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Author Topic: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??  (Read 3171 times)

noble55

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My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« on: January 22, 2013, 02:39:58 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm about to move into my first studio so I need to set up the space with er, everything! So I want to get this right and make sure I buy stuff that I can add on to months/years down the line easily.

My options for lighting are to buy Einsteins or something similar if anyone can recommend. I've always rented Bowens 500W from my local Calumet and they've always seemed good but I've heard great things about the Einsteins as well. I need all modifiers as well so I wonder which brands will have better options?

Anyone have any opinions on these two brands and which might be better? More sturdy, better build, constant colour, etc?

Any help would be much appreciated!

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My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« on: January 22, 2013, 02:39:58 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 02:46:31 PM »
Haven't used Bowens but I really like my Einstein monolight and Buff modifiers.
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noble55

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2013, 03:03:32 PM »
OK good to know! :)

RLPhoto

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2013, 03:57:05 PM »
I'm planning to replace my entire studio setup for Buff Einsteins and Modifiers. They're pretty awesome.

agierke

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2013, 04:47:17 PM »
im another Einstein guy. i use their radio transmitters as well.

as far as modifiers go, i have been less than impressed with PCB modifiers. i do own the PCB Beauty Dish and it is great. the PCB grids are a good deal as well as all other brands are way overpriced. the parabolic umbrellas are ok. the softboxes i would not recommend at all...terrible design.

for softboxes i like Westcott. they are made of good materials, are designed well, and are affordable compared to other brands. get the ones that have the inner diffusion panel as well as the removable front diffusion panel. they are very versatile. silver or white per your preference.

i have used Photoflex boxes but i wasn't a fan of the material they used...too plasticey. used Chimera alot as well but they are too pricey if you are on a budget. Plume was always my favorite but they are very expensive.

for umbrellas i have a couple from Photoflex (get the optical white as the plain white are again plasticey) but my favorites are the Photek Softlighters. good reflective material for use as an umbrella and they come with a front diffusion panel that turns it into a round soft source. the smaller sizes also come with inserts that will warm the light or create more specularity. they are a really great deal for cost vs function.

Photek also makes a great octobox called the Illuminata. its a really soft source and though i don't own one a few of my photographer buddies do and it is their favorite modifier for portraits.

avoid the Impact brand at all cost. despite their name sounding like they could take a beating...they can't. cheaply made and fall apart.
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pwp

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2013, 05:56:40 PM »
I had a studio full of premium Profoto gear plus two large Profoto location kits. They are true rock n' roll build quality and have as solid reputation as it's possible to have. There are good reasons Profoto is the most common lighting available for rentals.

A couple of years ago I got an Einstein two light kit with dishes, modifiers, 86 inch PLMs and the astounding Vagabond battery as a much lighter weight location kit. It didn't take long till I was never taking the Profotos on location. It didn't take much longer till I sold ALL the Profoto gear and I'm now 100% Einstein. It's light, very gutsy and after a couple of years of solid location work, it has passed the tough test.

Not only are the Einsteins red hot performers, the support from PCB is the stuff of legends. Find out more here at their technical forums http://www.paulcbuff-techforum.com/ and at their main website http://www.paulcbuff.com/

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 06:48:21 PM »
Another very pleased PCB Einstein customer here!

I really love my lights, battery packs and all the mods I've used by them.

I haven't used Bowens other than a quick look at them before I knew much about how to use lights so I can't comment.

Chris
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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2013, 06:48:21 PM »

Normalnorm

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 07:04:47 PM »
As a long time Buff products user I have owned White Lightnings , Alien Bees and Einsteins. The products are rugged and the Einsteins have a feature set that others are hard pressed to match.

However, I recently switched to Bowens in my studio for several reasons.
First, The modifier mount. The Balcar/Buff modifier mount is not suitable for large soft boxes as it lacks the strength to hold them. You can say anything you want about user error but the fact remains that large, heavy modifiers will fall off frequently.
Second, There is no handle to hold while tilting the head. Not a huge deal but more problematic as the modifier gets heavier.
Third, sliders to adjust power on the WL and ABs. Not true of the Einstein
Fourth, Excessively busy screen and controls of the Einstein. Fussy remote though it works well.


The Bowens address those concerns of mine in the studio.
Very solid mount with a ton of available modifiers
Clear large dial controls that tell you at a glance what your settings are.
Handle and a very secure tilting swivel for the head.
Rugged build and bright modeling lamp.
I do not need remote power adjustment as I can easily move between lights and make adjustments.

Downside is that they are heavier than the Einsteins for location work.

I still use Einsteins and Bees on location as I use them with umbrellas or plain reflectors and the mount is not an issue. I also like their compactness and light weight and the fact that for $50 Buff will repair almost any mishap.

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 08:20:03 PM »
As always I still say this kit cannot be beaten especially if starting out and budget conscious
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/906651-REG/Elinchrom_EL_20852KIT_D_LITE_RX_4_400w.html

elinchroms are well made and consistant

I get an elinchrom to bownes adapter off ebay then i can use either elinchrom or bowens modifies on the lights
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pro-Adapter-Mount-Ring-interchangeable-mount-Elinchrom-to-BOWENS-S458-/160778413846?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item256f23e716
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gary samples

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 11:14:17 PM »
Einsteins all the way !!

Jeffrey

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2013, 12:26:36 AM »
Einsteins, plain and simple! They are amazing heads and the Paul Buff light modifiers are excellent. Inexpensive too! I use the Buff light triggers. They could not be easier to use. Why spend more money and not gain much if anything. You will be very pleased with the Einsteins. Good luck!

kbmelb

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 01:58:45 AM »
I have an Einstein, a White Lightning 1600, AB800 and ABR800. I have a lot of PCB modifiers; 5 different PLMs, Beauty Dish, barn doors, grids and the 56 Moon Unit.

The only complaint I have of any of them is the ABR800. While most ring lights are awkward, this one seems like the designer went out of there way to make it THE most awkward. It is also too deep to use my 50L with comfortably. But I think the quality of light that comes from it at the price point makes it quite worth the awkwardness.

I plan to add another Einstein to my kit soon possibly to replace the AB800. I like the AB800 for its weight but the Einsteins low 2.5 ws is very valuable to me.

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Re: My first Studio!! Einsteins or Bowens??
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 01:58:45 AM »