Last year on the site I reviewed the Intellytech Fast Frame Scrim & Diffuser W/ Honey Comb Grid & Diffusion. It is and continues to be, one of my favorite go-to lighting tools.
Well, since that review Intellytech launched four new models in two different sizes.
You can get the following fast frames in either 5×6.5’ or 5×3.2′:
- Fast Frame Scrim + Silver / White
- Fast Frame Scrim + Gold / White
- Fast Frame Light Grid Mesh
- Fast Frame Scrim + Silver & Gold Stripe / White
Fast Frame Scrim + Silver / White
One side has the white reflective material (to soften light) and the other side has a reflective silver material.
Fast Frame Scrim + Gold / White
One side has the white reflective material (to soften light) and the other side has a reflective gold material.
Fast Frame Light Grid Mesh
The Fast Frame Light Grid Mesh, as its name implies, features a grid mesh to help diffuse and control light.
Fast Frame Scrim + Silver & Gold Stripe / White
One side has the white reflective material (to soften light) and the other side has a reflective silver & gold stripe material.
For this review, I will be looking at the Fast Frame Scrim + Silver / White
Fast Frame Quick Set Up
The brilliant thing about the design of the frames is that they are super quick to set up. Once you originally make the frame and attach the scrim, the next time you go to use it there are just two steps involved.
- Unfold the included metal frame
- Lock the hinges into place
It’s that simple. There is no need to construct and insert frame rods and then attach up your scrim. You can literally just pull it out of the bag and be ready to go in under a minute.
When you are finished using it, you just reverse the steps and put it into the included bag. Above you can see how fast it is to do.
The great thing about any of the Fast Frame products is they can be easily and quickly set up by a solo operator. I could take the system out of a bag, set it up, then pack it down and put it back in the bag in under 2 minutes.
The speed of set up and pack down times is what makes this product stand out from the competition.
What do you get?
The Fast Frame FF-5×6.5 Silver / White includes the following items:
- Foldable Fast Frame
- Reflective Material – Front is White (reflects light while softening) Back is Silver.
- Carrying Bag holding all of the included accessories
The Fast Frame is reasonably well made considering how lightweight it is. It doesn’t feel flimsy or like it is going to break.
The frame unfolds and then folds back up easily. Just how well this fold up and fold-out design will stand up to years of use is hard to know. In saying that, I’ve been using one for the last 7 months and I haven’t encountered any problems.
The Silver / White cloth attaches to the frame through the use of velcro and some flexible nylon elastic straps. There are enough velcro attachment points that nothing is going to come loose or fall off.
Now, here is where I encountered a build quality problem. The Silver / White cloth hadn’t been sewn very well and one of the elastic straps was already broken and there was a lot of fraying of the material. I ended up having to pull out a needle and thread and sew it back on myself.
This is something that greatly concerns me. Even the other elastic straps looked like they could break when being used. I made Intellytech aware of this and they were going to change the way the stitching is done. I am not sure if they have started to do that yet or not.
Real World Use
The nice thing about the Intellytech is that it is light enough that you can attach it to a single stand if you are indoors or outdoors. Now, if I was to do this on a proper job I would use some sandbags to keep it secure. There is enough space between the bottom of the Silver/ White fabric and the frame that you can slip sandbags across to anchor it to the ground. You would o this as well as placing a sandbag on the light stand.
Indoors you can literally just lean it against something if you don’t want to use a stand.
It is also very easy for someone to hold onto. Because you can place it on the ground you are not struggling to hold it steady like a large reflector. Even in a moderate breeze, it is easier to hold than a large reflector.
The only problem outdoors is because the fabric isn’t stretched really tight it will move around in the breeze. What happens when it moves is that the light will move on your subject making it unusable. Above you can see what I mean.
To prevent this from happening I would use some basic clamps and stretch the fabric a bit tighter over the Fast Frame.
With the Intellytech Without the Intellytech
Above you can see a couple of frames that show a subject outdoors with and without the Intellytech being used. This was on an overcast day and the sun was quite diffused through clouds. Because the Fast Frame is so large you can easily light up a whole subject from head to toe.
Indoors the Fast Frame works a lot better. Because it is so large you can use it as a giant bounce board for lights. It also works really well as a book light when you want to bounce a lighting source through some diffusion.
For me, the speed and ease of use are what make this a great product. I love being able to take the Fast Frame on a job and then unpack and have it set up within a couple of minutes.
In the past, I have been reluctant to use large diffusion or reflector screens when I am working as a solo operator or in small crews. They just took too long to set up, I had to carry around heavy stands, and this all combined to make it an unpleasant process.
The other great thing about the Intellyech is that it is so light that it is easy to move around and reposition.
Prices & Availability
All of the Fast Frames are now shipping. Here are the prices:
- Fast Frame | FF-5×3.2 Silver / White $179 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×6.5 Silver / White $225 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×3.2 Gold / White $179 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×6.5 Gold / White $219 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×3.2 Light Grid Mesh $165 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×6.5 Scrim / Light Grid Mesh $199 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×3.2 Silver & Gold Stripe / White $179 USD
- Fast Frame | FF-5×6.5 Silver & Gold Stripe / White $225 USD
I wish Intellytech would just sell the scrims individually. That way if you already own a Fast Frame you can just interchange diffusion or scrims when you need to.
I like the Intellytech Fast Frame Silver/White Scrim but it isn’t without its faults. By having large and lightweight scrim you need to compromise on a few things such as the rigidity of the fabric. Indoors everything works really well, but outdoors you actually need some clamps to keep the fabric stretched more tightly over the frame so it doesn’t flap around.
The workmanship on the actual Silver/ White scrim is not great and the stitching being used to hold everything together is quite weak. This certainly increases the chances of the elastic straps breaking or the velcro seams coming apart. I contacted Intellytech about this and they are going to add additional stitching support to the fabrics.
If you are only planning on using this indoors then I think you will be very happy with it. If you want to use it outdoors then you need to factor in what additional accessories you need to make it work.
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