Bowens or Elinchrom?

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arigram

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I am building a portrait studio and I recently visited Athens to see what the stores have. I have settled on two lighting brands , but I am not sure which one to finally choose.
I am between the Bowens' Esprit Digital DX series and the Elinchrom Style RX series, allcstrobes. They are both very simular but the Elinchrom are slighly more powerful (just slightly, e.g. 500W vs 600W), slightly faster (a couple 1/10s of second) but they are quite smaller and lighter (a difference of a whole kilo). The Bowens seem more sturdy, the are immediately available in all sizes and they use an IR remote whereas the others have a cable one.

Anyone that has experience with those lights can help me choose?
 

cosmic

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If I could choose I would say elinchrom. I have used both for some serious shooting.
 

TheFlyingCamera

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I have not used Elinchrom, but I have Calumet Travelites (aka Bowens). I have been very happy with them, and with the range of accessories available for them, and the (relatively) lower cost for said accessories. I've not found the speed of recycle to be an issue, because I'm not machine-gunning 35mm film like on a fashion shoot. I have 750 w/s units, which are adequate for shooting large format, and more than adequate for shooting 2 1/4. Those 500/600 ws units will be perfectly fine for your Hasselblad.
 

Ian Grant

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Ari, I've been using my Elinchroms for over 25 years they are superb and very reliable, I also have some Bowens equipment and that's not bad either.

Choosing between the two brands I'd have to say it's like comparing a Fiat to a Volkswagen, build quality and reliability are on Elinchroms side.

Ian
 

Bandicoot

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I use Elinchrom - yes it is lighter than Bowens, but in my experience no less durable so I wouldn't worry about that. Some of my El heads and generators are ancient and they just keep on going.

Accesories for Bowens are cheaper, so that may be a consideration. In any case, 'bits' for both are pretty easily available used if you want to pick up extra reflectors, snoots, or whatever.


Peter
 

rrankin

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I used Bowens for a couple of years and was totally pleased with them, but kept them in one location so can't say if they are light enough to move around. I never found them difficult to use or to break down and pack, and they were absolutely reliable. Accessories were readily available from Calumet. The quality was evident in their feel as well as performance. If I were in the market, I'd buy them again in a second. I never had any problem with recycle times, but normally wasn't 'quick shooting'. And once, when I idiotically left the cover on once and smoked a light, the service I received was quick, inexpensive and completely satisfactory.
 

big_ben_blue

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I use Bowens/Calumet's lights and am generally very pleased with them. My lights range from old Prolites and PS4N packs to newer Travelite and QuadX stuff.
Never had a serious problem so far. But your milage may vary - it seems Bowen's has had on occasion problems with their quality control (there are a number of posts about failure of new equipment on Bowen's online forum).
You may want to have a look at Bowens forum yourself and ask some of the folks there - http://www.bowens.co.uk/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl


Edit: Oh jeez, did I just reply to an ancient resurrected thread from two years ago? Time for another caffeine infusion ...
 
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