M.D., Ph.D.
So what’s going on here? Are the makers of the flash just avoiding a lawsuit? Is this a myth? Or are the doctors just thinking about little on-camera flashes and neglecting to think about more powerful flashes?
(And if it’s NOT a myth, can I assume that bounce flash is acceptable?)