Remote controls are a way of life these days; we either love them or hate them, not all of us understanding what every button does! However using a remote control in a dark studio makes a lot of sense, especially when you have multiple heads to operate.
Bowens have made several versions of remotes over the years and despite the fact that they have all worked well, they have been built more for function, rather than design. However, I’m pleased to say that Bowens have just introduced a new remote control that operates the models introduced earlier this year, the Gemini 'R' 250 and 500 and the Gemini 'Pro' 500, 750, 1000 and 1500.
The first thing you notice about this new remote is the size. It's tiny compared with the previous 'RC' models. No bigger than an average mobile phone and thinner; the new remote is a real breath of fresh air. The design is much improved too and you won’t need a degree in computer sciences to use it. The buttons look very straightforward, with recognisable icons in two neat vertical rows. At the top of the remote is a horizontal line of channel numbers from 0 to 8.
Bowens have placed all the instructions for the remote on the outside of the packaging, what a good idea. On one side, Bowens identify each of the icons, and on the other side a simple user guide.
The remote is simple to use, but remember, it is restricted to only two ranges, the Bowens R or Pro models. To operate it, all you have to do is set the power dial on the R or Pro flash head to the remote setting. The remote will then operate all the heads major functions using those icons. On one side, audible beep, slave cell and modelling lamp, on the other there are buttons for flash test and the up and down buttons for power.
The channel selectors are essential when using more than one flash head. Each flash head can be programmed with its own channel number by selecting the remote setting and then using the tenths dial to select your preferred number. By pressing the top right channel button on the remote moves the channel selector from 0 to 8, each number identified by a red flashing neon that stays on for a few seconds. When that neon stops flashing, the user can then change the settings on that particular head, it really is that simple. Matching both numbers on the head and remote will enable the user to operate up to 9 individual flash heads.
So, if you're the proud owners of either Bowens Gemini R’s or Gemini Pro’s, treat yourself to this remote control, you’ll find it a very quick and efficient way of working and wonder how you managed without one!