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Customer Reviews: 27
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Matthew Durr "Amazon Connoisseur" RSS Feed (Kentucky)
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Hanes Men's 3 Pack Ultimate X-Temp Lightweight Performance Long Leg Boxer Brief, Assorted, Medium
Hanes Men's 3 Pack Ultimate X-Temp Lightweight Performance Long Leg Boxer Brief, Assorted, Medium
Offered by NY Lingerie
Price: $15.34
14 used & new from $13.56

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Underwear, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After years of trying different kinds of underwear from multiple brands and price levels, I finally found one that not only fits perfect, but is amazingly soft and durable.

I wear these with everything, as they are great at wicking away moisture, and act as good semi-compression shorts for use in the gym.


Pearl Izumi Men's Thermal Skull Cap, Black, One
Pearl Izumi Men's Thermal Skull Cap, Black, One
Offered by It''s All About The Sport
Price: $12.00
18 used & new from $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not very warm, and too small for a 7 3/4 head, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wore this first time out on a short 10-minute ride at 40-degrees and my head and ears were chilled before I was even halfway done. The thermal fabric may make for a good base layer for something else, but I only start wearing a skullcap if it's below 45 degrees.

I immediately returned this and got the Barrier variant of the same skull cap. Much better buy, see my review on that product page.

Last note, fits very tight on a 7 3/4 size head, even with short hair.


Pearl iZUMi Barrier Cycling Balaclava,Black,One
Pearl iZUMi Barrier Cycling Balaclava,Black,One
Price: $19.46
17 used & new from $14.73

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Balaclava--NEEDS AIR HOLES, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This balaclava has the potential to be almost perfect, but as another reviewer mentioned, there are no air-holes for breathing if the balaclava is worn normally. For daily commuting/non-exerting cycling, this isn't a big deal, but for trail routes and sprints, you have to pull the balaclava down under your chin to avoid the risk of under-ventilating.

That's the only downside of the barrier fabric Pearl Izumi uses here. It's great for keep cold air out, but also makes it hard to breathe through.

Otherwise, it fits a bit better than the Barrier and Thermal skullcaps that are too tight on my 7 3/4 noggin, and it truly is warm all around. I wore it on a trail ride for 16 miles in 34-degree cold, at night. When I got back to my car, my head was still the perfect temperature, not sweaty, but nice and toasty including the ears.


Pearl Izumi Men's Barrier Skull Cap, Black, One
Pearl Izumi Men's Barrier Skull Cap, Black, One
Offered by Ultimate Sports And Nutrition
Price: $22.99
19 used & new from $20.99

4.0 out of 5 stars One Size Does Not Fit All, January 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this cap after returning the Thermal variant of Pearl Izumi's skullcap, as the Thermal cap was not warm enough for even short 10-minute rides at 40-degrees.

This cap is a tad warmer and easily keeps my noggin warm for my shorter rides even to freezing temperatures.

The fit is the same as the Thermal cap, and unfortunately my 7 3/4 size head, even with very short hair, is too big for this to be a completely comfortable fit. Though it is beginning to stretch out a bit with use (have ridden with the cap for about 40 rides now), it is still a bit too tight on the forehead, which sometimes causes headaches. In addition, the ear flaps *just* cover my ears. If I crinkle my forehead or something else shifts, one of my ears starts getting exposed to the elements.

Otherwise, I plan on keeping it as it is very lightweight, yet blocks a lot of the cold air even around the ears. If you have a big head like me, or have hair longer than a couple inches, give the skullcap a good couple rides to see if you can tolerate the tightness.


Fotodiox Pro 16-rib, 60" Black and White Reflective Parabolic Umbrella
Fotodiox Pro 16-rib, 60" Black and White Reflective Parabolic Umbrella
Offered by fotodiox Inc.
Price: $59.95
2 used & new from $38.23

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Balance of Performance and Price, August 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After one of my cheapo ($25) 60-inch umbrellas snapped in the wind as part of a dual-strobe setup, I decided to go with the more expensive Fotodiox umbrella due to 1. The thicker black backing 2. The parabolic shape to help control the spread of light and 3. The seemingly hardier construction.

Compared to my remaining cheap umbrella, the Fotodiox umbrellas have significantly less spill into the rest of the room, and they reflect 2.5x the amount of light, as measured with some test shots on a static subject.

I have had good luck with Fotodiox products before, and this umbrella adds to that list. The included carrying bag for each umbrella is a nice touch as well. So far both have held up great even in moderate winds (~10mph).

My most recent shoot using these umbrellas had two positioned with six gelled speedlights firing into them all at full power to overpower a backlighting sun for a large group portrait. If it wasn't for the high reflectance (i.e. if I still had the cheapo umbrellas), I would have been completely unable to provide adequate fill light given my shooting parameters.


Cygolite Expilion 800 USB Bicycle Headlight
Cygolite Expilion 800 USB Bicycle Headlight
Offered by Bicycle Outfitters Indy
Price: Click here to see our price
8 used & new from $76.80

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped Save a Life--An Indispensable Accessory, August 19, 2014
First, let me get a few trivial matters out of the way:
1. This light is very bright, and helps light the road even when streetlights/other cars' headlights are bearing down. 800 lumens in the boost setting is almost stupid-bright for a headlight this size, as motorists, other bikers, and pedestrians will often stop in their tracks just to see what it is coming their way. The SteadyPulse mode is another equally effective "see and be seen" mode that works best at near-dusk when it isn't quite dark, but it is still hard to be seen.

2. The battery life is great for a light this size. 1.5 hours on boost is more than enough for a good 20 mile ride. The removable and swappable batteries are what make this light such a great deal.

3. Build quality is top notch, and the mounting bracket (once the rubber settles in after multiple days of tightening) is very secure to mount/dismount the light whenever you are on/off the bike. The USB cover does sometimes give me a bit of trouble in securely fastening like other reviewers have mentioned, but it really is nothing even worth complaining about.

Now, there are the special modes. If you somehow find yourself on a deserted island, the S.O.S. mode will surely come in handy. The flashlight mode also turns the headlight into a very efficient and dim light to carry around for camping. It is the day flash mode (in lieu of a true strobe mode) that gives this review its title.

To make a long story shorter, a friend and I were biking at night on a paved trail side-by-side. I had this headlight and we were both wearing helmets. My friend took her hands off of the handlebars for an instant, and the front wheel turned and flipped her over the handlebars, headfirst into the pavement at 10-15 mph. Even with the helmet, she still suffered a serious skull fracture, deep cuts that required stitches, and large scrapes on the elbows and knees.

After calling an ambulance and giving them shoddy directions since the trail was hard to relate to the surrounding roads, I told them to look for a bright flash. After I helped stabilize my friend, I set the Expilion 800 on day flash mode and let it fire away pointing to the nearest road. After the ambulance arrived, they mentioned their thanks to see the flashing, as they almost made a wrong turn to look for us in the wrong direction, which would have meant many more crucial minutes of my friend not getting medical help.

Granted, this mode should normally be reserved for increased daytime visibility, but in emergency situations, the day flash floods a dark area with long pulses of light that is easily visible from over half a mile away.

I never leave home without this light if my biking and commuting runs anywhere near dusk, in the one month I have had it, it has proven itself as a versatile and essential accessory that I hope more bicyclists purchase and use whenever it is needed.


Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 Touit Series for Sony E-mount NEX Cameras
Zeiss 32mm f/1.8 Touit Series for Sony E-mount NEX Cameras
Offered by UTM Inc
Price: $613.00
25 used & new from $495.00

63 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High Price, High Performance, July 2, 2013
I've written an extensive review of this lens on my website, complete with photographic and video examples. I'll share some of the finer points of this lens here, but for the full review, just google this lens and matthew durr photography.

So, making this review quick and concise: what does this lens do well on a NEX-7?
-Extremely high cross-frame sharpness
-Negligible chromatic aberrations, both in- and out-of-focus
-Stellar build quality
-Smooth bokeh up close
-Superb rubberized focus ring (it's fly-by-wire focusing though)

What holds the Touit 32mm back
-Bokeh gets a little busy as focus distance increases
-Multiple flare reflections
-Noticeable barrel distortion for a prime lens
-Expensive at $900

This lens can be a tough one to recommend to just anyone with a NEX (or Fuji camera, for that matter) considering its price. Compared to its most obvious competition, the Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS at half the price, the Zeiss doesn't present a very high value. In some ways, like distortion and bokeh, the Sony actually performs better. In terms of pure photographic potential, the Zeiss is superior. But for anyone who wants to go handheld at night, or record handheld video often, the optical stabilization in the Sony makes it a marginally better lens. Both the Sony 35mm and Zeiss 32mm are great lenses, with different attributes to each.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2015 8:08 PM PDT


Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens
Sony SEL35F18 35mm f/1.8 Prime Fixed Lens
Price: $398.00
29 used & new from $339.93

172 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "nifty fifty" many NEX users have been waiting for, January 21, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
EDIT #2: I have gotten ahold of and thoroughly tested the new Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8, with a review both here on Amazon and my website. Though the below review still stands, the Zeiss is overall an optically better lens. For handheld low-light and video applications, the Sony inches ahead.

EDIT: As of February 4th, Sony has officially announced the release of a firmware update to the NEX-5r/6 to allow this lens (and many others) to function with the on-sensor PDAF. There is now even less to complain about on this lens' performance. END EDIT

Original Review:

I've already written a rather extensive review of this fine lens on my website (look up Matthew Durr Photography if you want to read more detailed information), but let me distill down the lens' major high points and bottom low points:

The Good:
-Even on the NEX-7, the 35mm f/1.8 provides good to great sharpness at most apertures
-The OSS gives about 3-4 stops of shutter speed advantage, depending on how steady your hands are
-Out-of-focus areas are generally pleasing for a lens of this type, save for some busyness with complex backgrounds (tree branches, for example)
-Extremely compact, focuses quick, and is a good value for the money

The Bad:
-Even being a good value (the OSS is accounting for a majority of the lens' cost), $450 for a 52.5mm f/2.8 equivalent Field-of-View lens (on a full-frame 35mm sensor) is pretty high
-Longitudinal chromatic aberrations at the wider apertures, mainly in the backgrounds, can be distracting (but can mostly be edited out)

Okay, so why did I give it five stars with the above listed cons? It's simple. In nearly every shooting situation that calls for the 50mm field-of-view, this 35mm f/1.8 delivers. Low-light? OSS. Subject separation? f/1.8 Sharp landscapes? Shoot at f/5.6. Traveling? It's a compact kit!

Ignore the naysayers griping about how it's not compatible with the NEX5r/6's PDAF yet, or that it's "just as good" as the kit lens at 35mm. For one, Sony will surely come out with an update eventually to allow the PDAF to function (though it isn't needed for anything besides moving subjects). Secondly, this lens lets in over five times as much light wide-open than the kit lens does at 35mm. This means that, all other image parameters made equal, a shot taken at 1/10 with the kit lens can be accomplished at 1/50 with this lens. Or, given the same shutter speed in a low-light scenario, the 35mm f/1.8 can shoot at ISO 400 while the kit lens' camera has to go up to over ISO 1600.

Bottom line? The 35mm f/1.8 is a great lens that provides excellent image quality at the "normal" field-of-view that so many NEX photographers have been waiting for since the camera line's inception.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2016 2:24 PM PST


NEEWER® Wireless Shutter Release IR Remote Control for Sony Alpha A230, A330, A450, A500, A550, A700, A900 Digital Cameras
NEEWER® Wireless Shutter Release IR Remote Control for Sony Alpha A230, A330, A450, A500, A550, A700, A900 Digital Cameras

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap and it works great!, July 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Can't expect much from a $4 electronic. Great to be surprised the only two functions it controls work perfectly. Range is a comfortable 15 feet (reliably, anyway). The little plastic tab can be re-inserted into the battery compartment to further extend the battery life.

Can't complain about anything!


Bower CS52 Snap Lens Cap for A 52MM Lens
Bower CS52 Snap Lens Cap for A 52MM Lens
Offered by Super Deal
Price: $0.92
6 used & new from $0.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Value, July 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Keeping it short, this cap allows you to always keep your lens hood mounted, since you can pinch from the center and put it on, rather than squeeze from the sides as the old Nikon caps.

Have already bought three of various sizes. No complaints on any of them!


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