PAUL C BUFF – Ends Distribution Ties in Europe & Australia – Godox To Fill Void

From January 31st 2014 the partnership agreement between Paul C Buff and First Line Europe, and 1st Line Digital in Australia, will come to an end.

Existing customers who have ordered from PCB Europe or PCB Australia in the past will be able to place new orders directly from PCB headquarters in the USA.

Though from the 31st January 2014 all future repairs will be handled directly by Paul C Buff inc in the USA, with the customer required to pay shipping both ways.

We have been the Authorised Partner For Paul C Buff for the past 5 years and it is with great regret that our agreement with Paul has ended. Our partner agreement will end on the 31st January 2014.

Rest Assured.

At First Line Europe we value your business and realise that these new arrangements may cause you some inconvenience. Therefore, although we are no longer able to repair your equipment locally, we will do everything in our power to help all customers that have purchased a Paul C Buff unit from us whilst your equipment is being repaired.


New customers outside the USA and Canada will now also be able to purchase from PCB USA by using a freight forwarding company.

Though new international customers will need to find and select their own freight forwarding service, and payment is via wire transfer only. Full details can be seen here.


PCB Einstein 640


explanation from Paul C Buff inc, Nashville, USA. below:- 
“In order to serve customers located outside of the U.S. and Canada, we pursued relationships with international companies, allowing them to serve as authorized international dealers. Unfortunately, these relationships have ended as this method of sales was not cost effective for our customers and, most importantly, kept us too detached from our customers, prohibiting us from offering the kind of customer support that we strive to provide.”

In addition we have have to inform you that from the 1st March 2014 that all future repairs will be handled directly by Paul C Buff inc in the USA with the customer required to pay shipping both ways. Complete details regarding foreign customer product repairs will be posted on the Paul C Buff, Inc. USA website after Jan 1, 2014.”



Where to now for First Line Europe and 1st Line Digital in Australia? –

First Line are not shutting shop though, they are releasing their own brand of studio lighting gear –

And probably most telling is that their own brand is based on the now becoming very popular (and competitively priced) Godox range of lights, while offering a solid 2 year warranty and a 60 day money back guarantee –


1st Line Digital


First Line Europe To Launch New Studio Lighting Range.

So what does the future hold for us. In early 2014 First Line Europe and 1st Line Digital in Australia will launch a new range of professional studio lighting, we will be able to let you have more details on this new range very soon. This range will include a unit with very similar specs to the E640, a truly portable 600ws Studio Flash, the worlds first Lithium Battery Speed Light and a range of battery packs. All units will be covered by a 2 year warranty and with the peace of mind of a 60 day money back guarantee.


Regular readers of this site may be familiar with the Godox QT-600 which they are likely referring to as the E640 Einstein alternative, and the brilliant V850 which is the Lithium Battery Speedlight reference –


Godox QT600 & V850


Godox do not currently have an alternative to the popular PCB Vagabond Mini Lithium battery pack though. Which is very surprising as Godox make some very serious larger Lithium packs already. And Jinbei, another Chinese company, have already provided a VML like alternative with the EN-350 Energon.

Will Godox then skip the external Lithium pack again (as they have done with the V850 speedlight), and possibly develop a fully wireless studio strobe with Lithium pack built-in?, somewhat like the recently released Profoto B1. Its obvious manufactures will be heading this way sooner or later.

Times are changing, and there should be some very interesting developments coming in the near future.

I’m not personally familiar with First Line Europe, but Colin from 1st Line Digital in Australia is well known for great service, and I’m sure they will only get better with competitive products. See And PCB Australia is still currently here.

This is obviously not the greatest news for current PCB European and Australian customers. Though at least we know the PCB lights are functionally solid, and PCB are know for exceptional customer service. So hopefully they will do all they can to minimize any shipping cost for warranty repairs etc for current customers.

PCB International Shipping

  1. Andrew 6 years ago

    Are you reading a little too much into it? On their home page they list their “EX” series as truly portable 600Ws. Not quite a profoto match.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 6 years ago

      Hi Andrew,

      You’re absolutely right, I completely missed that!

      However I may have given away some rumors I have heard as well 🙂

      • Andrew 6 years ago

        Hmm interesting – I wonder what you’ve been hearing. I was wondering what Godox were going to bring out next. I was thinking a Quadra alternative, though perhaps that’s a bit too close to the CL-360. I’m surprised no one else has been the Buff of Europe yet. To some extend Bowens and Elinchrom sort of fit the bill. Godox certainly seem to be the Chinese brand that’s a cut above the rest at the moment. What they did with the Cheetah (etc) lights was interesting and it’s pleasing to see them stick with the same remote trigger through the range. Upgradeability and long term investment aren’t things you think of usually with Chinese flash makers. I think the Chinese manufacturers could do with a little marketing help for the Europe/US market though. The amount of rebadging and clutter of old products is just confusing.

        • Jacques 6 years ago

          “I was wondering what Godox were going to bring out next. I was thinking a Quadra alternative”…

          Godox have already replaced the EX line with ES-400P and ES-600P Xenergizer pack & head kits that closely resemble the Quadra, except that they power just one head. They can use the same FT-16 triggers as the Witstro and the V850 (the V850 uses an FT-16s receiver). The Chinese version of the Godox website has a page about the Xenergizers. The English version is way out of date.

          • Andrew 6 years ago

            I didn’t know about the XEnergizer they seem a bit elusive – any stockists in Europe?

    • lala 6 years ago

      Hi, may I ask what you are referring to when you speak of ‘their “EX” series…’. I’m just wondering what this refers to. I went to the paul buff home page trying to get on the same page with you and Flash Havoc, but I couldn’t. please explain. thanks

      • Author
        Flash Havoc 6 years ago

        The EX series where the previous NiMH version of the now Lihtium-Ion powered XEnergizer 400 and 600WS portable head and pack lights.

        I’ve uploaded the XEnergizer brochure with more details here.

  2. Meddin Studios 6 years ago

    Whoa where did these ES600P’s come from? Like Andrew said, any Europe or US stock?

    These are great Einstein alternatives but no HSS sync?

  3. Trailboy 6 years ago

    It was never really a viable flash equipment distribution model in the first place, particularly for the UK arm of the business, for various reasons – especially the price level. Rumour has it the EU and AU arms were purchasing equipment at US retail prices.

    When you know that PCBuffs heart was never for a correct worldwide distribution, I just didn’t trust it. If I had bought equipment recently that was now faulty and to repair required me to ship it both ways to the US, I would be tamping.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Anti-Spam Quiz:


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?