Two big pluses for the Bowen Gemini 250R unit is its built-in PocketWizard receiver and side-mounted yoke.

Bowens is known for making robust, all-steel strobes which are built to last. They’re also part of the PocketWizard-Bowens-Sekonic “Technology Alliance,” and one of the few brands of monolights to offer built-in PocketWizard compatibility (with optional plug-in receiver module). The Bowens Gemini 250R is their lowest-priced strobe which accommodates the Bowens GEM receiver module made by PocketWizard. Another feature which differentiates Bowens from other brands is their unique side-yoke design, making boom-mounting a breeze (all of my boom-mounted Dynalites have to be hung upside-down–real usability-killer). Bowens’ large, mechanical rotary knobs, plus its large LED power-level display makes power-level adjustments quick and easy (the thing you change the most on a monolight).

Bowens Gemini 250R; $499.95:

• Unique side-yoke mount easily accommodates inverted attachment to a boom, maintaining correct orientation of all the unit’s controls.
• Available PocketWizard receiver port for the BowensGEM.
• 7.5-250Ws power range.
• 1.0-second recycle at full-power.
• Large, easily-readable LED power-level display.
• Dual-knob power-level controls, settable in both full-stops, and tenths-of-a-stop.