When a photoshoot requires using a location that is not fully connected to AC circuitry, a DC battery power pack is an ideal solution when smaller on-camera flashes are lacking the light output needed. There are a wide variety of these sorts of devices, but the Bowens, Explorer 1500 Pack stands out with a feature set not found on most other portable strobe power generators.
Contained within this compact, yet powerful pack is a sophisticated operating system that allows for the two head outlets to be adjusted from 31 to 1500 watt/seconds in 1/10th-stop increments. The adjustments can clearly be read in sunlight and low-light with the top-deck control LCD display. Battery charge, status, channel and other essential system info can be easily adjusted and viewed with a quick glance of the screen. Custom functions include: bracketing, sounder, modeling timer, charge, and recall. Also, there is a switchable photocell (slave) that can be replaced by the Bowens Pulsar radio sync receiver that is built into the pack. A Bowens Pulsar transmitter is required for this wireless operation. Otherwise, the two wired PC sync sockets with safe and clean 6V power will connect to any camera with a sync terminal.
Many functions are carried over from the QUAD series AC power packs like auto-bracketing that allow for a succession of shots to be made with the pack automatically lowering and raising the power level around the metered setting. The bracketing interval range is 1/10 to 9/10-stop. The two main independent output channels connect to Bowens QUAD heads and will let users fire them symmetrically, asymmetrically or locked in a chosen ratio. The short flash duration of up to 1/5700th of a second, keeps consistent 5300°K color temperature from shot to shot.
Additionally, a modeling light found on a connected flash head can be powered by the Explorers circuitry that provides a timed 250 Watts power load with a single head and 100 Watts over two heads. It can be programmed to shine for anywhere from 1 to 60 seconds that is either proportional or 100%. The 12 Volt battery will provide up to 150 full-power bursts with a single head. It is quick to recycle and can be augmented by the inclusion of two additional 750 Watts/second Bowens Esprit Gemini on the top deck. Using these Gemini ports, the total power is maximized to a whopping 3000 watts/second over 4 heads. Charging the battery is a breeze and the cell is able to be charged within the pack's housing or with an external charger in 5-6 hours. A quick charger and car charger are also available as optional accessories.
Altogether, the Bowens Explorer is an excellent, full-featured portable flash power generator with features to please the most demanding photographers.
- Pack has two main flash head outlets with power divided into two independent channels
- Power output ranges from 1500 W/s down to 31 W/s
- Flash-voltage stabilization ±1% at maximum power
- 6 VDC low-voltage synchronization is safe for connections to PC terminals on modern and digital cameras
- Rapid and programmable recycling capability
- 3000 W/s of power is possible when using two optional Esprit Gemini and two QUAD heads
- 150 shots from a fully-charged battery at 1500 W/s; 180 shots at 1200 W/s
- Ultra-short flash durations of 1/5700 sec. for action-stopping photography