Budget Studio Flash - Conclusion

Budget studio flash kits - our conclusion

Not one of these flash kits is bad. The two leading pro brands, Bowens and Elinchrom, are unsurprisingly the most expensive for what you get, but build quality is high and after-sales service and support probably the best. If you're looking at heavy-duty professional use these will be the safest bets. Of the two the Elinchrom kit is the better deal. The solid and well-specified Lastolite kit undercuts them both, however, and performed well. Its biggest problem is that if you're looking to make savings the excellent Lencarta kit undercuts Lastolite by a good margin and is even more impressive. The Proline Creative kit is okay for the occasional home user who wants to shoot still life, but the initial outlay is among the highest and the heads aren't in the same league as the competition.

In summary, if setting up a pro studio is your primary concern then the Elinchrom kit can offer the peace of mind that a pro brand with over 50 of years of experience brings to the table. For location shoots, albeit for considerably more cash, the Bowens kit is the only one specified for remote battery use. But as a hobbyist looking to save money then the outstanding Lencarta Smartflash kit is hard to beat.

 

Studio flash comparison chart

 

• See Jamie's top tips for working with models