Back when we were choosing a flash system for the studio (way back in the good old days) we sat down and discussed
- What do we want?
- What do we need?
- How much can we afford?
- What experiences have we had with different equipment in different studios?
- What light modifiers are available and what do we want to use?
Between us we had used a few different rental studio with a variety of different brands so we all had a good idea of what direction we wanted to go. It was quickly clear that none of us wanted some cheap "No Name" or "made in China" flashes due to quality control and white balance issues. It was also clear that most of the "No Name" or "made in China" stuff was manufactured with a Bowens compatible bayonet (in fact we already had a lot of light formers with the Bowens bayonet). Although "Alien Bees" started off hight on the list the were soon dropped due to availability, power issues and availability of light modifiers (at the time in the EU). It was soon a clear what brand we would chose, there were only a few real quality manufacturers that made it through the selection. But only one offered real quality at an acceptable price.
Bowen 400/400 twin-head starter flash kit
The Bowens Gemini 400/400 twin-head starter flash kit is made to the same high standard as Bowens' professional equipment. It offers robust build quality, simple easy-to-use design and reliably consistent results. It can be the foundation of a growing studio system, while its portability and the versatility of optional battery power make it a good choice for outdoor location shooting. For your money you get two compact but powerful Gemini 400 flash heads, two aluminium 120-degree reflectors with umbrella mounts, two sturdy metal stands, two mains leads, a camera sync cable and two 90cm silver/white umbrellas with removable covers that can be used as either reflectors or diffusers. The kit comes in a large black holdall bag, and all included weighs approximately 12.5Kgs
We ordered 2 Bowens Gemini 400/400 twin-head starter kit giving us 4 x 400ws as a starting point. This way we could add larger and or smaller Ws flashes in the future if needed. In the last 12 month these flashes have severed our needs fantastic. The performance has not been compromised either with this petite power-house offering impressive flash-durations and recycle times. And precise light control over 5 stops of power using a single simple stepless dial which also controls the 250W proportional modelling lamp. Or you can simply press a switch for the modelling lamp and use it 100% or off . No complicated digital menu systems - 'simplicity' is the keyword here, the Gemini really is a plug-and-go system, that can suit the needs of every user from a first time studio user through to pro work.
The main problems with "No Name" or "made in China" studio flashes that I have seen so far is 2 fold.
- The Quality control leaves a lot to be desired.They pump out as many flashes as thy can as quick as they can and hope people won't return them.
- Irregular white balance. If your flashes have different colour temperatures or a large difference in the colour temperature you may end up with odd looking images or spending a long time in post production.
The Gemini range offers consistency, reliability and quality to ensure stunning results in any environment. As an optional extra there is a battery pack available that allows you to use the Gemini flash heads as a mobile unit. We dont have one yet but who knows what will happen in the future . We recently added one 200w Gemini flash head to the collection. This add more control over our lighting set-ups and depth of field in the studio, I am hoping we can add one more in the near future.
|Gemini 200||Gemini 400|
|Max Power (Ws||200Ws||400Ws|
|Guide Number (m/100 ISO)||54||76|
|Flash Duration (t=0.5)||0.7 Seks||1.2 Seks|
|Recycle Time (100%)||1/1200 Sek||1/1000 Sek|
|DialPowerRange||5 stops, 6Ws - 200Ws||5 stops, 12Ws - 400Ws|
|Modelling Control||Proportional with Power||Proportional with Power|
|Modelling Modes||Full, Off, Proportional||Full, Off, Proportional|
|Colour Temperature (+/- 300°K)||5600K||5600K|
|Voltage Stabilisation||bis 1%||to 1%|
|Flash Inhibit Circuit||Yes||Yes|
|Sync Voltage||5V DC||5V DC|
|Ready Indication||Ready Beep, Ready LED||Ready Beep, Ready LED|
|Operating Voltage||190-250V 50Hz||190-250V 50Hz|
|Built in Slave Cell||Yes||Yes|
|Switchable Slave Cell||Yes||Yes|
|EM Noise Suppression||Yes||Yes|
- Simple to use intuitive controls
- Five stops of power control
- Lightweight & compact
- Travelpak Battery compatible
- Auto Power-save mode
- Robust Metal Construction
- Proportional modelling control
- Recessed switches & sockets
- Huge range of Bowens and 3rd party accessories
- Fast Flash-Durations
- DSLR friendly Low Sync Voltage
This workshop was all about "Rockabilly" and "Pinup" Style. Lisa, our makeup artist took care of the appropriate hairdos and makeup and was modeling as well alongside with Chrissy and Jessi. This shooting was completed with the corresponding music and props. This way again the outcome were some great photos in a familiar and much favored atmosphere
And as always it was a blast for everyone...
And the famous making of video!