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Mike H "Caravelle" (Horley, UK)

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Ecozone Biobulb, Energy-Saving Daylight Bulb, Screw Cap E27, 25W Equivalent to 100w, 1750 Lumens, Full Spectrum, Daylight White 6500k, Uses 75% Less Energy. Ideal for suffers of S.A.D
Ecozone Biobulb, Energy-Saving Daylight Bulb, Screw Cap E27, 25W Equivalent to 100w, 1750 Lumens, Full Spectrum, Daylight White 6500k, Uses 75% Less Energy. Ideal for suffers of S.A.D
Price: £6.75

5.0 out of 5 stars It's light Jim, but not as we know it, 23 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace a low-energy daylight bulb in my Anglepoise-clone desk-lamp (who remembers the Habitat store?). I think it's much better to have the daylight effect on my PC screen when I'm editing photos, to get the colours right. That bulb was a proper bulb-shape, not a curly-wurly like this one, but it was twice as expensive, not as bright, and it died after a couple of years' use.

The new bulb is scarily bright and by pointing my desk-lamp up to the ceiling it lights up the whole room and half the next one. Beware, buy one of these and you'll never be satisfied with those old slow-starting yellow/orange-light giving bulbs again. I just hope it lasts longer than the previous one, though I did buy two, just in case.


Olympus Binocular 10x50 DPS-1
Olympus Binocular 10x50 DPS-1
Price: £45.16

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olympus 10x50 DPS I Binoculars - a personal view, 13 Nov 2013
I should start by saying that I have been watching aircraft for over 50 years now and don't intend to stop. I have had a series of binoculars and telescopes of various types and all have had their advantages and disadvantages in certain situations. Some, I simply couldn't get on with, and they ended up passed on to a charity shop. There are so many variables with optical equipment, what you intend to use it for, and your personal requirements and abilities, that it is impossible to give anything but a subjective review here. When on a trip or at an airport I prefer a small pair of unobtrusive Pentax 10x mini-bins as I will inevitably have my digital camera and its powerful and heavy zoom lens with me - that does the job nicely. When at home trying to identify an aircraft seen in the sky from the garden or through a window a good 20-60x zoom spotting scope also does nicely, all you need is a leaning post to hold the front end against to keep steady - but just try scanning the sky for something you can't see with the naked eye using a powerful telescope and you'll see the problem - it's hard enough finding the things you <can> see. Not all distant aircraft leave thick white trails behind them or sparkle in the sun or are silhouettes against white cloud: there are a surprising amount up there that you (or maybe it's just "I") can't see without a bit of help. Sometimes you can hear them, sometimes you know roughly where they are supposed to be in these days of "virtual radar" (eg [...] You have to scan the sky to find them and you can't do that with the tiny field of view you get from a 20-60 telescope or a pair of mini-bins. For the last 30 years I have been using a cheap pair of 7-15x35 "own brand" zoom binoculars from the UK high-street emporium formerly known as Dixons. From 7x magnification up to about 10 they are clear, anything higher is pretty useless. They have survived well, but I felt the urge for something better and plumped for these 10x50s with a respected brand name. The old ones will be retired to an upstairs window facing the approach to the local airport, for when I forget to take the new ones up with me.

The binoculars look and feel quite nice. No silly blue and orange paint like the old ones. They look even better when you peel the unnecessary labels off and I was pleased to find that this does not leave a sticky residue. Unlike the previous ones there is no stippled surface to collect dirt and sweat, they are smooth and should be easy to clean. I shall not be fitting the neck strap. I never do, they just get in the way, get caught on door-handles etc. If I'm out and about the camera is round my neck anyway. Likewise the case and lens caps, it takes far too long to get them off, and then hunt for them afterwards (my short-term memory no longer exists). All you have to do is keep the binoculars where they won't get dusty, I have a handy foam-lined drawer by my desk, just grab and run. Size and weight are irrelevant to me, as I won't be lugging these binoculars around for more than a few minutes at a time.

They are nicely balanced and my hands fall in just the right place to hold them steady with a good sure grip. Yes, they are heavier, and bigger, than the ones they replace, but the weight helps the balance. They certainly give a very clear view, colours are startlingly bright. I have not noticed any aberrations or fringing yet. Lack of clarity around the edges of the circle of view is something that can be measured precisely in camera lenses but in binoculars I think that for each individual user it varies with eyesight, how you hold the binoculars to your face, glasses if worn, the use of the eyecups, the diopter adjustment and the precise setting of the distance between the eyepieces. The latter in particular affects whether or not you see a single image or two, and I would have appreciated a few mm more adjustment as my eyes are just that little bit too close together. I find that if I park the top of the eyepieces against my brow-ridges the double-image resolves slowly into one, presumably my lazier eye is drawn inwards. This is a problem I have with all binoculars except my mini-bins which adjust to my eye-spacing perfectly, and it gets worse the more powerful they are. I have got quite used to closing my left eye. It probably doesn't help that I wear glasses with varifocal lenses, but if I take my glasses off (a) I'll fall over something (my neighbour's cat invariably comes in the back door when I go out of it, and often vice versa) and (b) - same problem as the lens caps in previous paragraph ! After some weeks' use I am a little surprised to be able to report that I no longer see a double-image and can keep both eyes open without problem. I do believe that most of the problems people report are due to their eyesight and the way they use the equipment - ideally you should try before you buy, and not just a 5 minute trial looking around the interior of the shop. But of course it's harder to get a bargain that way.

One plus point is that the focussing and eyepiece adjustments are quite stiff at the moment - unlike others who comment on this, I really hope they stay that way. What I look for is mainly miles and miles away and at the same focus point. You can scan a blue sky and not find what you're looking for at all if the binoculars aren't focussed properly - and you can't focus properly until you've found the target to focus on. If the binoculars stay focussed at roughly the right point between uses you stand a much better chance of avoiding this Catch-22. I am delighted to say that since initially focussing on a trail about 20 miles away and setting the right eyepiece diopter correction, I haven't had to adjust anything since. A shaky image is something people also complain about, but it's the people who shake. Can't blame the binoculars for that and unless you have a medical problem you just have to learn how to control it, like using a slow shutter speed on a camera - a matter of support, technique and practice.

Now the really important bit, in case you've skipped the rest. Can you see anything through them ? The answer is a resounding "YES!". As mentioned the image is clear and bright with bright colours, better than anything I have tried before. I have used them at night, and have never seen such sparkly and colourful stars before. Sometimes it's hard to tell stars from flashing aircraft strobe lights. The image is realistic enough to be immersive, and several times I have automatically ducked when it seemed a seagull was about to fly into my face.

After all these years I am finally happy with a pair of binoculars that suit me. About the only improvements I could suggest would be something to make them see through clouds and an attachable umbrella :) Oh, and a better fit for those with close-set eyes. Had I paid twice as much for these binoculars I would have been happy - at £50 I'm almost over the moon (and that looks pretty good through them too). I have barely touched the telescope since they arrived, the image through the binoculars, although smaller, is clearer than the more magnified image through the telescope. Unless the sky itself is perfectly clear, no amount of magnification will improve matters.

Having elected to pay a little bit more for the "Fulfilled by Amazon" option I was surprised when the binoculars turned up in the post totally unwrapped, straight off the shelf in their thin card box as you would buy them from a normal shop, with an address label stuck on. Indeed there was not even the usual circle of sticky tape to keep the box flap shut (it was open) or cellophane wrap which most boxed goods in shops seem to have these days. Two letters I had received the previous day came through the door soaked through, it was just lucky it wasn't raining the morning the binoculars turned up. Frankly, this is unacceptable, even DVDs in a protective DVD case with a cellophane wrapper come packaged up in corrugated cardboard. I have been shopping with or through Amazon for many years and until now everything has been well- if not over-packaged. Fortunately, binoculars, neck-strap, lens caps, soft case and guarantee/instructions were all still present and correct. I have decided not to let this frankly unacceptable delivery practice colour my review of the binoculars themselves - I'd just advise getting them somewhere else. I was under the impression from reviews here that the non-existent packaging process was confined to some sellers who just use Amazon as a shop window, but apparently not. I have left a separate packaging review, I'm surprised they dared invite my comments !
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 13, 2013 4:13 PM GMT


High Grade - Extra Long USB Sync & Charge Cable for Samsung Galaxy Tab - Works with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1" / 7.7" / 7" / 8.9" / P1000 / P3100 / P3110 / P5100 / P5110 / P6200 / P6210 / P6800 / P6810 / P7300 / P7310 / P7500 / P7510 / N8000 / N8010 / I800 / I815 / I957 / I905 / I987 / T859 / T869 / T849 / Tab2 - Length : 2m / 6.6 ft - Colour : Black - AAA Products®
High Grade - Extra Long USB Sync & Charge Cable for Samsung Galaxy Tab - Works with Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1" / 7.7" / 7" / 8.9" / P1000 / P3100 / P3110 / P5100 / P5110 / P6200 / P6210 / P6800 / P6810 / P7300 / P7310 / P7500 / P7510 / N8000 / N8010 / I800 / I815 / I957 / I905 / I987 / T859 / T869 / T849 / Tab2 - Length : 2m / 6.6 ft - Colour : Black - AAA Products®
Offered by PUPU-HOUSE
Price: £3.90

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long but not extra long, 31 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The cable just works. It's not "extra long", it's just about the right length. The fact is, the original Samsung cable is too short for most users.


CostMad 2 Pcs 2-Pin / 3-Pin Prong India Indian / Pakistan / Srilanka Universal Universelle Worldwide Tourist Visitor Visiter Travel Adaptor Adapter Convertor Converter Plug from UK, EU Europe, Switzerland, USA America, Canada, Zambia, France, Germany, Italy, China, England, Great Britain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Dubai, UAE to India Indian / Pakistan 2-Pin & 3-Pin Prong Plug Round Travel Adaptor Adapter / Convertor Converter Plug (White)
CostMad 2 Pcs 2-Pin / 3-Pin Prong India Indian / Pakistan / Srilanka Universal Universelle Worldwide Tourist Visitor Visiter Travel Adaptor Adapter Convertor Converter Plug from UK, EU Europe, Switzerland, USA America, Canada, Zambia, France, Germany, Italy, China, England, Great Britain, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Nigeria, Dubai, UAE to India Indian / Pakistan 2-Pin & 3-Pin Prong Plug Round Travel Adaptor Adapter / Convertor Converter Plug (White)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special but they work., 31 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are rather old-fashioned lumps of hard plastic, like UK plugs used to be, and of course they don't carry any safety assurance.
Care is needed when using them as I suspect that, like UK plugs before shielded pins and shuttered sockets were introduced, it's possible to touch the pins while inserting them in the socket and if you do that expect an unpleasant surprise. Don't let the kids play with them.

Anyway, they work as stated. I have yet to come across a "universal" adapter that caters for these styles of socket, which are common in many countries on the modern tourist trail.


OP/TECH Super Classic Strap Pro Loop - Black
OP/TECH Super Classic Strap Pro Loop - Black
Offered by Carmarthen Cameras
Price: £14.49

4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and practical., 27 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this to replace a previous Optech strap I had purchased in the USA about 8 years ago. It wasn't a perfect replacement because the original had extra lugs so that you could hook on another camera or a pair of binoculars which was ideal for me, and I couldn't find another like it. However with a bit of ingenuity you can attach large metal circles as used for key-rings and then attach your binoculars to those so I got the same functionality in the end. The old strap was made with thin fabric covering the foam neck protector, and after much use and, regrettably, sweating all over it in hot countries, it was fraying and coming unstuck at the edges. The worst thing was that it would leave black marks all over my shirt collar, I don't know if that was dye coming out or just dirt from my skin, though I suspect the former as it was hard to wash off.

The new one has just survived a trip to SE Asia, across the Equator and back, with a heavy Canon EOS40D and a mighty lens attached and I never felt uncomfortable. That said, I would have appreciated the extra loops for the binoculars as in my earlier strap which was no more expensive, so that's why this gets 4 out of 5 stars.


Columbo - The Complete Series (2011 Repackage) [DVD]
Columbo - The Complete Series (2011 Repackage) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Falk
Price: £50.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Just one more thing, Sir", 27 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Columbo is a Godsend for those of us who prefer our detectives to detect the old-fashioned way without explosions, car-chases, blood, gore, or unlikely forensic miracles There may not be much happening in the way of action, but if you can stay awake long enough and actually listen to what is said, the interplay between Columbo and his quarry is what the show is all about.

If this was a review of the show alone, the star rating would be 5, but it's a review of the DVD set, including the box. I have not yet watched all the shows on all the DVDs (though I know the plots from watching them on TV). So often, you buy a box set and find that one or more of the DVDs just won't play. I don't know yet if that's going to happen, so my rating is 4 for now.

I have noted all the complaints about the cardboard "cigar box" the DVDs come in, but frankly what more could you expect ? If you want it to look pristine for a long time, treat it carefully - it's up to you. A small bead of pva glue along the inside corners of the lid will help to keep them from splitting. I bought the set at a time when the price is unlikely to ever be lower and that's a bonus.


Creative EP-830 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)
Creative EP-830 Noise Isolating Earphones (Black)

2.0 out of 5 stars Noise isolating ? Really ?, 18 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I find that the noise isolating qualities of these earphones are exaggerated. Used with my PC I can still hear the hard disk whirring, and it's almost silent. Moreover, they actually introduce unwanted and disturbing noise every time you move and the wire brushes against something. The wire is also prone to tangling, especially if you use the provided bag - years ago I had a pair of Sony earphones which fitted into a small plastic case which reeled the wire in in seconds and kept everything tidy - this should be the norm. The only pro the Creative earphones have is that they actually stay in my ears unlike previous "buds" I've tried. I'll only be using these for flights as they are convenient to carry in a pocket - otherwise I'll stick to my ancient over-ear Sony MDR-G52s, now on their fourth set of foam covers, with a wire that doesn't tangle or channel extra noise right into my ears.


58mm Three Way Rubber Hood for Canon 400D 350D 58 3
58mm Three Way Rubber Hood for Canon 400D 350D 58 3

4.0 out of 5 stars Perish the thought, 19 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I regard a rubber lens hood as "the" essential camera accessory because (a) it protects the front of the lens from shocks when something or someone tries to occupy the same space at the same time and (b) it is a perfect flexible buffer when photographing through rusty chain-link fences or windows - which I seem to do quite a lot. The extra advantage with windows is that you can adjust the angle of the lens slightly while keeping the hood flat against the window and this avoids reflections from interior lighting - which can be a right pane in the glass. No I'm not a paparazzi photographing people through their fences and windows, I'm an aviation enthusiast photographing aeroplanes through airport perimeter fences and spectator gallery windows. The rubber lens hood even protects the camera from shock when you're just putting it down on a hard surface.

Hard lens hoods with odd petal shapes are all very well, but I have found no advantage in using them over the rubber variety and they take up a lot of room in the camera bag. A collapsible rubber one just folds back and once fitted can stay fitted for instant use.

They all get grubby, perish and fall apart sooner or later, and I've found no advantage in buying an expensive one - these tend to be thicker and less flexible. Regard them as expendable, so the cheaper the better. The lens hood under review is fairly thin as you'd expect for the price but it does the job.


KanaaN 2 m ASUS Tablet PC USB Cable / Charging and Data Synch Cable - e.g. for TF101 TF201 TF300 TF301 TF700T PadFone
KanaaN 2 m ASUS Tablet PC USB Cable / Charging and Data Synch Cable - e.g. for TF101 TF201 TF300 TF301 TF700T PadFone
Offered by Leicke Distributor Germany
Price: £11.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital for the Asus Transformer, 11 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Firstly, be aware that this cable works. I have read reviews of other cables saying that they don't work - possibly because they weren't actually intended for the Asus Transformer in the first place - but once such reviews are out there they make you wonder. I repeat, this one works, so don't be put off.

The cable that comes with the Asus TF101 Transformer is almost universally criticised as being too short. Fine in most circumstances for leaving the tablet/keyboard on charge somewhere very close to an electrical outlet, but absolutely useless if you want to use it while relaxing in your favourite armchair. One option is to buy a standard USB3 extension cable. A much better option is this special lead which is in the same style as the original one, only longer. The cable is thin and easily packed into your travel gear with the adaptor plug, unlike a standard USB cable which is too thick and bulky.

All I want now is for the Asus international travel set to be made available on Amazon UK - the one with the full set of international AC outlet adapters. You can order it from USA stockists but the postage cost is prohibitive, and considering the only difference between it and the one supplied with the tablet is a set of small adapter socket blades you have to wonder why the latter aren't made available as a separate item instead of making us buy the whole thing again.


Integral Compact Flash USB Card Reader
Integral Compact Flash USB Card Reader
Price: £4.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Good when it works, 27 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought one of these a long time ago, lost it so I bought another one, then found the first one again. Both worked without any problem at all for a couple of years. I use them to transfer data from camera CF cards to my PC, or my android tablet, and since I have many old 1 GB CF cards replaced by 4 GB cards, I use the former as handy data storage - just like USB sticks when used with the card readers. They take up no room at all when travelling. Strangely, they both stopped working at exactly the same time recently - the problem was definitely the card readers and not software or the CF cards, as the cards continue to work fine in the camera and in my PDA, but the readers were no longer recognised under Windows XP, Windows Vista or Android 4.0. I suspect the usb plug part of the devices may no longer be fully connected to their circuit boards, certainly the CF connector pins are all present and correctly aligned.

Anyway, if you want a cheap handy widget to read your CF cards there really is no alternative. I have bought another pair, I just won't expect them to last forever.


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