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Bowens or Elinchrom?
Old 02-14-2005, 05:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
Aristotelis
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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, all strobes. 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?
 
 
Re: Bowens or Elinchrom?
Old 02-14-2005, 11:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use the Calumet lights -- which are made by Bowens for Calumet. They're great units. You've hit the one thing about them that is an issue -- the weight. With a good sized soft box in place they weigh over 4 kilos. You need a bit heavier light stand for them. However, my units have been very reliable and I've had NO problems with them. They're also easy to work on -- I did have to replace a flash tube. The new tube was readily available and easy to replace myself.

Bob

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Re: Bowens or Elinchrom?
Old 02-14-2005, 01:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have shot commerically with both Bowens and Elinchrom. Both rigs were used in a two light setup to shoot products for Safeway and other major grocery and general merchandise retailters. The lights were never used at more than half power and never left the studio. Just a little background for you on their usage.
In my humble opinion Elinchroms kick major ass. After over 200,000 products imaged (five view of each product) with an equal workload, taken with both sets of lights, the Bowens (Espirit series) were sent for repair three times between the two light. One was repaired twice and it's match was repaired once.
Now during the four weeks they were out of the studio, the Elichroms kept on firing without so much as a blown fuse.
Personally it is my opinion that you get what you pay for. The Elinchroms were slightly more expensive, but I find them to outwork most of the other light I have worked with.
For my modelling work, I have four pack of Elinchrom Style 600's that I use for a travel rig, and I have kicked the BeJesus out of them and they keep coming back for more. I don't find them any less durable than the Bowens and I am actually going to pick up another set for a second travel rig in the next month or so.
I picked up a cheesy little Opus wireless tranmitter and receiver for them and they fire 99.9% of the time so I'm never worry about tripping over cords. I have a StatPower Portwatz power pack for each and I can get a solid days shooting out of them indoors or out.
Maybe I'm biased, but again, I go with quality whenever possible and I will always stand by my 'chroms.
Good luck.
Craig
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Re: Bowens or Elinchrom?
Old 02-15-2005, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you considered Profoto?

Comparable to Elinchrom, and you can find parts and service all over the world. If you travel, you'll find a place that rents the same gear you use at home, guaranteed.
 
 
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