Can cats see my infrared focusing light?
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Old 07-09-2006   #1
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Default Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

I'm using a Canon Rebel 300D and a speedlite 480ex, and for some reason, I can't take a picture of my cat
without her squinting, even before the flash goes off.

I can only assume she's squinting from the infrared focusing beam on the speedlite (it does have one, I think).

Does anyone know if cats can see infrared light?


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Old 07-09-2006   #2
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

I have no idea but perhaps she knows your about to blind her with the flash much like people do once they have had a full on flash in there eyes :-\
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Old 07-09-2006   #3
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

Nope, only when they wear those cool little goggles.

I have no idea though, maybe they can hear the flash charging up. Then again I haven't got an external yet, but I seem to remember hearing the flashes when I was younger have an ever increasing pitch when getting ready to fire. Maybe that pitch continues past the point that isn't audible to humans. I have always noticed the cats I've had always had their ears perk up just before something comes into sight, well into sight for me with my seemingly ever deteriorating vision as I age. LOL.
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Old 07-09-2006   #4
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

dc2, I had just purchased this flash, and this was my first time using it to take pictures of her. And this was actually the first picture. I took 3 more, and in each one she was squinting.

20DNewbie, It's possible she's squinting from the sound. But when usually when she hears a curious sound, her ears shoot forward and her eyes open wide.

After a Google search (duh, I should have done that in the first place) I came across this site where the author mentions that both cats and fish can perceive infrared light (I'd pay to see the experiment that determined fish could see infrared!)

It's at the bottom of the page, under "other questions."
http://www.ailocom.com/en_support_faq_mobilemotion.htm

So if he's right, my cat is actually squinting from the infrared focusing beam
coming from either the flash or the camera.

It must be quite annoying. I'll have to try to snap her in natural light.
Or maybe focus manually?
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Old 07-09-2006   #5
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

Strange though I have seen many a cat pics taken and taken some myself with direct flash and not had the cat squint.
Cats eyes are very sensitive to light so maybe yours just has the sense to close them up a bit.
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Old 07-09-2006   #6
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

dc2, It could be that the camera or flash unit used to photograph those cats didn't have an infrared beam for prefocusing.
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Old 07-09-2006   #7
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbase
dc2, It could be that the camera or flash unit used to photograph those cats didn't have an infrared beam for prefocusing.
With some I have seen its possible but my one has the
infrared.
:-\
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Old 07-09-2006   #8
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbase
I can only assume she's squinting from the infrared focusing beam on the speedlite (it does have one, I think).

Does anyone know if cats can see infrared light?
Hi pbase (and dc2 ),

For the record: neither your camera nor *any* Canon Speedlight use infrared light as focusassist.

From The Source: http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

quote:

All of Canon’s Speedlite flash units for EOS cameras have patterned red AF assist lights - sometimes called AF auxiliary lights in older Canon manuals - built in. These are clear red panels on the front which use one or two high-brightness LEDs to project red circles of light striped with dark lines, in order to give the camera a high-contrast pattern to focus on. Red is chosen in part because high-output red LEDs are readily available, but also because red light does not cause the pupils of the eye to dilate as much as does white light. The red light is sometimes described as being “near infrared,” though it is in fact visible.

end quote

As for your other question: can cats see infrared light? They might, as they have very sensitive eyes, see a 'little more' on the lower light scale (where IR light also resides), but since your flash doesn't send IR light, this is all hypothetical and no longer of importance )

A question to you: does the 300D also have a (white) AF assist/anti-redeye light? It might be that your cat sees the 'anti-redeye' light and reacts on that one by squinting it's eyes, because it 'knows' that a brighter bang is to follow? (they are purty smart, no? )

Hope this helps some... *my* €0.02 worth...

Kindest regards,

Max@Home
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Old 07-09-2006   #9
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

Well, since neither the camera or flash has infrared, I suppose it would have to be the AF assist/anti red-eye light. Although, I was shooting in manual I didn't think AF and red-eye were active in that mode.
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Old 07-09-2006   #10
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Default Re: Can cats see my infrared focusing light?

My dogs do this too, I suspect it's the preflash that does it.

Ken


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