View Full Version : Bowens Gemini 500ws ... Profoto

16-Dec-2019, 12:00
Don't wanna sound too newbish but in what way would the Profoto Strobes be better than Bowens Gemini (shooting black and white) besides consistency, the remote triggering, durability?
Im just talking about the "quality of light"

thank you.

Fred L
16-Dec-2019, 13:55
Have never used Profotos, but have extensive use of Bowens. All my friends who use Profotos, have also used Bowens. The big difference imo would be build quality. Our Bowens were in the shop for simple things like the broken lock knob, or the ac socket would pop out. A few are bricks because they stopped working consistently, and we're not keen to spend the $$ to repair them.
It's affordable which is why it's seeing lots of use. Also hated the modelling light adjustment.

If you can afford Profotos, or Balcars, that's where I'd spend my money. If budget is tight, look at Paul C. Buff lights. Einsteins look feature packed. Again, they're not going to touch Profotos or Balcar, but the price is extremely attractive.

Sorry, I would think the quality of light, for b/w wouldn't be noticeable. But the above has to be considered tbh. Kind of pay now, or pay later.

Mark Sampson
16-Dec-2019, 18:38
Balcar is long out of business... Bowens may be gone as well; I think they were owned by Calumet. Profotos are very impressive professional-grade units. That elusive "quality of light" issue is often determined by your light modifiers.

16-Dec-2019, 20:33
That elusive "quality of light" issue is often determined by your light modifiers.

Yes; the quality of light looks the same, more or less, from one brand to another, it does depend a lot on your modifier(s).
Good light modifiers are noticeable in their quality of light, they cost more, but they're (usually) worth the extra moolah.

I will say that Profoto are the most color-consistent studio flash I've ever used, and that's worth a premium to me; I spend far less time doing color correction on the old computer when I use Profoto.
I realize you're talking about shooting in B&W, but you or someone else reading this may be color-curious one day.

Greg Davis
16-Dec-2019, 21:09
I replaced my Bowens Gemini 500's with Profoto D1 500's simply because I couldn't get Bowens parts anymore now that they are bankrupt and closed down. Profoto accessories are way overpriced and easily replaced with less expensive brand modifiers, but the lights are fantastic.

Charles S
17-Dec-2019, 00:41
Euorpe based; I got Bowens heads used off ebay. For 200USD, the value can't be beat. They don't have the latest features, and they use dumb triggers, which is fine because I use a variety of gear.
With the money left in my pocket I bought a 120cm parabolic light modifier and a big beautydish which have become my two go-to modifiers, with some other modifiers as needed.

18-Dec-2019, 08:57
Bowens almost disappeared, but then they were bought by Godox last year: https://petapixel.com/2019/02/20/is-bowens-really-back-yes-and-its-manufactured-by-godox/
They're no longer an economy brand, the new units are decidedly un-inexpensive; to wit: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1284630-REG/bowens_bw_5300us_xms500_flash_head.html

18-Dec-2019, 11:47
I have had good luck with dynalite equipment, out of NJ. The great I have is ancient, still works and did not cost a fortune. Can't speak for the current line-up, but it looks pretty good to me. http://www.dynalite.com

19-Dec-2019, 00:25
Have a look at Godox, in terms of build quality their products are between Bowens and ProFoto, but you do get light quality quite close to ProFoto. Much more affordable, too. If and when my Profoto B1's die, I'll seriously consider Godox as a replacement, even for high end digital work.