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Mr Baz
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AVANTEK AR53 Amplified Freeview HD TV Panel Aerial Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna for DVB-T Television Tuner Receiver
AVANTEK AR53 Amplified Freeview HD TV Panel Aerial Digital Indoor HDTV Antenna for DVB-T Television Tuner Receiver
Offered by Avantek UK
Price: £39.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent signal reception even in fairly poor coverage areas, 26 Feb. 2015
Note: The maker sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

I've tested quite a few internal aerials over time and good as some of the super compact aerials are for good reception areas if you are in a patchy location they're just not up to the job. This one whilst it's small enough to fit in a room without taking up a ton of space is still reasonably small.

Opening up the box you get the aerial with a built in coaxial cable (about 1.5 meters) and a power lead that runs straight into the unit no adapter for this model (this is a mini UK plug no fuse) and an F-Type Male to Female RF connector.

Casing is plastic glossy type but quite decent for this level of offering likely a fingerprint magnet but it looks quite nice. On the back part a wheel to adjust the "gain" this unit can go up to 25dB at the maximum setting. A red LED lights up when gained up high. Frequency coverage is stated as:

VHF 40-230 MHz
UHF 470-860 MHz

For my test run I put the aerial in a bedroom with pretty poor coverage a standard small aerial won't hit the spot at all. This one though when gained up was able to pick up all the channels no problem you might have to fiddle a bit with location and rotation, there are two metal antenna's which pull out and can be angled and extended (to a max of around 75cm) to aid signal reception. Digital isn't like Analogue TV the signal is either there or it's not if you get frozen frames, blocking or just nothing at all then the signal is weak, the older style TV's would just turn into a snowy mess gradually improving until you got a clear picture.

Now if you are in a really low valley or another very weak area then you'll probably have to get a boosted full sized internal aerial, this one seems to work well though if your signal is a bit hit and miss moderate to poor. Once it's locked in though the picture and sound quality will be as good as any aerial, but every area is different and bad areas really need either a roof aerial or an internal loft one.

Quick note on the Freeview HD there are no specific needs for Freeview aerial wise you either get enough signal to pick it up or you don't every house is different the better signal you get the more channels you will pick up. If you live in a weak signal area you probably want an full sized aerial. But for the size of the unit it's to date given the best reception for a smaller internal boosted aerial I've used there are a lot of products out there so try to pick one that suits your requirement (ie no point buying a super compact one if you have a poor signal all around the house, but if you have a good reception it will work just fine) Most TV's about 7 years and newer have Freeview built in, if you are using an older TV then you can buy a box to pick up the channels on that.

Only one place I'd improve the product and that's add a few small rubber feet to the base, in all other areas this does exactly what it's supposed to and I like the lack of adapter and built in cables, so a thumbs up from me on this one.

H2Off - Spray Kit for Smartphone & Tablet PC's such as iPhone & iPad - Alcohol Free, Environmentally Friendly - Protect Your Expensive Devices Against Water Damage - Money Back Guarantee
H2Off - Spray Kit for Smartphone & Tablet PC's such as iPhone & iPad - Alcohol Free, Environmentally Friendly - Protect Your Expensive Devices Against Water Damage - Money Back Guarantee
Offered by Gekku
Price: £12.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual product that works rather well, 26 Feb. 2015
Note: The maker sent me a review sample for review, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

I got the H2Off kit to test out on a few devices and so far it's doing a good job and exactly as I would hope a product like this would. The kit comes sealed in a pack with a small spray, included are dry and wet wipes and a small microfibre cloth.

There are instruction inside the pack on how to apply the fluid, make sure you follow these. I decided to test a budget Samsung phone, clean off the case first, then spray the fluid on the front, rear and sides as well as the ports (speaker and charging port) wipe off the excess and then buff it off with the microfibre cloth. It's fine to touch it after a few minutes but the instructions say to use it lightly for the next 24 hours and it improves over time up to a week. Now on the phone I tested it works well it does repel water (I did pour some over the handset and it flies right off) but this won't protect a phone from water submersion (just take note of that)

After application there is no obvious change in the casing or feel of the phone I tested it's not sticky and the screen doesn't look any different at all. The 3ml bottle should be enough for maybe 3/4 phones or a couple of tablets possibly a little more. So far I've found the product to work well (can't comment on the anti bacterial aspect but it did make a tablet screen a lot less prone to picking up dirt and fingerprints), I'll be field testing it on other items too to see how it stacks up over an extended period. The kit is simple so is the product, I'd possibly like to see a slightly larger amount of fluid included in the package, it depends on how many items you want to water protect. It's certainly something a bit different and worth further investigation.

Offered by Teclasoft Informatica
Price: £79.58

4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little tablet for the price, 25 Feb. 2015
This was bought as a replacement for an older tablet, initially I wondered if the performance would be up scratch but I'm pleased to say (taking into account the price) the Archos 70 Xenon is really a bit of a bargain and stacks up better than I expected

The tablet also supports a sim card and 3G meaning you can also use it for phone duty, the unit I got was supplied with a micro SD card (16GB Sandisk) which offsets the 4GB storage as you can install apps to the micro SD card (bringing you up to around 20GB in total minus the space used for the O/S) I've been testing it for a while and will list out a few stronger and weaker areas

Good Points:

+ Build is good with a solid case and decent quality feel to the construction
+ Performance is quite nippy, this has a "dual core" 1.2 GHz processor and 512MB of ram but it ran along better than expected just take it easy with tons of apps being open (which consumes memory)
+ Screen is pretty good, it's a 1024 x 600 pixels IPS panel resolution isn't astonishing but it's very clear with good viewing angles contrast and colour pretty sharp considering the pixel density
+ Well featured it has 3G mobile phone support (sim free 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz networks) Blue tooth, GPS built in not bad for a budget tab
+ Micro SD card up to 64 GB means you can boost the storage quite a lot (these cards are quite affordable now)
+ Archos have a good bundled media app suite installed makes it very intuitive for music/video playback
+ Has a front 0.3mp and rear 2mp camera, these are welcomed if a little limited in quality (nice to see they included them though)

Weaker Areas:
- Camera and Video are fairly basic they do the job but the frame rate is low on the 720p video and the camera is passable at best (at this price I think it's less of an issue)
- Battery life is somewhat average, about 4.5-5 hours it's not a huge battery demon stamina wise if you disable unused battery sucking functions like GPS, Blue-tooth (if you are not using them) and drop the screen brightness down a bit it can last a bit longer, also worth looking at a few battery saving apps this can extend the endurance a bit


The tablet comes bundled with a micro USB plug charger and a micro USB to normal USB cable. The instructions are simple but do the job well for new users

This runs Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" not the newest version but you can at least install apps to the micro SD card
Sound quality is acceptable for a tablet in this price region ie you can hear it ok but you'll get a better experience with decent headphones or speakers (wired or Blue-tooth)

No custom interface this runs the normal stock Android look and I think all the better for it (you can customise it if you wish with a launcher)

Compared to budget tablets going back a few years things have moved forward quite a bit, you used to get fairly poor screens (low contrast and resolution) and a single core processor could get bogged down after opening a few apps, here much improved in both areas despite the 512MB ram (I'd like to see 1GB as standard) it runs really very nicely and the graphics are good enough playing normal android games even some of the more up to date 3D games ran to an acceptable level.

There are a few downers the battery isn't amazing (adequate if care is taken) the camera isn't going to blow you away either but at least they have front and rear ones on offer. It's also good to see a micro SD slot this offsets the relatively modest supplied 4GB of on-board storage and the pack I got had an included 16GB card in the box which should be enough to keep
you going for a while. I had no problems with the Wi-Fi or GPS/Blue-tooth they all worked just fine.

With tablets it's true that you pay more "get more" so moving up the price range you get more memory and faster processors and higher resolution screens too, but Archos have done an admirable job of balancing cost, with the overall package on offer. Sometimes it's tempting to look at specification sheets in detail and put the real world experience to one side, but using one in person really it's a very decent tablet for a very reasonable low cost. For a first tablet or on a tight budget this is very much worth a look
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Hitachi Travelstar 1000GB 2.5 inch SATA Internal Hard Drive
Hitachi Travelstar 1000GB 2.5 inch SATA Internal Hard Drive
Price: £44.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A viable second drive or laptop replacement, 25 Feb. 2015
I bought this drive at the same time as the faster 7200rpm Hitachi the performance difference between both drives is about 25 MB/s with this pulling in around 105 MB/s read and write times, still quite good for a modern drive and more than acceptable for most users. The difference comes partly with the spindle speed of this drive being less (5400) and the smaller 8MB cache account for the gap. Still it has to be said this is still a good drive if you don't need that extra boost to speeds

Whilst it's 1TB the actual capacity when formatted is around 931GB, so don't feel you're being cheated this is just how they count the pre-formatted capacity.

Been running a few of these drives for a couple of years with no problems to report so far. Cost is reasonable, consider the faster model if you have a laptop that is doing more intensive disc work, or if you are looking to use the drive in a desktop pc (quieter and lower power consumption) Overall a good drive, not really much between this model and the Western Digital Blue (WD own both brands they perform very closely in most tasks)

R.M.S. Titanic Scaled Model (SLIGHTLY IMPERFECT)
R.M.S. Titanic Scaled Model (SLIGHTLY IMPERFECT)
Offered by Giftware Ireland
Price: £12.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Not hugely detailed but quite an attractive basic model, 25 Feb. 2015
I bought one of these for my son a while back this has been played with and shows signs of use. The main boat is in shape a reasonable representation of the famous ship, most of the major details are here. Being die cast there is some weight to it, and the build overall is satisfactory for the price. Paint wise it's not an model I'd like to have a go at painting myself and I can see some overlaps, but it looks quite good from a normal viewing distance.

Size wise it's about 23cm long (at the base) thus quite easy to find a spot for this in the display cabinet or just on the mantelpiece. If you tame your expectations to the price it's not a bad model to have. If you're after something with ultra high details you might want to look at something different. Can't really complain for the price, but take care with some parts as it's all metal the extended thinner parts means it's not suitable for very young children
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Top of the Range Mini Dash Cam with GPS Full HD 1080p Video Recording HP F800G Car Camera / Camcorder 140° Wide Angle Lens, WDR, LDWS, 2.7" Touchscreen BUNDLE: Mini USB Cable and Car Camera Case - Exclusively from i360Direct® (BUNDLE 1 - Case / USB Cable)
Top of the Range Mini Dash Cam with GPS Full HD 1080p Video Recording HP F800G Car Camera / Camcorder 140° Wide Angle Lens, WDR, LDWS, 2.7" Touchscreen BUNDLE: Mini USB Cable and Car Camera Case - Exclusively from i360Direct® (BUNDLE 1 - Case / USB Cable)
Offered by i360Direct®
Price: £199.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Fully loaded" dash camera, a few minor points but the footage is excellent, 25 Feb. 2015
Note: The supplier sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

Model: HP F800G

This higher end "dash camera" offers quite a bit in terms of functionality over lower priced cameras. Size wise this is a compact 8cm by 5cm and features a decent resolution "touch screen" for ease of use. I tested out the camera in various conditions and have listed out some of the stronger and weaker aspects of the unit.

Good points:
+ Video quality is superb to date the best I've seen in a dash camera, lots of details, smooth frame rates impressive quality and wide dynamic range
+ Excellent low light performance, colours and resolution are strong even in dim conditions clarity and resolution equally impressive
+ Reliable and consistent exposure and white balance even in difficult lighting (it's almost always spot on)
+ Has both GPS and GLONASS satellite positioning
+ Advanced features including driver safety functions, speed camera alerts, driver fatigue, 3 settings for collision detection and 3 axis G sensor
+ Touch screen LCD is clear (good contrast and visibility even in strong light) and easy to operate/change settings
+ Built in battery (some of the specialised features require constant power though)
+ Compact size - main unit and the windscreen mount
+ "Grid" display option rather than just watching the live feed you can use this display to see the speed, direction, time and speed camera alert
+ Useful "Super Car" software supplied on CD (though could be more refined)

Weaker areas:
- High end spec comes at a price premium some features are useful others might be less so
- Touch-screen could be more responsive (works fine but requires a bit more pressure)
- 720p video resolution is a "crop" of the Full HD (does not down sample) field of view isn't as wide
- No menu settings for manual white balance/contrast adjustment, no option for lower compression on footage
- Fairly average still image quality (somewhat over-processed but clear enough for a dash camera)
- Card size limited to 32GB (would be useful if it could accept larger sizes)

Video footage can be recorded in 1080p, 720p (30fps) and at 720p (60fps) there are no compression settings clip length can be set at 3 or 5 minutes
1 minute footage in full HD 1080p uses about 135MB of card space
Still images are 2 mega pixel resolution
You can power the camera via a USB car socket instead/adapter or the supplied cable (this is useful if you wish to power other devices at the same time like a sat nav). It's also possible to charge the camera via a "mini" USB cable if you are connected to a PC the camera enters "data transfer" mode this allows you to transfer files off the card, or charge it but you can't use the camera as a webcam or change settings whilst connected (battery life seems to be around 40 minutes)

In the box you get the user manual (the full manual is on the CD), dash camera, a long car power lead, there is no mini HDMI output on the unit and at the time of writing the review the supplier is bundling a case and mini USB cable with it. This camera does not have IR LED's for night vision (in complete darkness)

**Software & Advanced Features**

On the mini CD you have the "Super Car" software this allows you to watch footage and see a map of the area (if you are online) via Google maps, it shows your route on the map and the G sensor readings, direction and speed as well as audio levels making it quite simple to find incidents.

Some of the "high end features" that are on this camera include:

LDWS - Lane departure warning system this shows a display on the screen and trigger and warning if you deviate from the lane
Driver Fatigue Alert - This is a simple alert that sounds one hour after the device is powered on and every 30 minutes thereafter, possibly some use for longer motorway trips
Motion Detection - Useful for a parked car the camera will start recording if it detects movement in front of the lens
Emergency Recording - This imprints the emergency word on the footage and protects it preventing it being overwritten
Speed Camera Alert - You get a voice and screen warning you about a speed camera (radar detection)

Other functions:
The camera also has a rapid acceleration/deceleration alert, a speed limit alert (this can be user defined if required), front vehicle distance alerts either too close or too far from a vehicle in front.

**Operation and Use**

Menus are split into "tabs" and options can be selected cycling though this (lower left section of the screen): System, File (for playback), Driving Safety, and Record (settings for video resolution, exposure compensation etc)

In use very much fire and forget you can access settings easily and most will have the camera set up for automatic recording. The 2.7" touch-screen works well though does require a decent bit of pressure to operate

**Thoughts and Conclusion**

The camera overall is solid in construction and small it doesn't take up a lot of windscreen space the mount is also quite tiny (this is a light camera and doesn't need a GPS sized mount) it sticks well to the windscreen, ideal positioning is really below the rear view mirror
In terms of performance video footage wise it's hard to fault very crisp and clean footage even in night driving, whilst the contrast and white balance can't be set the camera did a near flawless job during testing rarely making a mistake. Exposure is very consistent and it's not easily fooled.

Features wise this has just about everything you could want in a dash camera (bar possibly Wi-fi or IR LED's) some of the advanced settings and functions could be considered non essential, but to some they might genuinely be useful. Compared to mid level offerings this does have some obvious advantages built in GPS gives your exact location and speed, the sensors are more advanced as well as the customisation and alerts.

There were a few niggles though the software was quite good but could be a bit more refined in places. Some minor points could be sorted out with firmware but most don't detract hugely from what is in most ways a very good camera. However I would like to have seen an option for higher compression on the video footage to extend the length of recording.

I'm not sure I'd find a use for all the functions but some are genuinely useful (speed cameras, and the GPS is really handy to have) other less so (lane departure only really useful for straight roads ie motorway driving, you'll soon tire of the warnings on bendy roads) Output wise this is as good as I've used to date with great detail in the footage and with the fast lens does extremely well for night driving. A serious contender if you want a higher end offering.

Ultra-Bright High Power Headlamp Flashlight Torch with 3 AAA Batteries--- Adjustable White, Red, and Strobe Light Ideal for Camping, Running, Hunting, Reading, Fishing and Other Outdoor Activities Black
Ultra-Bright High Power Headlamp Flashlight Torch with 3 AAA Batteries--- Adjustable White, Red, and Strobe Light Ideal for Camping, Running, Hunting, Reading, Fishing and Other Outdoor Activities Black
Offered by Adam Elements Direct
Price: £19.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile headlamp with a potent output and multiple operating modes, 25 Feb. 2015
Note: The maker sent me a review sample for evaluation, the opinion of the product is my own personal view

LED lights are all the rage of late and this headlamp offers not one but 4 LED's allowing you to pick a type of light that suits your need. The main unit is powered via 3 x AAA batteries (you get energizers in the box, but rechargeable ones make sense for longer term use) Main modes are selected via a single rubber button on the top section these are:

- Main double power light (rated to 90 lumens max) with a range of 40 metres
- "Twin" single power LED lights these are on the sides (16 lumens and a range of 25 metres)
- A single "red" LED lamp which doesn't have a power rating and can't be dimmed but it's enough to see your way in total darkness (or to use as an SOS light)

Both of the main lighting modes have adjustable power output this is achieved by holding down the button once the light is on it moves up and down in power slowly until you release the button. In addition the twin and red LED's can be set to "blinking mode" where they flash repeatedly.

I've no way of accurately measuring the output, but the main double power light is strong more than enough to light up areas quite a distance in front of you, this main light is also warmer v the cooler light of the twin LED's this makes it quite easy to work out which lights are active. The twin and double power lights have a good side spread with a concentration in the middle more obvious with the single light. To activate the red LED you hold the power down for about 3 seconds and it comes on. It doesn't take long to work out how to control the unit it's quite straight forward and it's not a bad idea to have just one button ton control all the modes.

Onto the main light this has a hardened outer shell with the lenses in front of each LED to control the light it's dense and feels thick and unlikely to have any issues durability wise. The back section can be angled via "clicks" there are four positions from straight ahead to a downwards angle. For normal walking along you might want to set it slightly down.

The strap is elasticated and fully adjustable comfort is good, though make sure you don't make it too tight if you are wearing it directly on your head the headband is wide and won't come off that easily. Power via the 3 x AAA batteries will vary the maker quotes at full blast the double power light can hit 43 hours of use, and 150 hours at the lowest setting, Twin LED's have 90 hours and a whopping 250 hours at the min power. One strange area was whilst the unit is IPX4 rated (resistant to splashes of water) it doesn't have a rubber seal on the battery compartment, still if they are happy to offer a lifetime warranty then that puts longevity at ease somewhat. I did use the light in a modest shower and didn't have any water invasion issues, but I will update the review if any concerns come to light.

Quality overall feels very good in all areas nothing cheap about this it feels solid and strong which is important for any light which could get dropped at some point. As far as the light quality it's excellent and the ability to dim the main two lights is extremely useful at full pelt the main light is likely stronger than you would need and this way you can "tune" the light to the power you want. The red LED is said to help night vision I've not tested this extensively (it's based on the rods/cones of the eye and the rods being active in darkness and they are not sensitive to red light but provide some sight albeit without colour or details but exposure to normal light will ruin night vision, red won't) Either way it's nice to have it as an extra, though most folks will use the two main lights.

Uses for this are quite extensive really plenty of times I've needed to use my hands and not hold a torch fixing the car or working outside, fishing, cycling, camping, hiking, or just walking the dog you don't have to be a rock climber or cave explorer to find a use for this (though I'm sure it works a treat for those activities) I do have torches but this is much more useful to have. Overall a top tier headlamp is almost every way it's a flexible lighting product that is well made and designed. Highly recommended
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JJC FC-26L Diffuser/Bouncer for Metz 48/58 AF-1
JJC FC-26L Diffuser/Bouncer for Metz 48/58 AF-1
Offered by PowerPlanet UK - typ. 5-7 working days
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A simple but useful flash diffuser, 25 Feb. 2015
This clip on flash diffuser attaches to Metz flashes I've used it on the 50 AF-1 and 58 AF-2 (as I have both of those flashes) it evidently fits a few other models, I've not used the newest Metz flashes so can't say if it works on those.

Plastics are the flexible type, fit is good (tight enough to stay on the flash head, but not awkward to fit) as I own both flashes I just have one of these and fit it to each flash when needed. In terms of the "lighting effect" these clip on diffusers do help a bit. They tone down the harshness of the light, but have realistic expectations too, they can't give a really soft light output to the same degree a big diffuser can (larger the surface the softer the light is the general rule) Also expect a bit of power loss when using this, that might be a factor especially if you are using it with high speed sync (outside fill flash, this reduces power quite a bit) and with very high ceilings in these cases you might be better off taking this off for shots like that.

It's still worth picking one of these up though, it just takes the edge off direct flash a bit and that's worthwhile just on it's own.

80cm Photo Photography Studio Box Light Cube Tent Softbox with Red Blue White Black Color Backdrops
80cm Photo Photography Studio Box Light Cube Tent Softbox with Red Blue White Black Color Backdrops
Offered by PMS®
Price: £18.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great light tent, very good results, 25 Feb. 2015
I picked up one of these a few months ago, and I have to say I'm very pleased overall with the light tent.
It's well made (I've not had any problems with it at all) size wise this is ideal for product shots, and large enough to fit fairly big items inside.

I use a combination of manual off camera flashes (like the Yongnuo flashes) for a very cost effective lighting set up.
Results are very good, with a soft even light bouncing around inside the tent, and in most cases you won't have any problems with hot spots (as the light is soft - acting as a big internal soft-box) You get 4 backdrops that fit in via Velcro

My pros and cons

+ Folds up into a very small size (about the same size as a reflector) so you have a portable studio or one that you easily store taking up little space
+ Very good results, and a cost effective solution for product shots
+ 4 colours of backdrops, white, red, blue and black

- Takes a bit of practice to fold it up

I have ironed some of the backdrops, this is quite easy to do but you should only have the iron on a warm, not very hot setting. I ironed the velvet side with the Iron set to "silk" this is the coolest setting on the iron. This got almost all the creases out with only a few minutes effort.

Don't use a hot iron or this could melt the sheet
For most shots I use the white background, adjust flash power, and position to suit the results you want. Even one off camera flash works very well for the light tent, 2 gives even better lighting control. In post production I boost the white levels in lightroom to give that studio look. If you have non metallic subjects I'd suggest a polariser to help remove reflections though it's rarely an issue as the light is quite soft and diffused.

For the money it's a bit of a bargain, I often use the tent for product shots, quick and easy to do without having to have a permanent space set up for this. You could make a set up that costs very little and get very professional results with a little effort and experimentation. Anyone with a website or selling on other sites, or a business this is a very valuable and useful item to have.

Fujifilm Fujicolor C200 - 36exp 35mm Color Negative Film
Fujifilm Fujicolor C200 - 36exp 35mm Color Negative Film
Offered by JSP online
Price: £5.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A very usable "everyday" standard negative film, 25 Feb. 2015
I was given a few rolls of this film by the processing lab (as some do when you get negatives developed) I initially dismissed it as likely not that good "kiosk" film given away in volume. However having spent a bit of time working with the film mostly out of curiosity rather than a specific choice, I can report that it is a lot better than you might expect.

Rated at ISO 200 grain is quite fine though it won't have the resolution of low ISO rated film, contrast is medium to a little below that with colour reproduction slightly warm (useful for skin tones) but fairly neutral across the spectrum. No colour appears to dominate making it quite a versatile general purpose film. Despite the high ISO rating it can be useful in slightly poor light (details are certainly better than ISO 400 negative film). After spending a while shooting this and Ektar (which isn't ideal for skin tones and has some stronger colours - red being one) I prefer this film in terms of the "look" pleasant but not too cooked as some films can be. As with all negative films underexposure is to be avoided (you can push it a few stops but the grain increases quite a lot) dynamic range is good with lots of shadow details and a smooth roll off in the highlights.

It's also quite easy to scan (try to keep the negs clean it helps no end) and I've not had any problems with storage either. This isn't billed as anything other than a basic film but it does product rather pleasant tones and images. Certainly worth a second look and for non specific subjects a decent all rounder.
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