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Reviews Written by
Robin Hilton (Hertfordshire, UK)
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Ski LED touch desk lamp - black and chrome
Ski LED touch desk lamp - black and chrome

4.0 out of 5 stars Basic slimline LED lamp, 31 May 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First important thing to note is that the height measurement refers to this product when the lamp is position as a column. If you want the light to face down, i.e. like a right-angle, the vertical height is about 35cm, the same as most other varieties of these lights.

The product feels a little cheap. But it looks good, the plug is sensibly small & light, and it gives enough light to work by. It doesn't cast a lot of light around, just enough for your workspace.

The coolest thing about it is switch being touch on and off. Little things please little minds. My pea sized brain loves it!


Fotodiox 7 Step Down Ring Filter Adapter Set, Anodized Metal
Fotodiox 7 Step Down Ring Filter Adapter Set, Anodized Metal
Offered by Lumière-Shop Siegward Schmitz
Price: £20.82

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 16 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This set of step down rings is just perfect. It has all the sizes you need, giving you great flexibility. Being a complete set, it also stores neatly together (rather than several disparate rings). It is well manufactured, and screws in to filter and camera cleanly. I wondered whether ordering from the USA would cause the package to be stuck in HM Customs or something, but everything worked fine.

I'm delighted to have saved myself £30. I need a 67mm polarised filter for a forthcoming sailing holiday. Rather than buying a new 67mm filter, I can use my 72mm filter with one of these rings.


Fifty Things You Need to Know About World History
Fifty Things You Need to Know About World History
by Hugh Williams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative but dry, 8 Mar. 2011
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I purchased this after buying and reading the authors "Fifty Things You Need to Know About British History". The British book was a delight to read. The book was divided into sensible sections, with a strong thread linking each chapter within the section. One skipped through the book as it wended its merry way through seminal moments in our islands past.

The World History book though was heavier going. Each chapter was informative, but the narrative thread was not as strong. On reflection, the book is more like a reference book with 50 parts than an informative historical journey like Mr Williams other book.


Information is Beautiful
Information is Beautiful
by David McCandless
Edition: Hardcover

127 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Error free, and beautiful indeed, 21 Sept. 2010
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I wanted this book from the day I read about it, but waited until the printing errors were sorted out. Amazon haven't really highlighted the publishers note that says this is now on to the third reprint, and is therefore error free. So I now have a copy. And it was worth the 6 month wait.

This really is beautiful. The way some of the figures are presented is brilliantly original, and really fires the imagination for how information could be better presented. And I was surprised at some practical pages as well - eg salad dressing recipes, with quantities represented visually.

This is one of those books that will sit in the book case and be dipped into every now and again for inspiration. Enjoy it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 4, 2014 11:29 PM GMT


Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
by Bryan Peterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

155 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This knowledge will improve your photos, 21 Sept. 2010
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You can break down good photos into two aspects - the composition and the exposure. This is the best book I have read that covers the exposure. For composition, I highly recommend Michael Freeman's "The Photographers Eye". That book did more to improve my photos than anything I've read in the last 3 years.

Back to this book. So, you've learnt how to compose the photo. You need to understand how to capture what you see, or to create something from what you see. This book works through the photographic triangle of aperture, shutter speed and ISO in clear language. The best thing is that every picture has the settings that the author has used. It is so frustrating that most other books don't do that. Sure, by experimentation you can learn the ideal settings yourself. But in my view you, armed with the knowledge of how the author achieves his effects (eg creamy waterfalls) helps put you in the right ball park for the settings while you are learning, which means you shouldn't be making basic mistakes while taking photos of stuff you really want to capture. Which, let's face it, is why we are taking the photos in the first place. The book encourages you to move away from using the auto settings and be more in control of the shot and acheive better outcomes.

I also have Michael Freeman's "Perfect Exposure". That is a significantly more technical book, going into details of dynamic ranges, histograms etc. In itself, it is an excellent book, but I'd recommend Peterson's book as a first step.


Kenko Teleplus DG AF Extension Tube 36+20+12 for Canon EOS
Kenko Teleplus DG AF Extension Tube 36+20+12 for Canon EOS
Price: £89.99

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opens up new possibilities, 21 Sept. 2010
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These are absolutely fantastic, and open up a whole new realm of possibilities for photography.

As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I was interested in developing new areas of understanding, and looked in to macro photography. You have three choices - spend a lot of money on a dedicated macro lens, buy some magnification lenses, or buy some extension tubes. After ruling the first out on cost alone, and the second on quality, I was left investigating tubes. Again, you have options - plain, cheap tubes, or tubes with electric contacts. Since the former don't allow operation of different apertures, I looked into electric contact tubes. Canon OEM tubes are about same price for 1 tube, and this gives you three. A no-brainer as far as I was concerned.

The tubes are well constructed. They are instantly recognisable as Canon fit, and fit to camera and lens very easily an intuitively. They store together very conveniently.

Taking very close up pictures with an almost impossibly small depth of field is then simply a question of positioning your camera closer than you have ever been able to do before and hey presto, you've entered the world of macro photography.

I am really pleased that I purchased these for two reasons.
1. you maintain full functionality of the camera. I was a little nervous about this point, as there are older reviews on websites saying these don't work for Canon. These are the up to date version that certainly worked with my Canon 400D.
2. you get three rather for the same money that just one Canon would cost you.
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Dixit Expansion 2
Dixit Expansion 2
Offered by Shop4World
Price: £15.23

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great family game, 31 Aug. 2010
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This review is from: Dixit Expansion 2 (Toy)
Dixit 2 is the expansion kit for the 2010 Spiel des Jahres winning game Dixit. We have several previous winning games (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Zooloretto etc) and they are all family favourites, continually providing an enjoyable playing experience over and over again. We couldn't wait to get our hands on this years winner, but being out of stock, we bought the expansion kit. This has 84 random cards you use as the basis for the storytelling. It does not have any scoring markers or voting cards, but I don't think we've missed out on any enjoyment. We simply use a paper and pencil for scoring, and vote using playing cards. (We've downloaded the rules from the Dixit website)

The fun comes in the storytelling and trying to match cards to win more points. And what fun we've had. We all play (2 adults, 9 year old and 7 year old) and get equal enjoyment out of it. My wife and I were amazed the first few times we played it at how lateral and metaphorical our kids could be.

The basic game is that you each have 6 cards with random pictures. One player, the storyteller, uses a phrase to "describe" one of his / her cards, and places this face down. All other players then choose a card in their hand that could also be described by that phrase, and pass the hand to the storyteller, who shuffles the cards and places them face up for all to see. Each player (except the storyteller) then votes, secretly so as not to influence others, for the card they think is the one. Scoring depends on whether everyone picks the storyteller's card or not, and who votes for different cards.

The game is fast moving enough to not get boring, and takes about 20 - 30 minutes to play. The only drawback seems to be that scoring is fairly linear, so if someone pulls out a large lead early on, it is difficult to catch up. Many other Spiel des Jahres winners have a scoring mechanism where significant points are earned at the end of the game that can overturn apparently unassailable leads.

Overall, I'd highly recommend this game. We've enjoyed playing with as just adults, as a family, across three generations, and each time everyone has enjoyed it, and wanted to play again.


AnySharp Global World's Best Knife Sharpener (Classic)
AnySharp Global World's Best Knife Sharpener (Classic)
Price: £9.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the one..., 8 Jan. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After years of searching for a reliable, functional sharpener, I've found it. Using this, I quickly got all our kitchen knives exceptionally sharp, and now use it regularly to keep the knives in good condition. It is SOOO nice using properly sharp knives.
I've stopped using the sharpener / holder that came with my 10 year old Wilkinson Sword carving knife as this AnySharp sharpener is much better.
The suction cup is an added benefit to the sharpening qualities. Wetting it slightly makes it stick fast to the kitchen surface. But even better, I use it to attach the sharpener to the tiled wall by the knives, so it is always to hand. No more scrabbling in the drawers for the sharpener.


Field Guide To Mushrooms And Other Fungi Of Britain And Europe
Field Guide To Mushrooms And Other Fungi Of Britain And Europe
by Michael Eppinger
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful field guide, 13 Nov. 2009
This book is great within its own niche - namely a field guide that be carried around by someone who already knows a little bit about mushrooms to help identify finds while outdoors. My copy stays in the car so is always near at hand when I'm out and about.

It has a number of nice features - photos are good, it has a useful visual calendar of when the mushroom might be found, and when it refers to a defining feature that is illustrated, there is a number in the text that refers to a numbered pointer on the picture which makes it very clear what is being referred to.

This is not a book for those just getting started, and I would always rely on a comprehensive guide like Roger Phillip's Mushrooms back at home. But it's a handy text to have in your mushroom book portfolio.


Mushrooms
Mushrooms
by Roger Phillips
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.60

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential part of your collection, 13 Nov. 2009
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This review is from: Mushrooms (Paperback)
The best advice for mushroom identification is to have several books. Having been a keen forager for several years, I am constantly amazed at how different the same species can look depending on age and environmental factors. And at how different the species look in real life compared to some book photos.

The Roger Phillips book is at the core of my collection. I will often use other books to narrow the scope of what genus I might be looking at, before turning to the Phillips book to confirm my find. But I always consult this book at some point in the identification process. I know of mycologists who carry this is as their definitive guide to the different varieties.

If you are at all interested in mushroom identification, I would recommend you have at least three books - this and 2 others. My favourite alternative is John Wright's River Cottage Handbook. This is focused on edibility rather than identification, and therefore misses many species. It details the most edible and most poisonous, and neglects a lot which are neither. But what it lacks in coverage, it more than makes up for in humour. It is worth buying simply to read. It will make you laugh out loud.


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