film photography · Film Processing · opinion

The BenQ e-Reading Lamp – Getting back into the Film Flow

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Shortly before we moved I was contacted by the company that makes the BenQ e-reading Lamp to see if I would be interested in trying out their lamp in my photography workflow. In exchange for an honest review here on my website I could keep the lamp. Usually I would’ve said no to this because it isn’t a product that directly has to do with film photography. However, after getting more information, I came to see it was a really nice product and it may actually solve some of the issues I had been having in my scanning workflow, namely headaches from the lighting in my office. Therefore, I agreed to give it a try.

Getting Back into the Swing

As soon as we set up my new space for developing in our laundry room, I set right into processing a couple rolls of Ilford HP5 400 pushed to 1600. It went great and I am so happy with my new set up at the sink. I no longer have to hurt my back bending over the bathtub the way I did in our old home.

My next step to getting back into the swing of things would be getting used to my new desk and scanning setup.

The BenQ e-Reading Lamp

When I first received the lamp I was surprised at how large it is. It boasts to have 150% wider light coverage to light up a large desk setup. This is perfect for me because I have a U-shaped desk setup for many tasks.

I set up the lamp according to the instructions and got right into my usual routine that I follow when scanning my film. The lamp itself is not difficult to use. You simply tap the metal ring to turn it on and off. Rotate the knob to adjust brightness, and press the knob down to toggle between cold light for paper reading and warm light for e-reading. By touching the metal ring for 2 seconds you can turn on auto dimming which will automatically adjust the light according to the lighting conditions already present. 

The BenQ e-reading Lamp turned off

The arm of the lamp rotates the head left or right, and according to the instructions you want to adjust it to span and be level with your screen, but not blocking your view. 

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How Did the BenQ do While Scanning?

While cutting my film for the film holders, I first tried lifting the lamp upwards to see if it helped me to see the frames. I could see them pretty well, but it wasn’t any different from having the overhead light on. Therefore I just continued this part of the process using my overhead light.

The lamp really allowed me to see the dust particles on the film. That’s something I had a hard time catching without it. It is really nice to be able to focus the light on one area as opposed to having to light up the whole room. It saves me a headache, and helps me to see a lot better when scanning because I need to be able to see detail. This is probably my favorite aspect of this lamp when used in this setting. 

Dust Particles

How Does it Do when used in Editing?

The lamp has anti-glare, ZeroFlicker technology along with the adjustable brightness and color making it ideal for digitally editing photos. I tried it without the BenQ lamp and just my regular desk lamp on. This made it harder to see the screen, even at its brightest power. With the BenQ lamp on, it proved to be so much clearer. Now with the overhead light on I could obviously see clearly, but this lighting very often gives me a headache after working a while on the computer. It’s nice to have an option with it off that actually works. 

As you can see above, it is large enough to cover the width of the screen and my entire line of sight.

Final Thoughts on The BenQ e-reading Lamp

Now I would like to be able to use it in other settings such as cleaning and fixing up old cameras. I think it would be great in that setting but the lamps stand is pretty heavy to be moving around from place to place. This is where I think having the clamp accessory would’ve been great. Then I could just connect and disconnect it wherever I need to use it.

As with all things there are pros and cons.
The cons for this lamp would be:

  • The Price – at $229 it may not be something you readily need. They do have a more affordable option that doesn’t have the adjustable positioning.
  • The weight of the overall lamp with the base is pretty cumbersome and isn’t ideal if you will need to move this to different areas of your office the way I would. As I said though, you can purchase a clamp to replace the heavy base.
  • When judging this product in the setting of a film photographer specifically, it is a luxury item not a necessity. While it has been great for my eyesight when looking at the computer screen, it didn’t really solve any problems specific to working within a film photographers workflow.

The Pros for this lamp are:

  • The light replaces my overhead lighting really well by covering a large area without needing the whole room to be lit.
  • The light adjusts for multiple scenarios which is great for people prone to headaches or that have bad eyesight.
  • It helps to see dust particles on film more clearly.
  • The anti glare made it great for photo editing.
  • While it may not be necessary for a film workflow specifically, it is a great option for computer work in general.

All in all it is a really nice lamp, very well made and designed. I would recommend it if your on the computer a lot or just in the market for a desk lamp and have the extra cash to spend. Thank you to BenQ for trusting me with this review and the lamp. I think Kelsey will end up stealing it from me because she works on the computer all day for her work and gets horrible headaches.

I am so happy to be back into the flow of film again and can’t wait to get back to shooting and sharing with you all.

Until next time stay motivated, and keep shooting.

For more info on the lamp visit BenQ’s Website:
Click here to purchase one from Amazon
Find BenQ on Twitter
BenQ Instagram: @benq_lighting_usa

3 thoughts on “The BenQ e-Reading Lamp – Getting back into the Film Flow

  1. Well done, Alyssa! You did a really terrific job of taking a non film related product and showing how it could be used in our craft! I wish I would have taken them up on their lamp offer too as it looks like a really great lamp! 🙂

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