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Profile for Richard B. Williams > Reviews


Richard B. Willi...'s Profile

Customer Reviews: 10
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Reviews Written by
Richard B. Williams "huge nerd" RSS Feed (Los Alamos, NM USA)

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Ototo Nessie Ladle, Blue
Ototo Nessie Ladle, Blue
Offered by L & P Leading Trend
Price: $8.99
12 used & new from $6.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea; poor execution., June 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Ototo Nessie Ladle, Blue (Kitchen)
As other reviewers have indicated, this ladle is very small. The primary problem for me is the handle is way too flexible. The weight of a full ladle-full of soup makes pouring into a bowl precarious. The design is also quite "front"-heavy, causing it to fall over on its face if not on a perfectly level surface.

Kimax 60940D-6 Borosilicate Glass Cylindrical 24mL Sample Vial, with Rubber Lined Closure Unattached (Pack of 144)
Kimax 60940D-6 Borosilicate Glass Cylindrical 24mL Sample Vial, with Rubber Lined Closure Unattached (Pack of 144)
Price: $98.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as a display container for sand., January 9, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I know this probably isn't the use that most people buy these for, but I use these vials to display my collection of sand from all over the world. The glass quality is very high, offering excellent visibility of the contents. The rubber o-ring in the cap keeps the sand from getting into the threads, which is very handy. The bottom of flat enough that I can stick a 3/4" round sticker on there to describe the contents and it fits perfectly. My only complaint about these vials is that they are quite expensive compared to other vials of similar volume.

Dymo Rhino Rhino 3000 Hard Case Kit, 1/Box (18189)
Dymo Rhino Rhino 3000 Hard Case Kit, 1/Box (18189)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great labeler. Probably skip the hardcase., September 22, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Rhino Pro 3000 is without a doubt the best labeler in its class. To get any more features would only be appropriate if your job involved making exotic labels constantly all day long. For the occasional labeler, this is pretty much the best one I've ever seen. If I were just reviewing the labeler itself, this would be five stars. My only complaint about it is that the rubber boot that protects the labeler has to come off to exchange cartridges, which is a pain if you are frequently switching between label types (I do a lot of regular surface labels as well as heat-shrink tubing with mine, so I find myself switching cartridges a lot). In the end, I just leave the rubber jacket off and keep it in the hard case.

Which brings me to the central problem of this particular SKU: the hard case is ENORMOUS. The labeler takes up the central third of it, the rest is just foam. There's room for about 20+ cartridges in there if you really needed some serious variety on hand; I have five and the remaining room just seems cavernous. It takes up a lot more space in my shop than it needs to. If I were buying again, I'd save a few bucks and get the version without the hard case.

Adventure Medical Kits FireLite Firestarter and Tinder-Quik
Adventure Medical Kits FireLite Firestarter and Tinder-Quik
Offered by Campmor
Price: $7.99
2 used & new from $4.13

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent emergency tool., September 22, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: AMK Spark-Lite
I am a mountaineer, search and rescue volunteer, and a pilot. Having an emergency survival kit on hand is important to me, and I have a lot of experience in the outdoors with various fire-starting techniques and equipment. If you are putting together a survival kit where weight and volume are concerns to you, then this is the best fire starter on the market. It makes a somewhat smaller quantity of sparks when compared to larger tools like the BlastMatch, but still plenty of sparks to light the included Tinder-Quik wicks in a single turn of the wheel. I test-lit two of the included wicks to test their readiness to burn. The first one was under ideal conditions, with everything dry. It lit on the first try and burned for about 3.5 minutes. For the second try, I sprayed the wick with some water so that the outside of it was damp (prior to opening up the wick to expose the dry inside), then dunked the SparkLite in water before trying to use it. This time, it took two quick turns of the wheel, but I still had a fire going in under five seconds. The damp wick actually burned for longer, just shy of 4 minutes.

The previous reviewer is correct that the direction arrows are a bit indistinct, though the lack of sparks is a dead giveaway that you're turning the wheel the wrong way. I liked their suggestion for a lanyard hole, so I just drilled one through the handle without much trouble. It isn't wide enough to support a lanyard hole for paracord or some other thick lanyard material, so if you're concerned about the security of your lanyard (why? this thing weighs just a few grams), you'll want to invest in a split ring or something like that.

The included tinder wicks are extremely effective, though not more-so than homemade vaseline-infused cotton balls. I also lit a few of these using the Spark-Lite and they worked great. Home-brew tinder made in this way will save you a bit of money, but it is bulkier. The Tinder-Quik 10 pack refills are incredibly cheap, so if volume is a concern (like my pocket-sized survival kit I carry when I'm flying), just shell out a couple bucks and pick up a 10-pack. If you've got more room and some time on your hands, break out the petroleum jelly and cottonballs. Search on YouTube for numerous videos showing the correct way to create and use these excellent homemade tinders.

The major selling points of the Spark-Lite are:
- One-handed operation, you can still get a fire going if you have injured a hand
- Works when wet--this is critical for realistic survival scenarios
- Smaller and lighter than any competing product
- Creates plenty of sparks to ignite fuel-infused tinders (like the included Tinder-Quik)

The only downside I can think of is that it is slightly more expensive than most pocket spark generators, but not enough that it matters. A few extra bucks for reliable fire starting capability when your situation goes rapidly downhill will pay itself back instantly.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 21, 2012 3:48 AM PDT

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Fixed Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Price: $599.00
64 used & new from $275.00

342 of 348 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely versatile lens., January 7, 2005
This is the lens I leave on my camera for general purpose use. At non-macro focus distances, it is a very fast lens in a convenient short-telephoto length. The images are sharp out to the corners. This is one of those great Canon lenses that probably deserves an L-series rating but is available without the red stripe and exorbitant cost.

Tested in an astrophotography context (point sources on black backgrounds - excellent for revealing aberration and coma), I have found that this lens is reasonably sharp at f/4 and completely sharp by f/5.6. For daylight terrestrial photography, the tiny aberrations caused by the wide-open f/2.8 aperture are hardy noticeable and by f/4 the images are exquisitely sharp.

There is a lot of glass in this lens - it is heavy. I highly recommend buying the tripod collar as it allows you to attach the camera and lens to a tripod or ballhead with much better balance.

Also, if you plan on using the macro functionality, keep in mind that the effective f-stop of the lens goes way up when you're focusing at very close range. At 15cm from the front surface, it performs as though it were an f/9. You'll either want a lot of light or a very steady subject and a good tripod (another reason to buy the hideously overpriced tripod collar).
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2015 2:49 AM PDT

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras - Fixed
Price: $349.00
100 used & new from $180.00

58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent lens for portraits and wide-field astrophotography, December 8, 2004
I'll start by reiterating what other reviewers have said. This lens is amazingly sharp and one of the fastest focal ratios in the Canon lens lineup. Its metal mount and rugged construction make it well worth the added expense when compared to the f/1.8 version. The effective 80mm focal length on D10, D20, and 300D cameras make it the perfect portraiture lens for people not willing to shell out for an old 50mm f/1.0L ($$$!).

I do a fair amount of astrophotography and this is truly the test of optical quality for a lens. Trying to resolve point sources of light on a black background will truly bring out any aberration and coma that are present. With this in mind, I tested this lens on a star field and looked at stars in the corners of the frame while stepping up the focal ratio from f/1.4 to f/5.6 and found that it is more or less fully sharp by f/2.8. Many lenses I use for astrophotography only get as fast as f/2.8 and I have to step them all the way down to f/5.6 to get rid of the aberration. This lens can operate extremely fast and still be optically wonderful. Most terrestrial photography won't need to worry about this, but you can rest assureed that your photos will be sharp as tacks from f/2.8 on up.

Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM Wide Angle Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Price: $509.00
45 used & new from $349.99

150 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best non-L-series lens for this focal length., November 15, 2004
I love this lens. Excluding Canon's L-series professional lens offerings (which are all considerably more expensive), this is the sharpest lens I have seen from them. I use it primarily for long-exposure night photography to get wide-angle sky shots. The fast optics allow for short enough exposures that I don't need a wedge to avoid star trails.

It's also very compact and light, making it an easy lens to carry around for general use. With my 300D DSLR and its inherent 1.6x crop, the lens has an effective 45mm focal length, which makes it a good general-purpose lens. Its portability combined with its good performance in low light make it the perfect lens for candid indoor photography.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 19, 2010 3:47 AM PDT

Canon EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM Standard Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
8 used & new from $104.95

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A bad lens rendered irrelevant by the faster version., November 15, 2004
There's not much to say that hasn't been covered by the other reviews; this is a bad lens. If it were considerably cheaper it would be attractive for really low-budget amateurs. At the $150 price point, the performance shortcomings do not justify the cost.

I bought this lens because bottom dollar was my #1 priority, and this was a mistake. Canon's faster/stronger/more robust sister lens is (at most) $100 more expensive and the results are vastly superior.

One particularly disturbing aspect of this cheap-feeling plastic lens is the fact that the forward tube, when extended at 105mm, wiggles back and forth noticeably - the mechanical tolerances on this device are horrible. I also found that it is very easy to get dust and dirt into this lens (probably also due to the bad tolerances), so don't try to use it in a dirty environment.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2011 6:46 PM PDT

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
9 used & new from $89.00

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great value for price; some caveats on performance, November 15, 2004
I bought this lens along with a 28-105mm zoom to get a wide coverage of focal lengths for as little money as possible. At the same time, I wanted to maximize my sharpness at 300mm for bird and astronomy photography. If this is your goal, then this is the perfect lens. It is significantly sharper than the 75-300mm lens at 300mm, while still staying under $300. If saving money is your absolute priority, then go with the 75-300mm.

In the end, I have become dissatisfied with the sharpness at 300mm. As stated in other reviews, it really drops off after about 200mm. At full zoom, I am finding the softness intruding on my pictures so I have started using it only as a 100-200mm zoomer. The 1.6x crop on my Canon 300D makes up for this somewhat, but it's still a bit of a letdown.

Another aspect of this lens that I have found aggrivating is the tendancy for the lens to zoom/unzoom itself if mounted vertically. The weight of the forward elements is suffient to actuate the zooming mechanism. Sometimes this happens quickly and noticeably, but I've had long-exosure shots where the lens has slowly zoomed out during the exposure and ruined it (weird effect, but not what I was after). Astrophotography in particular tends to see frequent use of the lens in a vertical position and this lens is really not the right choice if you're going to be aiming up.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 13, 2011 6:00 AM PST

Project Moonbase [VHS]
Project Moonbase [VHS]
Offered by collectionstore
Price: $14.99
4 used & new from $4.00

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fun to watch, but only because it is fantastically bad., February 6, 1999
This review is from: Project Moonbase [VHS] (VHS Tape)
This is quite possibly the worst screenplay ever; loose ends abound. It plays like a dream which jumps from one plot element to the next and never returns. Add to this the ho-hum acting, and you'd expect a really rotten movie. However, it is worth watching at least once for its visual effects which were quite good for the early 1950's. Between the silliness of the script and the interesting space effects, I'd recommend this movie for anyone who ever intentionally watched 'Plan 9 From Outer Space' and enjoyed it.

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