Bowens is one of the best-known and highest quality lighting brands in the business. This twin-head kit provides a total of 400Ws of power, and comes with two 90cm shoot-through/reflective umbrellas and two reflectors.
The modelling bulbs are powerful too, so could easily be used as a constant light source. This kit boasts the fastest recycle time here of 0.7sec, so you won’t be waiting around for your lights to recharge. The flash duration is very short at 1/1450sec, so these lights are good for freezing fast-moving subjects. Rather than a digital display on the back of the unit, there is a large, easy-to-use power dial on the side with six power intervals divided into 5-stop increments. On the back there are options to turn the modelling lamp on and off, adjust its power independently of flash power, and silence the ‘ready’ beep. There’s also an input for a Travelpak battery (£430), making this the only kit in test that can be used outside on location. On top of the flash unit is a receiver for the Bowens Pulsar Radio Trigger system that comes with the kit. The triggers work straight out of the box, and have a range of 25m. Also included are two lightstands with a massive 236cm maximum height. The stand arms aren’t air-cushioned so extra care is needed when adjusting the height of the head. Overall build quality’s second-to-none, and the kit comes complete with its own padded and well-made carry bag.
This kit is absolutely superb, with fast recycle times, excellent build quality, wireless triggers and very tall lightstands. At £559 it’s not cheap, but if money was no object, this would be the best starter kit on the market.
- RRP: £559 (As of June 2016)
- Max. flash power: 200Ws per head
- Modelling bulb power: 250Ws
- Modifiers: 2 umbrellas
- Full-power recycle time: 0.7sec
- Wireless transmitter included: Yes
- Reflectors included: 2
- Digital display: No
- Max lightstand height: 236cm
- Fan-cooled: No
- Carry bag included: Yes
- External battery connection: Yes
- Visit: www.bowensdirect.com
This review was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.