Bowens is back! Wex resurrects brand with Bowens XMT500 flash

Bowens is back! Wex resurrects brand with Bowens XMT500 flash

Historic photographic equipment brand Bowens, which ceased operations in 2017 after 94 years, has been resurrected by Wex Photo Video, which announced the venerable Bowens XMT500 as the first relaunched product. 

"We are pleased to announce the Wex Photo Video exclusive relaunch of Bowens, beginning with the XMT500 Flash Head and Twin Head Kit," the company stated (opens in new tab). "This is complemented by a wide range of light shaping tools, a two-year warranty and special limited-period launch offers."

The flash supports manual and TTL shooting, high speed sync up to 1/8000 sec, and features both sync delay (from 0.01 to 30 seconds) and strobe mode to deliver up to 100 flashes per burst. The XMT500's recycling time is down to 0.01 sec, and can produce up to 500 full-power flashes from a battery that fully recharges in four hours.

Founded in 1923, Bowens was shuttered in July 2017 by parent company Aurelius, which acquired it and Calumet the previous year. The closure was due to a number of market factors including, as the company told Petapixel (opens in new tab), “considerably less expensive products by Chinese manufacturers”.

Aurelius then merged Calumet with Wex Photographic (opens in new tab) (which it acquired from Barclays earlier the same year) in September 2017 as Wex Photo Video. 

The Bowens XMT500 flash unit is available as a single head kit (opens in new tab) for £699 or as a twin head kit (opens in new tab) with a backpack for £1,399. It will be interesting to see which Bowens products are next to receive the resurrection treatment… 

Read more:

The best lighting kits for home studio or location photography (opens in new tab)

How to use flash for your photography: High-speed sync (opens in new tab)

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.