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Thread: Bowens Creo

  1. #1
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    Bowens Creo

    Bowens probably doesn't mean much to anyone in the US (or a lot of Europe) but its one of the UK's longest standing strobe manufacturers and kit that many colleges (at least in my day) would first introduce studio strobe equipment to young budding photographers.

    Missed this anouncement at Photokina but it seems Bowens has updated its Quad range of generators with this - Bowens CREO 1200 Generator Professional photographic studio & location flash lighting

    Is it me or do these new generators just look like cheap crap from China rather than a well respected strobe manufacturers premier product?

    What happened to the QX3 Bowens?

    Would be good to hear from someone who looked at them at Photokina to tell me different and that these images are just bad product photography. Looks like Profoto will be getting more of my money now.....

    Images from Bowens website:





    Last edited by gazwas; 18th October 2012 at 12:58.

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    Re: Bowens Creo

    I'd suggest that you don't judge the book by it's cover. Bowens has produced some of the best lighting equipment made. Like most manufacturers today they're trying to compete on price point and features in a market that's shrinking and more saturated than ever. They've clearly updated their industrial design to look current and used injection molded plastic to do it. Have you held anything new from Profoto or Broncolor in your hands ? Plastic top to bottom.

    Given the high ISO capabilities of current digital cameras a speedlight satisfies the needs of many and can offer complete control from the camera plus exposure automation. Pack/head combinations have a very limited market.

    Reading the specs on the Bowens site I'd tend to trust their claims until someone shows me differently. But then I'm biased. I have 3 Bowens Voyagers that are 30 years old, the forerunner to the Calumet Travelight / Bowens Genesis, they're universal voltage and digitally controlled, features offered long before other manufacturers had them and they work flawlessly. My Bowens Traveler pack and heads have never failed me.

    The QuadX packs and heads are equal to the best from any manufacturer. I see no reason to expect the new Creo line to be anything less than they claim.

    And I think you'd be surprised the range of Bowens market, their mount is one of the most copied for a reason.

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    Re: Bowens Creo

    I have a trash container that looks just like that.

    All kidding aside, Bowens is well respected and used more than we may suspect.

    However, I do like good industrial design and graphics ... and there are some decent working products that look like they were designed at the Hellen Keller design institute. PCB gear is one of them IMO ... Ugly, but it gets you there.

    After decades of using almost everything out there, I simply cannot not tolerate any modifier mount other than Profoto ... I put up with a few Hensel mount items for the sake of the Porty 1200L, and barely can stand the rotten Elinchrom mount which was the bain of my existence for many years ... especially the spindly, cheap toy like Quadra which sucks beyond belief ... but small is small and you deal with it.

    I threw confetti in the air and celebrated when Elinchrom announced integrated Profoto mount Rotalux speed-rings ... making all of the excellent fold up Rotalux modifiers directly useable on Profoto heads (no adapters!). Already converted the 39" Rotalux Deep Octa to this mount.

    BTW, my Profoto Acute 600B L AIR is NOT made of plastic ... even though there's really nothing wrong with plastic if used wisely. Helps keep the weight down and lessens impact damage for smaller user errors.

    -Marc

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    Re: Bowens Creo

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
    I'd suggest that you don't judge the book by it's cover. Bowens has produced some of the best lighting equipment made.
    I don't disagree as my first introduction to studio lighting was Bowens Bronze and Silver's and have owned many a version of their Quad generators and mono lights. I currently run several of the latest 500, 1000 and 1500 Gemini Pro mono's that are a great, very over engineered strobe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
    Like most manufacturers today they're trying to compete on price point and features in a market that's shrinking and more saturated than ever. They've clearly updated their industrial design to look current and used injection molded plastic to do it. Have you held anything new from Profoto or Broncolor in your hands ? Plastic top to bottom.
    Bron, quite possibly but not the case at all with the latest Profoto generators. Granted the D1 is all plastic but I'm not a fan of them hence owning the Bowens Gemini.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
    Given the high ISO capabilities of current digital cameras a speedlight satisfies the needs of many and can offer complete control from the camera plus exposure automation. Pack/head combinations have a very limited market.
    Very true and numbers sold must be a lot lower than in previous generations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
    Reading the specs on the Bowens site I'd tend to trust their claims until someone shows me differently. But then I'm biased. I have 3 Bowens Voyagers that are 30 years old, the forerunner to the Calumet Travelight / Bowens Genesis, they're universal voltage and digitally controlled, features offered long before other manufacturers had them and they work flawlessly. My Bowens Traveler pack and heads have never failed me.

    The QuadX packs and heads are equal to the best from any manufacturer. I see no reason to expect the new Creo line to be anything less than they claim.
    What I don't like is the move to a totally digital interface. The QX3 concept looked amazing with its LCD and dials for changing settings. With the inclusion of dials and digital display on the latest Gemini mono's I thought it a dead cert the next generation of pack from Bowens would follow. I really don't understand the obsession with push button that are ALWAYS dimwitted and slow to function when under pressure and in a rush on a shoot. The Profoto Pro8 and new ProB4 show the way it should be implemented as a combination of touchy feely dials and digital information readout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Candlish View Post
    And I think you'd be surprised the range of Bowens market, their mount is one of the most copied for a reason.
    I'd put that down to its simplicity but that still doesn't make it great. I'm with Marc on this one and the Profoto method is by a long, long stretch the best mount on the market. Have you not ever had one of those release clips break on the Bowens (always after attaching a modifier rather than removing) or having the blasted thing just refuse to come of the head and having to get heavy handed with a red hot modifier half way though a shoot.

    And have you seen how the radio cards plug into the pack? They don't get pushed into a slot and hidden away but just plug into a slot on top of the control panel and are left there half in, half out? And don't get me started on the new heads! Plain and simply - MASSIVE!

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