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Pauline Belford (Scotland)
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Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R Lens - Silver
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R Lens - Silver
Offered by Carmarthen Cameras
Price: £131.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best value for money m43rds lens, 7 Feb. 2015
I got this lens for Christmas last year. Given the price, I wasn't sure how good it would be, but it provides great value for money. The lens is more than twice as large as the 14 - 42mm kit lens, but is very light. It seems sturdy enough, but I wouldn't like to drop it. It's plastic construction and not weather proof.

The lens is really sharp, even wide open, and can produce shallow depth of field with good bokeh, especially at longer focal lengths. Due to the slow max aperture, it's not ideal as a portrait lens. At 45mm the depth of field isn't shallow enough, and at the longer end you need too much working distance. It's great for taking close ups of architectural details in large buildings, or slow-moving animals that aren't too close or far away. I've also got some nice shots of sunsets and moon rise at the longer end of the zoom.

The lens is light enough to use without a tripod in good light, though as it is non-stabilised this may only apply to users with Olympus cameras which have IBIS. In low light, the focal length means you really need a tripod. Minimum focus distance is around 90cm away meaning you can't really use this for close-ups of small objects as an alternative to a macro lens.

The lens isn't perfect, but it's great for what it is. It's much lighter and easy to carry around than the new pro 40 - 150 zoom, and much better value for money.
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Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 Lens - Black
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 Lens - Black
Price: £179.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent value for money lens - great for portraits, and for macro work using extension tubes, 25 Jan. 2015
This lens is an excellent addition to any micro four thirds kit. You can regularly get it for about £180, and the quality is astounding. It is very sharp, even wide open, and takes excellent images. The lens is a similar size to the 14 - 42Rii kit lens, but weighs about twice as much. Although it is not a metal lens, it feels reassuringly solid. It is fast to focus, and can produce great blur with shallow depth of field.

The focal length makes it an obvious choice for portraits. Some people prefer the 75mm for this, but for head and shoulders crops you'd need a very large room for adequate working distance. This is almost as good a lens (you can't get as wafer thin a depth of field as with the 75mm, and the bokeh isn't quite as creamy) at 30% of the price. The focal length is a little tight for street shooting and snapshots. You can however use it for some types of landscape shots and flower shots. It doesn't have a very close minimum focusing distance, but when used with macro extension tubes it also makes an excellent macro lens. I'm still getting used to this lens, but I'm very happy I bought it.
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Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Digital Camera with Wi-Fi - Silver (16 MP, 28mm Wide Angle, 5x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD
Canon PowerShot A3500 IS Digital Camera with Wi-Fi - Silver (16 MP, 28mm Wide Angle, 5x Optical Zoom) 3.0 inch LCD

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy take-anywhere camera - great in good lighting conditions, 25 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this as a Christmas present to replace a lovely old Canon A550 which had reached the end of it's life. This camera is much smaller, lighter and sleeker, with over double the megapixel count and a higher resolution display. What it is missing is the optical viewfinder. Asides from that, the camera is very pocketable, easy to use, and takes great snapshots. It's also easy to transfer files to your PC for storage and editing. It's perfect for the intended use. Like most Canon's, the colours are a little on the warm side, but most people prefer that to cooler tones.

Due to the small sensor size it is not great for low light situations or indoors with natural lighting. And as you would expect in this price range it doesn't shoot RAW files so it's harder to e.g. fix the white balance in post processing. Also, the camera will tell you what settings it has chosen for a picture (ISO, aperture and shutter speed) even though it will not let you alter them. That is useful information, but when you are thinking you would prefer different settings, as I sometimes do, then it is really frustrating.

All in all, this is a great camera, particularly if you can get it under the £60 mark. It sometimes goes in lightning deals, so look out for those rather than paying full price if you are not in a big hurry to get it.

I've included a few photos taken with the camera to give an idea of the colour tones and sharpness (or otherwise) of the lens. Bear in mind these are 10 times smaller than the originals (I can't upload the full size jpegs) so it doesn't give you an idea of the resolution.
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Myia Passiello Aspirations Swarovski Zirconia Fancy Blue Pendant Necklace of 45.72cm
Myia Passiello Aspirations Swarovski Zirconia Fancy Blue Pendant Necklace of 45.72cm
Price: £75.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and expensive looking - worth paying more for decent 'costume' jewellery, 25 Jan. 2015
I was lucky enough to receive this necklace as a christmas present. It is absolutely stunning. The centre stone is a good size (I think it is 10mm by 8mm), has a beautiful, even colour, and is crystal clear. The surrounding clear stones are very small (maybe 1 or 1.25mm) and on close inspection don't look like good quality diamonds, but they reflect/ refract the light well and the necklace is very sparkly. The quality of the workmanship is good and the necklace is sturdy with plenty of metal surround (the head?) and a decent bale for attaching the chain.

The chain that comes with the necklace is great. It is light but sturdy. It also helpfully comes with 3 links for attaching so you can leave it as the standard length, or shorten it by one or two inches depending on where you want the pendant to sit. Very useful for varying it depending on the height of your neckline.

I have a few topaz necklaces and tend to prefer 'real' jewellery to fashion jewellery. But I suspect that is partly because we are sold on the idea that 'real' jewellery is rare (it's not: diamonds are actually not that rare), and also having been put off by tacky cheap fashion jewellery.

This necklace shows that paying more for decent quality fashion jewellery is well worth the money. It honestly looks nicer than my topaz necklaces, for a similar price. At the end of the day, are you buying jewellery because it looks nice, or because it is 'rare'. If you're buying it as a stylish and beautiful accessory for your outfits, then this is a far better choice than 'real' stones.

I've attached a photo which is at several times magnification so you can see how nice it is, but the photo doesn't do it justice (I should have cleaned the fingerprints off better...)
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JVL Rubber And Coir Tuffscrape Doormat 40 x 60 cm Outdoor Indoor Use
JVL Rubber And Coir Tuffscrape Doormat 40 x 60 cm Outdoor Indoor Use
Price: £11.12

5.0 out of 5 stars I really like this doormat, 2 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I really like this doormat. It combines the benefits of a rubber non-slip mat with the better ability to get dirt and grit out of your shoes that a bristle mat has. It's even better than a full bristle mat as the gaps between the bristles mean you can really get in deep and target a particular part of your shoe if needed. It's pretty heavy, looks great and will hopefully be hard wearing.


Catherine Lansfield Ivory Cushion Cover, Cream
Catherine Lansfield Ivory Cushion Cover, Cream
Offered by Linens Limited
Price: £3.05

5.0 out of 5 stars well made cushion covers which look great and more expensive than they actually are, 2 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are high quality, well made cushion covers which look great and more expensive than they actually are.


a for Amazon - E-mail Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate
a for Amazon - E-mail Amazon.co.uk Gift Certificate
Price: £30.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great gift for someone you are not sure what to get as they can get practically anything from amazon.


Altura Night Vision Evo Long Finger Cycling Gloves 2012 Medium Black
Altura Night Vision Evo Long Finger Cycling Gloves 2012 Medium Black
Offered by 37South Triathlon
Price: £39.14

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very warm and comfortable gloves, suitable for women too (if your hands are not very small), 1 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
As a female cyclist it is hard to find some items designed specifically for women, and winter cycling gloves fell into this category. I therefore decided to order these in a medium size. The gloves are well constructed, nicely padded in the right places, and look likely to be more durable than my old Specialized gloves which wore right through at the index finger tips after a few months of use. The separate inner lining gloves are very comfortable against the skin and add a nice layer to trap warm air. With the outer gloves on too, I was shocked at how toasty warm my hands felt whilst cycling: they were the warmest part of my body.

A slight downside to the quality, warmth and thickness of the outer gloves is that I find them slightly less flexible than my old ones when trying to bend my fingers, though not enough to impair my ability to change gears or use the brakes. The only other slight issue I have is that the thumbs seem to be unusually long: either that or my thumbs are unusually short. I guess maybe men have proportionally longer thumbs on average than women, as the other fingers are a suitable length.

Overall I am very happy with these gloves, and would be happy to recommend them.


Revoni 7 Stone Rainbow 1.75 Carats Multi Gemstone Band Ring in Sterling Silver Size L,
Revoni 7 Stone Rainbow 1.75 Carats Multi Gemstone Band Ring in Sterling Silver Size L,
Offered by Revoni
Price: £44.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and unusual ring, 23 Nov. 2013
I purchased this ring as a birthday present for my Mum, making an educated guess as to her ring size. The ring is absolutely stunning! The stones are all natural, have a beautiful even colour and have no visible inclusions. The stones are small (3mm in diameter I think) which would be very small as a solitaire, but for 7 stones is not too flashy but a perfect size. The rainbow order means they complement each other perfectly, and the rhodium plating gives the ring a fabulous shine. I would have preferred just sterling silver without the rhodium plating but so far it is showing no signs of wearing off, and I'm sure the ring will still look stunning in silver.

Unlike many fashion rings it is also available in many ring sizes (J - R or maybe an even wider range, in 1/2 sizes) which is much better for finding the perfect fit than many rings that only come in 3 sizes.

This is excellent value for what you are getting. The ring comes in a pouch, which itself is in a small jewellery box (not a ring box). The ring looks much more expensive than the actual cost, and would make a great gift.


Kodak Ektar 100 35mm 36exp Film 3 Pack
Kodak Ektar 100 35mm 36exp Film 3 Pack
Offered by Dragonfly Optical
Price: £14.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality film with smooth grain, 23 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having managed to get an old film camera working again, I put a roll of Kodak Gold 400 through it, and was seriously underwhelmed by the results (though admittedly it was slightly expired). A friend recommended Ektar 100 so I ordered a few rolls and tried again. There is very little grain, and the quality of the prints is excellent. The colours are cooler than I am used to from Kodak film and my Canon digital camera, but they are realistic and there is an excellent dynamic range of tones. Shots taken in the forest of mushrooms in the grass in particular are very vivid.

The film worked very well in outdoor conditions, both in strong sunshine and cloudy overcast conditions. I have not yet tested it indoors or at night so cannot comment on it's performance in those situations.

This film is apparently specifically designed to be scanned, so is a great choice if you don't have access to a darkroom (which I don't) but do like to do some digital post-processing. I was disappointed with the quality of the scans the lab provided (too low resolution/ dpi) so I can't currently comment on this, but I have a film scanner on the way so hopefully will be able to get decent online versions of the images too.


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