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About Luke_Miller

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  • Birthday 13/04/1941

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  • Real Name
    Luke H Miller
  • Gender
  • Location
    Rural Virginia
  • Interests
    Photography, videography, shooting, golf
  • Edit my pics?
    Ask Me
  • Fav. Camera
    Nikon D810
  • Fav. Lens
    Nikon AF-S 105mm f1.4
  • Fav. Editor
    Capture One
  1. Luke_Miller

    Cloud photo storage

    I use a Startech HD Dock to backup to bare hard drives. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1263502-REG/startech_sta_sdocku33ef_external_docking_station_for.html then store the drives in a protective case https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1067729-REG/cru_dataport_3851_0000_11_drivebox_anti_static_case_for.html This allows me to store the drives offsite as well as provides a use for the drives I've replaced in order to gain additional storage. A fringe benefit is the dock also hosts 2.5" SSD drives so I can clone a rotating drive when replacing it with a SSD.
  2. Luke_Miller

    The Mirrorless Nikon D850

    When in Silent or Video mode I find the Zacuto Z-Finder to be very useful. It is a 3X loupe that attaches to the tripod mount and fits tightly over the LCD. That allows me to shoot with my eye pressed against the Z-Finder eyepiece. So improved focusing ability and no worries about sunlight washing out the LCD.
  3. I don't see the 24-120 as a replacement for the 24-70. I use both, but for different purposes. The 24-120 is the single lens solution for my D700 I have been waiting for. It will allow me to retire my D300 & 16-85 combination as my primary travel camera. No, the 24-120 is not up to 24-70 standards, but it is not bad. If I recall correctly the Photozone tests of each showed the 24 - 120 was actually sharper wide open (f4) at 24mm than the 24-70 was wide open (f2.8) at 24mm. So it is no slouch. In my use the positives outweigh the negatives. Your mileage may vary. However for more demanding work the D3 & 24-70 (as well as the 14-24 & 70-200) are what I use, but I am no longer interested in hauling them around on travel.
  4. Luke_Miller

    White lightning x1600's ???

    I have two of the White Lightning X-800s and they have been bullet proof. Previously I shot with SBs in my small studio, but I much prefer the faster recycle times of the WL units. If I recall correctly the X-1600 allows you to switch out one capacitor and go to a 400 watt second setting. That can be very useful on occassion.
  5. Luke_Miller

    AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D

    I had to do the same on my D3, D700, and D300. The 50 f1.4 AF (mine is a non-D version) and my 85 f1.4 AF-D are the only models of the many AF lenses I own that require AF fine tuning. I did not have focus issues when using the lens on my F4, D1 series, or D2 series bodies. I am always shooting it wide open or nearly so and am very happy with its performance.
  6. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    Well said, Lew.
  7. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    Since we are now down to applying labels to people I'll share this. I had an enlightening experience early in my career when I was making a proposal to a room full of decision makers. It was a complex issue and received a lot of criticism and no visible support. Those who voiced criticism offered no alternatives, they just found fault with what I was proposing. The lesson I learned there has been reinforced over the rest of my life. That lesson is: There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who do and those who criticize. The doers are always in short supply, but there is never any shortage of criticizers.
  8. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    From Thom's write up it sounds like one of his biggest frustrations was that tourists continued to arrive in the region because there was little in the news about what was taking place and his efforts to get the story reported were unsuccessful. I believe Thom has conducted his Patagonia workshop in previous years so the area and history were familiar to him. Apparently the first word that something was about to happen came out two days before the scheduled departure from Patagonia. I'm struggling to understand what Thom (or any of us in the same situation) could have done differently.
  9. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    I was in Paris and Normandy this past September. Fortunately the time I was there was relatively free from the protests and strikes. Had I been inconvenienced by such I would not have been happy, but neither would I have felt unfairly treated. Like the rain, these actions affect all in the area. In the case of the protests in the Patagonia region of Chile it seems only the tourists were affected. In other words, the local residents were not barricaded up by roadblocks, only outsiders. This is a far cry from what has been happening in Europe. While the protests there may be targeted towards facilities like train stations and airports to achieve maximum effect - I am not aware of any efforts to give locals a pass and only inconvenience out-of-towners. I think it is the targeting of the Chilean tourists that makes me uncomfortable. We have come a long way in the US in moving beyond old behaviors of treating people differently based on race, sex, religion, or ethnic origins. To see this happen so blatantly in Chile is unfortunate. How many times in the history of mankind have terrible deeds been rationalized on the basis of "they are different from us"? However I think I am more disturbed by those who defend this behavior or, worse, want to blame the tourists. I have actually been to Chile and harbor no ill will towards the Chilean people in general. Those who barricaded up their guests in the Patagonia Region are not typical of the hospitable Chileans I met. They don't deserve our support, but our condemnation.
  10. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    Ron I was not my intent to rattle your cage, just to point out that "hostage" could reasonably be used in the situation under discussion. Of course that only applies to those who understand that there is more than one correct usage of the word. I don't really care what label is used. Perhaps "pawns" would be acceptable. As someone who travels extensively at my own expense I've certainly experienced inconvenience and additional cost due to delays caused by factors beyond my control. Bad weather, mechanical problems, flooding, etc. have all affected my ability to go where I wished when I wished. It's just part of travel. What I have not experienced is someone deliberately limiting my freedom of movement for their own purposes. Had I been part of Thom Hogan's group the delay would be yet another example of circumstance beyond my control. But I was not, and now it is within my control as to whether I subject myself to that circumstance in the future, at least as far as travel to Chile is concerned. So I am glad Thom publicized what happened. Folks can call him a whiner, or say he is "stuffing" (whatever that means), engaging in hyperbole, or whatever. But now we know what happened and can decide for ourselves if we want to be used in the same way. I, for one, do not intend to be.
  11. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    From the Merriam-Webster dictionary second definition of hostage: one that is involuntarily controlled by an outside influence While we normally tend to think of the first definition of hostage (someone taken by force to ensure the taker's demands) this definition certainly applys IMO.
  12. Luke_Miller

    Thom Hogan & Photo-tourism in Chile: READ This !!

    I agree completely, Mike. Since the residents of the region decided that their end justifies this means, I wonder if they would have been willing to "up the ante" had their government not been willing to agree to a deal. Fortunately this was a non-violent protest, but who is willing to guarantee that violence would not have been done had the situation not been quickly resolved? Even though the organizers of the protest may have intended that no violence occur no matter what the outcome, there are always those few that become frustrated and take action that may not be sanctioned by the group as a whole.
  13. Luke_Miller

    Photozone tests 24-120 f/4 VR on D3X...

    I hope you will forgive a mundane initial test shot. This is one of my first shots (I received the lens last Friday). It was taken in my livingroom. EXIF is intact, but details are D700, 24-120 f4 VR @40mm, 1/30, f4, ISO 250. Focus point was pottery on table in the center. I placed a photograph in the lower left of the frame to see how soft the corners got. Link to full resolution file: www.peppermill-multimedia.com/photos/24-120-Test-1.jpg Processed in Lightroom with my normal settings. You can see the perspective distortion from having the lens tilted down from horizontal. It corrects using the lens correction tools in Lightroom, but I did not apply any corrections in this version. Here is one shot at 24mm. All other data is the same as the previous image. www.peppermill-multimedia.com/photos/24-120-Test-2.jpg You can see the vignetting reported in the reviews. It cleans up nicely using the Lightroom Lens Correction tools. Here is a third shot at 120mm. According to Photozone this should be a worst case for this lens. D700, 24-120 f4 VR @120mm, f4, 1/30, ISO 720. Focus point was on the pottery on the table and not the painting. Gen. Chamberlin is just starting to soften due to being behind the plane of focus. www.peppermill-multimedia.com/photos/24-120-Test-3.jpg
  14. Luke_Miller

    Photozone tests 24-120 f/4 VR on D3X...

    I read the Photozone test after I'd ordered the 24-120, so I was a bit concerned about my decision to buy it. I need not have worried. I am very pleased with its performance on my D700. When I am working I use my D3 and 14-24, 24-70, 70-200 lenses. Those lenses seem to balance and handle better (in my hands) on the D3. With the D700 I wanted smaller and lighter. I had been using my old 20-35 and 35-70 with good results, but I hated the need to change lenses so often. I was looking for a broader focal range lens like the 16-85 DX is on my D300. The 24-120 fills that bill nicely. I don't have a D3X, so perhaps the 24-120 does not perform as well on that body, but on the D700 it is a good performer - even at f4. Unfortunately I don't have access to a masonry wall in order to conduct lens tests, but in real-world shooting I've found nothing in its performance to criticise. Will I now sell my 24-70 f2.8? Absolutely not, it will continue in its role on my D3. Is the 24-70 sharper @f4 than the 24-120 @f4? I would hope so, otherwise I will send the 24-70 in for service. The 24-120 is what it is - a lens that is competent, general purpose, smaller, and more affordable compared to the f2.8 offerings. A few thoughts regarding aperture choices. As a long time film shooter I learned that in low light I needed to use the widest aperture on the fastest glass I could afford. I continued with that approach as I moved to digital with the D1, and then with the D2 series that followed. With the D3 (and D700) series I find that their high ISO performance allows me to shoot in low light pretty much as I would in more normal light levels. By that I mean that I am no longer restricted to a shallow depth of field due to the use of wide apertures. Now I can pick an aperture appropriate to the image I am trying to create rather than one to minimize high ISO noise. So I find myself at f5.6 and f8 a lot. Not because my lens won't perform at wider apertures, but because I am now free to shoot at these settings.
  15. The American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Marble for the headstones and every tree, shrub, and flower were brought here from the United States.

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