The V-Flat Duo Boards are a set of realistic replica surfaces and backgrounds designed for product, food and flat lay photography.
There has been a big gap in the smaller floor drop/backdrop market for product photography, and his product from V-Flat World fills that gap.
As a product photographer who takes a lot of camera gear photos, I’ve experimented with backdrops and floor drops a lot of times over the years.
I have large pieces of wood in my garage somewhere, different styles of waterproof printed paper in marble, granite, concrete and various other combinations, but none of it ever really worked.
It was difficult to create a floor drop that met a backdrop perfectly with paper, so most of the time, I would take a top-down shot with black paper and professional lighting. Whilst the resulting images were high quality, this creates monotonous images when used continuously.
That’s where the V-Flat Duo comes into play. Here’s our hands-on review.
Table of Contents
V-Flat Duo Board Specs
- Photo realistic printed material
- Splash/waterproof and easy to clean
- Selection of quality designs available
- Broad use cases outside of just food photography
- Light weight
- Stands not as stable for larger sizes and tight in bracket when new
- Size: 30.0 x 40.0″ / 76.2 x 101.6 cm or 24.0 x 24.0″ / 61.0 x 61.0 cm
- Material: Multilayered PVC Board
- Waterproofing: Washable and stain resistant
- Color/Design: Aged Cutting Board/Butcher’s Board, Carrara Blue/Calacatta Gold, Cobalt Blueberry/Cranberry Crimson, Coral Wash/90s Blues, Emerald City/Citrus Burst, Faded Stone/Sunflower Burst, French Clay/Terracotta Blush, Gray Chalk/Dark Chalk, Iced Concrete/Midnight Cement, Linen White/Linen Cream, Ocean Slate/Black Slate, Onyx Marble/Alpine Marble, Raw Concrete/Vintage Plaster, Rose Hue/Washed Pigment, Terrazzo A/Terrazzo B, Vintage Oak/Ink Hardwood, White Subway Tile/Ebony Subway Tile, Whitewash/Hickory Planks, Zigzag Marble White/Zigzag Marble Black
- Weight: 2.2 lb / 1 kg (30″ x 40″) 1.7 lb / 0.8 kg (24″ x 24″)
The V-Flat Duo Boards are packaged well in bubble wrap and cardboard. The packaging ensures the printed surfaces are protected from damage during transit.
Inside the package, you’ll also find a stand and a soft microfiber cloth. The microfiber cloth is put on tables to protect the underside of the board during product photography. Simple things like salt could potentially scratch the high-quality printed board.
Starting with the Duo Boards, the quality of the boards and the print is good. It’s on a par with or better than what I would expect for the price of the boards.
They are durable and waterproof, and the finish is photo-realistic. More importantly, V-Flat also claims the surface of the boards is glare-resistant.
The Duo Boards have a double-sided configuration, meaning you’ll require two boards if you intend to use them as a background and a floordrop.
The stands are a type of L bracket legs. They work, but could do with improvement in design. While I assume they are fine for the smaller boards, I feel like they should be enlarged for use with the larger boards.
Finally, the bag is really nice. It has separate dividers, allowing you to fit up to five boards inside, and honestly it’s tough to fault in any respect.
Size & Handling
The V-Flat World Duo Boards come in two different sizes. There’s a 24” x 24” (61 x 61 cm) size and a 30”x 40” (76.2 x 101.6 cm) size. The smaller size should be large enough for most requirements.
I went for the larger size for the sole purpose of my photography reviews, the kind you are reading now. I wanted to have the flexibility to use it for photographing larger objects like camera bags or doing a camera gear flat lay with bags.
The boards are lightweight and portable, making them easy to manoeuvre around. The smaller size is more portable, but the optional bags make it easy to carry the larger boards from one location to another.
The double-sided construction makes it easier to change from one background to another, although the brackets aren’t double-sided. That means you can’t flip them around to change from one background to the other side without changing the brackets.
Whilst the process for flipping them isn’t complex, it would be nice to see V-Flat World produce a design which allows for this.
Whilst not strictly an additional feature, one thing I would consider is the Tabletop V-Flats to help balance light if you don’t have a suitable reflector. The Tabletop V-Flats are a set of white and black bounce boards.
Unlike the V-Flat Duo Boards, these are separate black and white bounce boards that help balance the lighting. These work with both natural light and flash/strobes.
I would also recommend the optional bag if you intend to travel on location for shoots. Whilst the V-Flat World Duo Boards are rigid and durable, the bag makes them far more portable than if you were to carry them in a box.
There aren’t a lot of alternatives to compare the Duo Boards to. There are some vinyl alternatives that you can roll up, but the ones I’ve tried in the past or prone to lifting and have a matte texture that isn’t realistic.
Some stretch fabric options require a stand for mounting but trying to find a combination backdrop/floordrop like the V -Flat Duo Boards is difficult. They just don’t exist, or at least not in any of the places I’ve looked.
The vinyl options aren’t suitable for backgrounds, and the stretch fabric isn’t suitable for anything wet.
As a result, most competitors will have workarounds rather than complete solutions like the Duo. These may work fine for flat lays, but for shots involving both backdrops and the floor, it will be more difficult to achieve good-quality shots.
Value for Money
As a niche product, pricing tends to be higher because you don’t have economies of scale. As a result, value for money is a little dependent on the type of photography you do.
For product photographers, these backdrops would be an invaluable purchase. I would hazard a guess that for the right studio use cases, you could easily find yourself purchasing five or six of these boards, if not more.
For those mere mortals experimenting with product photography, the pricing may be a little harder to justify – but I still feel these are well worth the price when compared to the alternatives.
They offer novices the opportunity to create professional-looking images.
V-Flat Duo Boards Review | Conclusion
The V-Flat Duo Boards are a product I’ve been looking for someone to produce. They add an extra edge to your photographs without the need to find unique locations or use sheets of paper to produce a realistic floor or wall.
The quality of the outcomes is in line with what I had hoped.
As someone who spends the majority of time on camera photos for reviews, I decided to branch out by trying some food photography. One of the interesting things with V-Flat World’s Duo Boards is how easy it is to take good images with the right tools.
Don’t get me wrong, you still need a quality food stylist (which I am not) or to learn the ropes yourself. The V-Flat World Duo take one problem off the table – the other is still a steep learning curve.
As mentioned, these boards are not just suited to food photography backdrops. They could be used for many different product shoots.
In my case, I’ve now expanded my collection of Duo Boards with a couple of additional colours. That is the one problem I noticed: you’ll want to add more.
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