For those of you that are unaware, a couple of weeks ago, U.K. online photography retailer WEX photographic, quietly announced that Bowens was coming back. And to many, myself included, this was a huge surprise.
When we first heard that Bowens was going into liquidation, and then the official announcement that came a few days later, it was the end of an era. After 94 years in business, one of the oldest flash manufacturers out there was closing for good. Or were they? At the time, it seemed so. But now, it looks like no, they’re back.
Bowens was bought out by the AURELIUS investment company along with Calumet back in 2016. AURELIUS also owns WEX Photo Video, who has now pretty much entirely consumed Calumet in the UK. And the Bowens name now looks set to be the WEX “own brand” lighting system. Today they’ve announced that Bowens is back, and they’re kicking off the relaunch with the XMT500 strobe.
If you are looking to make your first steps in the “big strobes” world, this is a deal you don’t want to miss. B&H are now selling a Bowens XMT500 2-Light Battery-Powered Flash Kit at $1,599.00 instead of the usual $3,799.oo. This is a $2,200 savings.
The kit includes 2 500WS Flash Heads, 2 Reflectors, 2 Batteries, 2 Light Stands and a charger and a backpack. Really everything you need to start.
If you opt for AC instead of a battery, you’d pay $1,199.88 and also get an umbrella, a softbox, and a radio controller.
The whole epic Aurelius/Bowens/Calumet saga now seems to be drawing to a conclusion. And what a journey it’s been. Calumet USA goes bankrupt, Calumet UK and Bowens are bought out by Aurelius. Recently, Bowens winds down and is sent into liquidation. Now it seems the Calumet is going to disappear, too. At least in name.
Calumet just sent out an email blast to all of their customers to let them know that from tomorrow, things are changing. Calumet and Wex are merging into one giant retailer. Sometime later this week, the Calumet Photo website will be closing down, and moved to the Wex website. Presumably Calumet’s 8 stores around the UK will also be rebranded to match.
Just over one year ago, Bowens along with Calumet were snapped up by investment company Aurelius. At that time, their press release waxed lyrical about the future of Calumet, but barely a mention for the Bowens brand.
An inside source has told DIYP that Bowens has now gone into liquidation. We’ve also had this confirmed by two other independent sources. Although we’ve yet to receive official confirmation from Bowens themselves, we believe the information to be quite solid. We’ll be following the situation closely as information comes in and updating this post as necessary.
The ballot is done and U.K. are leaving the EU. Yea Brexit is full on.
I am not really sure what will happen to our friends in the E.U and our friends in the U.K. but I think that photography gear from U.K. companies will have to be affected. I am not sure it the price will go up or down, or if stock will be easier or harder to come by, but changes are coming for sure. Here is a list of 7 U.K. based gear companies. Use at your own discretion.
After Calumet’s closure of US based retail stores and filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2014, it was pretty clear they were in trouble. With Bowens, this news comes as something of a surprise, however pulling out of The Photography Show at the last minute was a big clue that something was up.
Now, both companies are reported to have been acquired by investment company AURELIUS.
LED lighting has come a very long way in just a few short years, and Aputure wants to take on the sun with their new COB 120t LED light.
The 120t certainly isn’t the first LED powered light to offer the benefit of a Bowens S-Type mount, but it does have a couple of neat features. The biggest of those, being that you don’t need to have it plugged into the wall.
Living next to Europe means I get to visit the UK Photography show* every march. This is the biggest photoshow in the UK and you can think about it as a Photokina prequel.
Bowens were supposed to have a MASSIVE booth on that show. (A huge booth, a show stage for them and a lounge – a few thousands of square feet). A verified source just informed DIYP that Bowens is pulling out out of the show. More details, and some analysis ahead.