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Adapting PCB Hard Modifiers to Accept Bowens S Mounts

For years I have used Paul Buff’s Einsteins almost exclusively for my strobe work. I still use them exclusively for all of my studio work as they are remarkable units. Combined with his CyberCommander and plug in triggers for the Steins they offer me the ability to control all but frequency settings right from my camera.

I recently purchased several new lights primarily for on location work. In the past I used the Steins combined with Vagabond Minis, but shooting action in high ambient light was beyond the capabilities of my beloved Steins. Godox AD360s allow HSS as does my Priolite MBX1000 Hotsync. Both of those units utilize Bowen S mounts for modifiiers.

Paul makes some of the best modifiers I have used, especially his hard modifiers like the Retro Laser Reflector, his 22″ Silver or White Beauty dishes, 11″ Long Throw Reflector, and my recently acquired Omni 18″ Reflector.

So when I wanted to use any of those modifiers with my Bowens mount lights I had to modify those units to use with my bare bulb or Priolite units. But I didn’t want to alter the modifiers permanently so I could still use them with the Steins.

So here’s how I managed to have my cake and eat it too…except for Paul’s 11″ Long Throw Reflector.  I could not figure out how to modify that unit and still have the ability to convert it back to fit the Steins. Heck I thought if I can convert a stage follow spot into a modifier that can accept an Einstein I should be able to do that! Nope… So I purchased a Bowens BW-1878 High Performance Reflector. Not quite as good as Paul’s 11″ Long Throw, but good enough.

So here’s what I’ve done:

This is what is needed for any of the conversions I have done, a simple Bowens S flange. They can be purchased online at several retailers.
This is what is needed for any of the conversions I have done, a simple Bowens S flange. They can be purchased online at several retailers.

PCB’s Omni reflector. As you can see just three small holes were drilled into the Omni to mount the Bowens adapter. When I want to use the modifier with an Einstein I simply remove the adapter and place the three small screws back into the modifer.
I marked one of the holes to the corresponding tab on the Bowens adapter ring so that I’m not hassling with lining up the proper hole.
For Paul’s Retro Laser reflector I replaced his Alienbees ring with a Bowens S mount plate…easy!
To date I have NOT found a long throw modifier that even comes close to Paul’s Retro Laser. This is 80 feet from the Priolite/Retro Laser modifier to the wall. Shot at 1/3200th f2.8 ISO 100, Priolite at 1000ws with a 1DX it’s ability to throw light is incredible. Works equally well with my Pentax 645Z.
Side view of the same shot angle.
How it looks at the ‘receiving’ end of the Retro Laser. 1/8000th f2.8, ISO 100 with a 1DX, Priolite at 1000ws.

So the whole point of this is having the ability to use modifiers I love with the strobes I use most often. I like having my cake and eating it too!

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Hello, I have the retro laser and would love to use it on my GODOX 600b. Could you explain in a bit more detail how you made that work in an email please? thanks

Exactly the question I was about to email you for – thanks.