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D. Taylor (UK)

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Vanguard Adaptor 45 Photo Rucksack for DSLR Camera Anthracite
Vanguard Adaptor 45 Photo Rucksack for DSLR Camera Anthracite
Price: 69.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Seriously good value for money, 1 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wanted a backpack for carrying my four-thirds kit around when out on my bike, and this bag fits the bill almost perfectly. Plenty of room for my Olympus OM-D, 70-300mm, 12-50mm, 14mm, and 50mm lenses in one side. On the other side I can put ND filters, remote cable, a small flash, card wallet, etc. Can even fit a scrunched up Gorillpod if I'm careful. The top compartment is big enough for other items such as sarnies, a small bottle of drink, sunglasses, batteries, etc. The small top zipped external pocket is useful for cleaning cloths, lenspen and other small stuff. In the back of the bag there is a compartment where you can fit a tablet (mines an 8" model), which increases the carrying capability of this bag even further.

One of the main reasons I wanted this bag is that it has the external tripod holder, but for me this is where this bag falls down a bit .... the top tripod securing strap is fixed to the flap of the upper zipped compartment, so if you want to access this you have to unstrap the tripod, which although not a deal-breaker is inconvenient. If the strap was fixed a couple of centimeters lower to the main body of the bag it would have been perfect. Other than that it is a very well thought out design.

An unexpected bonus was that the backpack can be converted to a sling bag, this is something I didn't expect to use but have just been on a trip to London and found the slingbag option was much more convenient than the backpack.
Also in the bottom of the bag there is a rain cover that pulls out and over the bag, thought I'd mention this as I don't think it's mentioned anywhere else.

The material looks to be a very tough nylon, and inside the compartments are all padded with velcro retaining strips and can be re-configured or even removed. The internal compartments are lined with soft felt like material (not nylon as some other bags) so should protect your gear nicely.

So finally for me this is almost the perfect bag and very good value for money; if only the tripod strap was in a slightly different place would have been 5 stars .

CST Eiger Tyre 26x1.95 inch Pair
CST Eiger Tyre 26x1.95 inch Pair
Offered by Adventure Northumberland
Price: 12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars How can these be anything other than 5 stars?, 1 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Used these for the first time today on my MTB, all I can say is they perform just as well as any other (more expensive) tyres I've bought. So seeing how I've got two pretty decent tyres for the price of one, how can I give any less than 5 stars?

7dayshop Tripods - Travel-Pro Tripod for Professional Photo & Video Use. Includes Carry Case
7dayshop Tripods - Travel-Pro Tripod for Professional Photo & Video Use. Includes Carry Case
Offered by 7dayshop Limited (VAT Registered)
Price: 54.53

5.0 out of 5 stars As good as any brand name tripod, but much cheaper!, 19 Jan 2014
I had been looking for a travel tripod for a while and was just about to push the button on a more expensive brand name item (staring with the letter 'M'), when I stumbled upon this tripod from 7dayshop.

I wanted a tripod that was, light, compact, and quick to set up. Also it would have been good to be able to swap the head out at a later date if needed. This tripod seem to offer all these advantages, so decided to go for it and ordered directly from 7dayshop (not through Amazon). What really decided it for me was that 7dayshop offer a 30 day return period so if not satisfied I didn't really have anything to loose, apart from the return postage maybe!

Anyway, the parcel arrived quickly, ordered Wednesday night and received Saturday morning, and I'm glad to report that the tripod is everything I wanted it to be.

As this is not a brand name tripod I was half expecting the quality not to be to the same standard, but as far as I can see it is as good as any of the other brand name manufacturers The legs extend using a twist-lock mechanism, and initially this was a bit stiff, but having been out a couple of times now they are working very smoothly. Also the ball head was a bit jerky, but again now that I have used it a bit it is very smooth, certainly good enough for my kind of photography (landscape). The quick release plate isn't a true lever style quick release, but uses an screw dovetail arrangement, which I find perfectly adequate. Because the centre column has a standard tripod head mounting thread if I wish to swap out the head for a different one in the future then I can do so ... can't do that on the brand name tripods at this price point!

This tripod is also so compact (only 33cm folded) that I can fit it in my camera bag, not strapped to the outside!

So all in all so far I'm very satisfied and would recommend this tripod to anyone who wants a small, light tripod for travel, rambling, etc. It probably wouldn't stand up to constant use day-in, day-out, but if then again if that is the requirement then you should be looking a more robust, heavier professional tripod.

KitSound Manhattan Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones with Mic Compatible with iPad 2, 3, 4, Mini, iPod Touch, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and 5 - Black
KitSound Manhattan Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones with Mic Compatible with iPad 2, 3, 4, Mini, iPod Touch, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S and 5 - Black
Price: 31.53

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 3 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having just bought an Acer Android tablet I wanted a pair of wireless headphones to compliment it as I was getting fed up with the wires on my wired phones getting in the way. I didn't want to pay too much, and an internet search highlighted a few possibilities of which the Manhattan's were one. I was pondering on which to get when these phones came up on a Black Friday deal at ~23.00 and so my mind was made up, so ordered them immediately! I'm so glad I did as at that price they were an absolute steal and even at the current price they are still a bargain, for the following reasons:

- Set up:- an absolute dream, just turned them on and they paired with the tablet immediately, no fuss or bother. I couldn't really believe it as having tried pairing bluetooth devices before it can be a very frustrating affair, but these connected first (and every time). 5/5
- Comfort:- initially found them a bit tight and the ear pads felt a bit too small for my ears, but now I have found the the best position for them I actually find them very comfortable. The ear pads and headband are covered in a very soft padded leatherette and you soon forget you are wearing them. 5/5
- Functionality:- The only issue I have here is the multi-function volume/track change switch, which I find difficult to use as if you want to turn the volume up/down and don't time it correctly then you can end up changing tracks. Also the switch itself feels a bit rough, like it is snagging on something inside, so will be keeping an eye on this, if it breaks then luckily Amazon have a good returns policy! Apart from that the bluetooth switch, USB connector and function LED's work as pretty much as expected. So because of the multi-function switch issue only 4/5.
- Sound ... the important bit! I'm no audiophile but do know what I like and I definitely like these. I normally buy mid price range wired phones and these are as good as any I have owned. The sound itself has nice rich lows and detailed high's, without any of the "squishy" sound associated with cheap phones. They also give a decent volume from my tablet, which something I don't get from my wired phones ... nice! So although these probably won't satisfy a real audiophile for general listening and sheer value for money it's got to be 5/5.
- Battery life:- only had these for a week or so, I'm not a heavy user and I'm still on my first charge and no issues so far. Because I haven't had them long enough to make a proper judgement I'm leaving this category un-marked
- Freedom:- not having wires trailing around after you is excellent, should have gone wireless sooner!

So overall these phones are excellent value for money and I would recommend them to anybody, although because of the slight concern with the multi-function switch would recommend buying them form a company with a good returns policy, such as Amazon.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 7, 2014 5:28 PM GMT

Samsung SSG-51002 Battery Operated 3D Active Glasses (Pack of 2) (New for 2013)
Samsung SSG-51002 Battery Operated 3D Active Glasses (Pack of 2) (New for 2013)
Price: 23.88

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, perfect for a LG plasma, 15 Sep 2013
Bought these for use with my LG PH660V plasma, and can confirm they work perfectly and are a lot cheaper than the LG version. Excellent value.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 26, 2014 1:54 PM GMT

Wings Over Summer
Wings Over Summer
Price: 0.99

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting tribute to The Few, 24 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wings Over Summer (Kindle Edition)
Well what can I say, didn't really expect much from this book, probably just another "tally ho chaps" style book with tales of derring-do by Biggles type chaps wearing white silk scarves. I normally read historical fiction about the Roman period and thought this would make a change.

Actually what I got was a fantastically written record of how the fighter pilots and others surrounding them must have felt every time they heaved themselves into their Spitfires, not knowing whether they were going to return to their friends and loved ones, with all the emotions that go along with it.

I can't remember the last time a book moved me so much, by the end I couldn't put it down, had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye.

A beautifully and sensitively written book about one of the most important two weeks in our history, and I hope it's not the last from Mr Powell.

FOTGA AF automatic macro extension tube for Olympus panasonic four thirds M4/3
FOTGA AF automatic macro extension tube for Olympus panasonic four thirds M4/3
Offered by nicna-store
Price: 38.27

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value and quality, 8 July 2013
Just bought a set of these for my Olympus OM-D, and to be honest at the price they're are better than expected! The build quality is very good, the mounting plates at both ends of the tubes are made of metal alloy, not plastic as in some of the others in this price range. The electrical contacts operate smoothly when attaching to the camera and in use all the usual electrical functions are communicated between camera body and lens. They are also quite small and light, so will definitely be taking a permanent place in my camera bag!

At about a third of the price of another well known brand they are very good value, so if you are looking for a set of tubes these should definitely be considered.

Valet PRO Bilberry Wheel Cleaner (1 Litre)
Valet PRO Bilberry Wheel Cleaner (1 Litre)
Offered by millaissolutions
Price: 11.90

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best cleaner bar none, 16 May 2013
The title says it all really, have been using Bilberry for a couple of years or so now and it has made cleaning my alloys almost a pleasure (only almost though!). I've tried loads of other cleaners in the past but the first time I used Bilberry I couldn't believe how easy it was to get an almost back to showroom finish, even my wife was impressed!

Because it's so quick and easy to use I clean my more frequently now, which helps to keep the dirt and brake dust down which means I can dilute the cleaner about 3:1 with water and I still get the same result. It's great for cleaning the exhaust carbon of the exterior of my tailpipes too!

This product is so good that I would give 6 stars if I could but I can't, so I guess only 5 stars will have to do. By the way I don't work for the company selling this stuff, am just really impressed!

Tamrac Rally 7 Camera / Laptop Bag Black
Tamrac Rally 7 Camera / Laptop Bag Black
Price: 71.86

3.0 out of 5 stars Good value but could have been even better with bit more thought, 13 Feb 2013
This bag is very good value for it's size, I have an Olympus OM-D (not the biggest of camera's I'll grant you!) and I can comfortably fit a single body with 70-300 + MMF-2 adapter or a Lumix 45-200 attached, a Zuiko 12-50 kit lens, a Lumix 14mm pancake plus a Zuiko 50mm OM prime in the main padded compartment and still have room for a Joby Gorillapod plus a couple of pairs of glasses and some other knick-knacks. There is also a padded rear compartment for a laptop, (although I haven't tried this as I haven't got one one) but I can fit a Manfrotto monopod which is very handy.

Externally under the flap is another large zipped pocket containing three internal pockets and a couple of pen loops. Very handy for things like filters, cleaning kit, batteries, chargers, compass (I like photographing landscapes!), pens, etc etc. On either end of the bag there are elasticated mesh pockets for other things such as a water bottle, sunglasses, mobile phone, etc. Another nice touch is the carrying handle on the top of the flap, although because of the centre of gravity the bag does not hang vertically as you carry it, and also has a tendency to fall over when placed on the ground; however these are just minor issues in my opinion and don't really detract from the usefulness of the bag.

There is also another open pocket on the rear which would be useful for maps, guidebooks, etc.

The quality of the bag for this price is also very good, although maybe not quite up to quality of my Crumpler Muffin Top. One of the main reasons I bought this bag is it is very unobtrusive and doesn't scream 'expensive camera gear inside', and in this respect I think it succeeds admirably.

The main issues I have with this bag are as follows:
1. Internal compartments are attached by strips of velcro and are not very easy to move around so if you like to change your layout depending on your requirements then it may not be the best bag for you. Also there are horizontal velcro strips attached to the sides of the bag which tend to snag on the lens hood as you take the lens in and out of the bag. I've fixed this by covering the velcro with Duct tape but this will make changing the layout difficult.
2. The strap is also quite long so if you like to wear it short (as I do) then the buckle ends up on my collar bone, meaning that the shoulder pad doesn't end up on my shoulder....very annoying. Also the strap is fixed to the bag so there isn't possibility of fitting an aftermarket version.
3. For some reason Tamrac have re-invented the clasp design and I think made it even worse, although easy to open, it now takes two hands to close.

So in summary it's as the title says, good value and if the above issues were addressed would have been 5 stars, but as it is only 3 stars awarded.

Kingston Technology  USB 3.0 Media Reader
Kingston Technology USB 3.0 Media Reader
Price: 12.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit, 12 Jan 2013
Got one of these for Christmas so that I can quickly download the RAW files from my DSLR, and it does not disappoint. To get the best out of this reader I spent another 10 on a USB3.0 PCI-E card for my PC and now get an average 80MB/s download speed from my SD card, which is over over 2.5 times faster than previously! Previous speed on USB2.0 was 31MB/s.

For those interested I'm using a 16GB Lexar Professional SD Card Class 10 U1 400x speed + TeckNet USB 3.0 PCI Express Interface USB 3.0 Dual Expansion Card.

The unit is well built and has a rather snazzy Kingston logo on the top which flashes as you download the data, a bit gimmicky but does the job and not as naff as I first thought it would be!

As others have mentioned the only downside for me is that it skates around the desktop, but a bit of Blu-tac has soon sorted that problem out.

Highly recommended, 5 stars.

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