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Bowens Lighting Is it worth it ?


Spirit 11 10 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2010 7:36PM
All,

I'm Looking at buying my first studio lighting.

I seemed to have settled on buying Bowens kit on the basis I could buy on ebay and probably sell it for similar price if its not what I want. If it is what I want then I have bought into a "system" and can upgrade/add etc.

Trouble is, like for like, Bowens seems to carry a hefty premium when compared to Elemental or Lencarta for example.

I am guessing the answer to my question is "yes" but i'm struggling to understand why. Can anybody help?

Cheers
Paul
cameracat 17 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
8 Mar 2010 11:20PM
Is Bowens worth it...?

In the long term yes, If its just a passing fad, You can get away with just about any brand.

Wink
SamLS 15 237 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2010 11:28PM
I've got a Bowens Gemeni 250 kit. Brilliant.

I can't speak for Elemental or Lencarta, but one of the things that seriously impressed me with the Bowens kit his how astoundingly solid it all is.

Not that I'm going to try it but you could probably run over it with a train and it'd only smash the tube.... well maybe not but you know what I mean.

Sam
miptog 15 3.6k 65 United Kingdom
8 Mar 2010 11:39PM

Quote:Trouble is, like for like, Bowens seems to carry a hefty premium when compared to Elemental or Lencarta for example.

I am guessing the answer to my question is "yes" but i'm struggling to understand why. Can anybody help?



Bookmarking
Spirit 11 10 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2010 2:19PM
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately i'll take that as a yes then. I say unfortunately as i'll probably have to go for something used. Ebay here I come !

Great quality, durability, and a flexible system with the option of using a battery pack seem the biggest + points

Thanks
Paul
miptog 15 3.6k 65 United Kingdom
12 Mar 2010 3:09PM
Bowens =
Quote:Great quality, durability, and a flexible system with the option of using a battery pack seem the biggest + points



Plus:

Reliability
Consistency: Quality, and colour of light
Better functionality (e.g 1/10stop variation)
Built to last and used as a workhorse in the studio

Would be interested in the viewpoints of some of the pro studio Togs re: Bowens Kit
park my ferret 17 1.0k United Kingdom
14 Mar 2010 11:54AM
I have the bowens gemini 500w kit,
it is pretty good, fairly well built etc, and the ability to use the battery pack can be useful for location shoots - although it's not a very fast recycle time when using a battery.

the only real down side (for me) is the fairly slow flash duration time when compared to broncolors or something high end like that - but then you would be paying alot more for those

hope this helps
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
14 Mar 2010 12:19PM

Quote:Is Bowens worth it...?

In the long term yes, If its just a passing fad, You can get away with just about any brand



For me both yes and no.

For years I used a mixture of Elinchrom and Prolinca flash heads, I also used an old set of cheap Jessops Portaflash heads sometimes on there own or as additional lights.

Lots of people nit pick especially other the quality of the colour output of flash heads and using cheap Portaflash heads on there own and using film I found them ok.

Bowens kits are pretty good value for money, especially when you consider the prices of the light modifiers sold on there own, and the heads should last for years.

I use the cheaper stellars and they have never given any problems and since they take the standared S fitting I use a fair few bowens modifiers, snoots, barn doors etc.

Swings and roundabouts.
Garry_Edwards 12 284 3 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2010 7:21PM
I think it's fairly difficult to answer that question...
Historically, Bowens have always been an excellent brand simply because their lights were built to last, and in this country at least, their main competitor has always been Elinchrom.

Elinchrom seem to me to be becoming less and less well built (although the quality of the light is good) at least with their consumer range, although their much more expensive pro range is still good. Their accessories are extremely expensive.

Bowens accessories are very expensive too, but unlike Elinchrom there are plenty of choices available from other suppliers at much more reasonable prices.

When it comes to quality, Some of the Bowens stuff is still excellent but you need to remember that not all of their products are made in the same country (or the same continent) so there is quite a lot of variation.

I was staffing the Lencarta stand at Focus last week, right next to the Bowens stand - people were comparing Bowens prices and Elinchrom quality with Lencarta and of course we won on both countsGrin

I think my answer to you is a clear maybe - Bowens is still a good choice if you are looking at the high end stuff, but you may be paying a lot for the name if you're looking at their cheaper models
Strobekid 14 369 United Kingdom
14 Mar 2010 11:06PM

Quote:

I think my answer to you is a clear maybe - Bowens is still a good choice if you are looking at the high end stuff, but you may be paying a lot for the name if you're looking at their cheaper models



I agree with that comment entirely. If you are only getting the GM250 with a set of tiny softbox and a brolly, Lencarta or Elemental would probably do you just as well. It's only when you start looking at getting creative with lighting, you come to appreciate just how well they perform.
stuwhitt 16 1.4k United Kingdom
14 Mar 2010 11:19PM
You get what you pay for
Spirit 11 10 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2010 8:56PM
After losing out on an eBay auction, I have changed my mind and have just ordered a Lencarta Smartflash starter kit. Lencarta Starter Kit

After acknowledging the benenfits of the Bowens kit, i was finally persuaded that as a first timer, most of those benefits of the additional cost would either be lost on me or come further down the line. As for now I just need to get going.

So hopefully on Weds I will be up and running learning the arts and crafts of taking photos in a studio environment.

Thanks for your input, it really did help.
wasper 14 533 1 Ireland
16 Mar 2010 10:00AM
I 'm waiting for my delivery from the UK Lastolite Lumen8 SV Lighting Kit - 400w, from "Just Studio Gear' for 393 + delivery charges.
Garry_Edwards 12 284 3 United Kingdom
17 Mar 2010 7:13PM

Quote:After losing out on an eBay auction, I have changed my mind and have just ordered a Lencarta Smartflash starter kit.Lencarta Starter Kit

After acknowledging the benenfits of the Bowens kit, i was finally persuaded that as a first timer, most of those benefits of the additional cost would either be lost on me or come further down the line. As for now I just need to get going.

So hopefully on Weds I will be up and running learning the arts and crafts of taking photos in a studio environment.

Thanks for your input, it really did help.



You'll be very happy with your choice - and you'll find that as your experience grows, you'll be just as able to get creative results with the Lencarta kit (and vast range of light shapers) as with any other.
Spirit 11 10 United Kingdom
23 Mar 2010 11:55PM
I was finally able to have a go with the new Lencarta kit tonight. This was with one light with an umberella and a great model !

Wot you lookin at !

Cheers
Paul

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