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Customer Reviews: 272
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Reviews Written by
Michael Sandman RSS Feed (Brookline, MA United States)

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Protective Neoprene Waterproof Camera Lens DSLR Cases Set- Canon, Nixon, Sony
Protective Neoprene Waterproof Camera Lens DSLR Cases Set- Canon, Nixon, Sony
Offered by Kurtzie - USA
Price: $59.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Functional; useful range of sizes, June 20, 2016
(Note: I received these at no charge in return for promising to write an honest review, which this is.) This set of four lens pouches is made of a soft, resilient neoprene bonded to smooth, close-woven nylon fabric. The interior and exterior are smooth and the neoprene lining provides a moderate amount pf protection for the lens. The smallest case is suitable for a lens adapter or a teleconverter, or possibly for 4/3rds-format pancake lens. The largest one would hold up to a 200 mm telephoto. All four have a drawstring closure and a plastic clip so you can hang the lens from the strap of a backpack, or perhaps from a belt loop on your trousers. It would be better if they had a sticked a belt loop onto the case. The cases don't provide quite as much protection as a cylindrical leatherette case of the sort supplied by some lens manufacturers like Sigma or the aftermarket cases from Lowepro. But the protection is nearly as good, and you can collapse the cases and stuff them into a camera bag. They're certainly as functional as the leather pouch-type cases supplied by Canon with its expensive L lenses.


Geartist CTO2 Car Trunk Cargo Organizer Rear Backseat Storage Container for Vans, Suv, Cars, Trucks, 600D Oxford polyeste with Rope Handles, Collapsable Folding, Kids Toy Organizers (22"/15.7"/10.2")
Geartist CTO2 Car Trunk Cargo Organizer Rear Backseat Storage Container for Vans, Suv, Cars, Trucks, 600D Oxford polyeste with Rope Handles, Collapsable Folding, Kids Toy Organizers (22"/15.7"/10.2")
Offered by J&H island
Price: $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Collapsible trunk storage for grocery bags etc., June 12, 2016
These are very useful for holding large kraft paper grocery bags upright in your trunk or in the back of an SUV, or other stuff you may have floating around. It's sort of a soft-sided milk crate. The whole thing can be collapsed down to about two inches thick (5 cm) when it's not being used. The sides are made from two sheets of nylon fabric with some sort of stiffener sewn in between the sheets. It opens like an accordion. The design provides for two sections, and you can open one or both sections. The price is very reasonable. The car dealer from whom I just purchased a new vehicle offered something similar as an accessory, but made out of plastic, and it costs twice as much on line and three times as much from a dealer. (Note: I received this in return for promising to write a review.)


Rangers Clarity Series ND Filter kit Includes Full ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 Filters + Graduated ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 Filters + 9 Filter Adaptors (49-82mm) + 1 Adaptor Holder + Carrying Case + Lens Cleaning Cloth
Rangers Clarity Series ND Filter kit Includes Full ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 Filters + Graduated ND2 ND4 ND8 ND16 Filters + 9 Filter Adaptors (49-82mm) + 1 Adaptor Holder + Carrying Case + Lens Cleaning Cloth
Offered by Rangers Direct
Price: $22.49
2 used & new from $22.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile; good color rendition; very good value, May 22, 2016
I received this kit in exchange for a promise to write an unbiased review, which this is.

This is a very useful kit -- a set of eight ND2, ND4, ND8, and ND16 filters, each set having 1 graduated and one uniform filter. The filters are the same dimensions as Cokin's rather more expensive ones -- 85 x 95 mm (3-5/16 x 3-3/4 inches). You slide the rectangular filters into a filter holder that will accept up to three stacked filters, so you can use multiple ND filters or add colored filters from Cokin or other producers. You can slide the filters up and down and/or rotate the filter holder when you're using graduated filters to shift the "horizon" of the graduated filer nowhere you want it. There are adapters for the holder that allow you to mount it on lenses that take threaded filters from 49mm through 82mm, which means you can use the kit with the vast majority of lenses sold for both APS-C and full-frame cameras, both DSLR and mirrorless, with the exception off ultra-wide lenses that do not accept screw-in filters Everything comes in a small, neat case with a belt loop.

The versatility of the kit wouldn't be worth much if the filers had a color cast or if they introduced distortion. I checked all four of the uniformly dense filters by taking RAW images of an X-Rite colorchecker Classic and compared the color rendition to the image I got from my lens without a filter. The difference in color cast was undetectable to negligible (Sony Alpha 7Rii with a f/4.0 24-70mm lens set to 50mm, shot at f/5.6.) There was no distortion visible, although the filers are plastic (like Cokin's) rather than glass. One reviewer commented that the filters were darker than the ones he has from other manufacturers. There is definitely some variation between my screw-in glass ND filers from Hoya and these, but this is something you would typically adapt to in the field by adjusting your exposure slightly.

Given the versatility of the kit and the quality of the results, this kit is a very good value.


Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac
Parallels Desktop 11 for Mac
Price: $50.06
13 used & new from $45.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good solution for applications for which you need or prefer Windows, May 14, 2016
This is a very solution for running Windows (Windows 7 in my case) on a Mac. I'm using Parallels to run three applications that either are not available for Mac or that have a Mac version that's inferior - Dragon Naturally Speaking; Cloudberry Lab's backup for the AWS Glacier service; and an old CADD program, VCADD 5.

While OS X does have a speech recognition capability, Dragon's Windows version is far better and reviews indicate that it's better than Dragon's Mac version. The Windows version runs well under Parallels. Cloudberry's Mac version does not support AWS's Glacier, so I'm running that in Windows as well. The CADD application is have is the only one that isn't smooth. The cursor jumps around crazily unless the mouse is moved very slowly, which is a pain. I may try a different (non-aApple) mouse.

A note about memory requirements: I have 16 GB of memory in my Mac, and I think you'd be wise to have at least 8 so you you can increase the default memory allocated to Windows from 1 GB to 2 GB and still have memory to run high-demand OS X applications like Photoshop. The way to change that allocation is not at all obvious, and the instructions on the Parallels support website are confusing. However, the support info on the other topics I've looked at is clear.


Pogi's Pet Stain Detector - 3W High Power LED UV Blacklight for Illuminating Pet Urine & Organic Stains - Powerful, Portable, Batteries Included
Pogi's Pet Stain Detector - 3W High Power LED UV Blacklight for Illuminating Pet Urine & Organic Stains - Powerful, Portable, Batteries Included
Offered by Pogi's Pet Supplies
Price: $19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlights pet stains effectively, April 4, 2016
I received this at no cost in return for writing a review, and I'm glad I have it. We have a small dog who had a medical problem that resulted is his having "accidents". His aim was good - he always found a rug, and we were pretty sure we'd missed some of his spots. This little flashlight showed the spots, which appear as olive green areas when you turn the flashlight on in a dark room. It's very effective and very simple to use, and the soiled areas stand out from the unsoiled areas. There's a description of the flashlight on the back of the metal case it comes in, but it would be helpful if the distributor put a small leaflet in the box describing how to insert the batteries and how to use the flashlight. TO get the best use of the light, be sure to turn the lights off in the room.


Wolverine Men's Leather Belt , Brown , 36
Wolverine Men's Leather Belt , Brown , 36
Offered by Bells & Whistles
Price: $11.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice belt, April 1, 2016
This review is from: Wolverine Men's 38mm Leather Belt
Nicely made casual belt, a bit less than 1-1/2 inches wide. It fits a pair of jeans perfectly and appears to be rugged. The size is true. I received this in return for writing an honest review, and this is exactly that.


Urbuds Bluetooth Headphones V4.1 Wireless Stereo Sports Earphone with Bulit-in Mic APTX for iPhone and Andiord Smart Phones
Urbuds Bluetooth Headphones V4.1 Wireless Stereo Sports Earphone with Bulit-in Mic APTX for iPhone and Andiord Smart Phones
Offered by e-feel
Price: $39.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and secure; some static possible depending on nearby radio interference, March 14, 2016
This is a surprisingly comfortable set of headphones that stayed in my ears securely and comfortably during a 45-minute test walk/jog. Music sounded good and the headphones switched to the telephone function of my iPhone seamlessly when a call came in. The pickup for the phone mic worked perfectly. But with the iPhone in my pants pocket, the music was interrupted by static from time to time. I played the same tracks over a different headset just to be sure it wasn't the recording, and the tracks played without any static. So I think the Bluetooth antenna may need to be improved further, at least for medium-density urban environments with a lot of radio interference. The headset worked well in every respect except for the static, and I wish I could have given it a better rating. I received these for free in return for a promise to post a review.


CSX Walking 3D Pedometer Activity Fitness Tracker, White
CSX Walking 3D Pedometer Activity Fitness Tracker, White
Offered by aspiredesire
Price: $24.99
2 used & new from $15.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Small, accurate and unobtrusive pedometer; data display helps motivate you to walk, February 23, 2016
I received this pedometer in exchange for a promise to post an honest review, which this is.

The CSX pedometer is functional, unobtrusive, and accurate. I found it to be accurate over both relatively short distances and walks a couple of miles long.You can set the target number of steps you'd like to walk each day, the length of your average stride in inches or centimeters, and set your weight in pounds or kilos so that the pedometer can calculate calories accurately. It has a seven-day memory that allows you to look back at a week's worth of activity and a cumulative memory of how many strides and miles/km you've walked from the last system reset. (Note that if you reset it, the cumulative data is lost and you have to re-enter all the custom info.) Having a daily target and both daily and cumulative totals motivates me to walk, and that may be true of you as well.

You can look at a day's walking in terms of number of steps, calories and distance. It doesn't begin adding to the total number of steps until the first ten steps in a series, so if you just move around once in a while in your La-Z-Boy recliner while watching reruns on TV, no steps will be accumulated.

The pedometer comes with instructions in English and German. I can't vouch for the German instructions, but the ones in English are grammatically correct and clear. There are also a YouTube video posted on line for step by step instructions - in English and German. Be sure to use the Mode button to put the device into Step mode before you try to set it up the first time, which is when you select US/Imperial vs. metric and enter your daily target, the length of our stride and your weight. The one thing to double-check before you try to set up the device is that it's in Step mode. You get there by pressing the Mode button until the display shows Step at the top. The LCD screen is small, because the device is small and stays out of the way, so you may have to look twice to be sure you're in the correct mode. It comes with a short strap or lanyard and a belt clip. I use the belt clip, which feel very secure. The only design complaint I have is that it's easy to push either the Mode or Memory button while you're opening the clip to put in on your belt. After a couple of days I learned how to grasp the pedometer's sides so that I didn't hit any buttons when I was attaching it to my belt. It weights almost nothing -- 1.35 oz. or 38 grams on a kitchen scale.


Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM ART Lens for Canon EF
Sigma 20mm F1.4 DG HSM ART Lens for Canon EF
Price: $899.00
16 used & new from $899.00

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for night/astrophotography; heavy and large, February 7, 2016
I rented this lens for a week-long trip to the desert in Southern California and used it for both landscape and astrophotography. I rented the Canon mount version for my Sony alpha 7RII body and Metabones IV adapter, and it autofocused in decent light quickly and accurately. The lens is big, heavy, and highly capable. Whether its capability offsets the weight, size and one unfortunate design decision depends on what kind of photography you do.

The negatives: The lens weighs about 2 pounds/950 grams, a lot more than my camera. It’s 3.6”/91mm in diameter and 5.1”/130mm long. The front element bulges out and makes it impossible to attach screw-in filters. Sigma designed it with a permanent lens shade that makes it impractical to attach an adapter for Lee or Cokin filters. The lens shade protects that bulbous front element, but if the shade is damaged, the entire lens would have to be sent for repair. It would be better if the user could detach the lens shade and replace it with a new one, and it would be even better if the design allowed the use of an adapter for ND filters.

The lens has significant curvature of field when you focus on close objects, although in use that wasn’t a problem.

The positives: Image quality is very high. The lens is beautifully built, with a large, smooth focus ring. The f/1.4 aperture allowed me to use focus peaking on the stars, which solved a problem that’s common in astrophotography – you can’t rely on the infinity setting of a lens to accurate focus on the stars. And weight and size are a non-issue if you frequently use a tripod. The wide aperture is also very helpful in shooting architectural interiors. The lens has a 104 degree field of view, about 10 degrees wider than a 24mm lens.

If you really need that extra width, this lens may be perfect. The obvious alternatives (at least for Sony alpha bodies) include the very good Sigma 24mm f/1.4, which weighs only 2/3rds as much and which will accept 77mm screw-in filters, but only has a 94 degree field of view. For the widest field of view, consider either the much less expensive, much lighter and more cheaply made manual Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 lens or the much more expensive, lighter and much smaller Zeiss 21mm Loxia, which is manual focus & aperture, but has almost the same field of view (and is available with an FE mount).

The lens comes with a rear lens cap and a deep cylindrical front lens cap made of plastic that slips over the lens shade. You can buy a metal front cap, but the plastic one seems perfectly adequate.


EzyShade Car Windshield Sunshade + FREE Bonus Gift. Universal Fit, Hassle-Free Car Sun Shade Keeps Your Vehicle Cool. High Quality Heat and Sun Reflector. 1 Year Risk-Free 100% Money Back Guarantee
EzyShade Car Windshield Sunshade + FREE Bonus Gift. Universal Fit, Hassle-Free Car Sun Shade Keeps Your Vehicle Cool. High Quality Heat and Sun Reflector. 1 Year Risk-Free 100% Money Back Guarantee

5.0 out of 5 stars Good design; convenient pouch, January 27, 2016
I live in Boston, where we need sun rather than sunshade in January. But it does get hot enough here to make a shade useful in the summer, so I was interested in receiving this for free in return for an review. Its design in 2 sections makes it easy to manage -- you don't have to struggle to get it behind the steering wheel. And the quality appears to be quite good, and it comes in a handy pouch for easy storage. It fits both our Subaru Outback and M-B C300 very well, and I expect that it would fit just about any car or light truck without a problem. Nice product; looking forward to using it when the sun starts generating summer heat.


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