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Author Topic: EPSON 3800 alternative inks?  (Read 12333 times)
leicaman94044
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2009, 11:55:35 AM »
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CMOX,
You might want to have a look at a thread that was posted on the LL Forum back on Nov 7, 2007, by Tyler Boley: http://www.luminouslandscape.com/forum/lof...php/t20648.html  

I think it directly addresses the issue at hand.  See also this page for Epson's statement:  http://itc.epson.com/

Rather than paraphrase what was stated above, I'll quote Jeff Schewe as I personally feel his comment addresses the meat of the issue:

"It's rather ironic that photographers, who benefit from copyright protection seem so willing to blow patents (the other form of intellectual property protected in the US) out of the water when it's not convenient to them...and make no mistake, this has NOTHING to do with undocumented, proprietary file formats for raw...neither Nikon nor Canon have ever claimed patents on their file formats (only the analog to digital systems in their cameras) and neither have ever gone after anybody (that I'm aware of) for reverse engineering nor decoding of those formats...

The matter is far more complicated than Jon Cone has made out...and if he's been using ink carts that violate Epson's patents, I can see why he's leading an attempt at trying to stop this ITC action. I can also see that users who like 3rd party inks might be upset, but if you read further you'll find that Epson main complaint isn't at people such as Cone (although he's been caught in the fight) but at low-end replacement ink suppliers and re-fillers who often sell shoddy and incompatible inks and carts that actually cause damage to the printers they are used in and then get off scott free when users complain to Epson about printer failing..."

Consider that 10 years ago, the state of the art printer was the IRIS printer that sold for over $115,000.  It was a dye based printer that was used by the top print houses in the US, including Nash Editions.  Thanks to significant resources Epson invested in producing a pigment ink replacement that would be affordable to the masses... the Epson printers entered the market.  Had Epson attempted to recover the costs of R&D through the sale of their printers... the prices of these printers would have been out of reach to all but those with the deepest pockets.  Epson chose to make the printers affordable and recoup their R&D costs through ink sales.  And though there is a valid argument w/respect to the cost of ink lost due to cleaning cycles and/or blocked nozzles from using the printers in low humidity environments (or not using the printers at all for extended periods) the cost of making prints not to mention the control afforded by these amazing machines is still cheaper than having a lab print your images.

Epson has paid a bundle to individuals like Henry Wilhelm to test their products and provide estimates as to how long their inks will last under different conditions.  Some of the smaller companies don't have the necessary financial resources to do this... so their estimates are somewhat unsubstantiated, unless of course you do side by side tests to determine which ink is better.  Are you prepared to test third party inks alongside Epson's inks to determine how color gamut and permanence compares?  

Permanence and color gamut matter to me.  I also care about minimizing damage to my print heads as replacing a head is a costly affair.  I like the idea of being able to download profiles from paper makers such as Moab, Crane, Epson and others that will allow optimum output from my Epson 9600 printer (using ultrachrome inks) on the papers made by these companies.  You lose this when you use third party inks, to my knowledge.  These profiles are free when you use Epson inks.  Given that cost is such a concern for you... I doubt that you will be investing in profiling equipment to build your own profiles any time soon.  

Just a few more points to consider in your effort to find answers to your question...

Lawrence


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digitaldog
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2009, 12:04:48 PM »
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Quote from: madmanchan
As an aside, Epson is in the ink (and paper) business, not the printer business. Even they say so. It has always been the case with these inkjets that in the long term one is paying for the consumables -- the ink and the paper -- which end up costing far more than the up-front cost of the printer itself. If you are dissatisfied with paying so much for the inks, I suggest you return the printer.


Yup. I always get a kick out of people who feel that expendable's should be lower in cost and that the printers themselves are too expensive. Going down memory lane, I recall my first digital printer, a USED Kodak XL-7700 cost me $9000 and each 10x10 print was about $3.50 in circa 1993 dollars.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2009, 12:58:19 PM »
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Funny.  I believe this is he only forum I frequent where 2 year old threads can suddenly be brought back to life.  Most forums lock out responses after a few months of inactivity.
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AlbertK
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2009, 01:18:33 PM »
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Quote from: cmox
Well, I am the author of this question.

So, let's keep in mind what the original question is: "So, there are other ink systems for other printers but I havent seen a manufacturer for durable, highest quality inks for the 3800." I looked at mediastreet's site, and found nothing. Are there other options?

Lyson/Marrutt is developing a CIS for the Epson 3800: http://www.marrutt.com/3800-bulk.php
I use a Lyson CIS + Photochrome inks for the Epson R1800 and couldn't be happier.

Regards
Albert

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Outback Shooter
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2009, 12:55:40 AM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Got any hard data to back up that claim?

I have "third party" ink prints hanging in a sunny room and they show little if any fading after seven years.

My Epson 1160 and Epson 880, both running a CIS with MediaStreet inks, have performed perfectly for all of those seven years. I reckon I've saved over two thousand ink dollars.

So far.


Peter - is 'MediaStreet Inks' the vendor you've used that you've been so happy with that has saved you so much $$?  

I print with my Canon IPF5100 large format printer and am about to invest the $900 to replace my inks... And yes, I researched these costs prior to purchasing the printer.  Although I'm prepared to make the purchase, it never hurts to save $$!  I'm happier with my Canon than my previous printer, the Epson 3800. I love the additional sizes that are now open to me, built-in callibration, NO clogged print heads, and Canon's superior tech support and customer service.  Epson clearly has a problem with that model printer and does nothing for the customers who invested in those printers.  I've been down this road 2x with Epson and have vowed it to be my last.

I think it goes without saying that any consumer who's willing to drop 2k in a printer must expect ink to cost quite a bit more than the $75 printer from Walmart!  

Cheers!

Debbie
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Ryan Grayley
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« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2009, 09:21:57 AM »
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Goodness -  this takes me back to about 2001 when I bought a new Epson SP 7000 and used MediaStreet Generations Elite. I chose that inkset because Wilhelm tested it and the fade resistance was very good.

http://mediastreetgroup.com/2001/10/

However my clients noticed the metamerism that was common with this inkset and early pigment printers. So when Epson launched the Epson SP 9600 I immediately upgraded but stuck with the Epson inks. In the following six or so years I never had another metamerism complaint and I also had the peace of mind of the Wilhelm ESP 9600 test results.

I will not use third party inks or unbranded media again for my paying clients and I regard the credibility given by Wilhelm or Blue Wool scale tests as an important part of of my service offering. Unfortunately I am observing a trend here in the UK where potential clients are looking for lower prices but not questioning the credibility of papers and inks used. There are increasing numbers of providers who are using cheap inks and/or  media and this could damage the reputation of the giclee industry. I don't have a problem with someone paying peanuts for a high-street canvas print of a digital snap but customers rarely know that what they are getting is not the same as a canvas print produced to the much higher standards as practiced by many of the users of this forum. There are almost no specific UK regulations that cover this area and I have already come across a horrific story of a giclee operation that operated just like the dodgy motor mechanics, builders, plumbers etc. I would really like to see a specific worldwide trade body that covers the production and sale of fine art prints whether giclee litho, lightjet or whatever technology. Attempts by national bodies like the FATG and manufacturers regional efforts such as Epson UltraGiclee and Epson Digigraphie are not enough in my view. With agreed international standards of production and sale, we can jointly raise and maintain our collective reputations and educate the buying public.

Any comments?

Cheers,

Ryan

Edit 1: Clarified a point or two.
Edit 2: Added Mediastreet link
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 12:35:15 AM by Ionaca » Logged

Ryan Grayley BA IEng MIET ARPS
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« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2009, 02:28:35 PM »
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Quote from: Ionaca
Goodness - this takes me back to about 2001 when I bought a new Epson SP 7000 and used MediaStreet Generations Elite. I chose that inkset because Wilhelm tested it and the fade resistance was very good.

http://mediastreetgroup.com/2001/10/

However my clients noticed the metamerism that was common with this inkset and early pigment printers. So when Epson launched the Epson SP 9600 I immediately upgraded but stuck with the Epson inks. In the following six or so years I never had another metamerism complaint and I also had the peace of mind of the Wilhelm ESP 9600 test results.

I will not use third party inks or unbranded media again for my paying clients and I regard the credibility given by Wilhelm or Blue Wool scale tests as an important part of of my service offering. Unfortunately I am observing a trend here in the UK where potential clients are looking for lower prices but not questioning the credibility of papers and inks used. There are increasing numbers of providers who are using cheap inks and/or media and this could damage the reputation of the giclee industry. I don't have a problem with someone paying peanuts for a high-street canvas print of a digital snap but customers rarely know that what they are getting is not the same as a canvas print produced to the much higher standards as practiced by many of the users of this forum. There are almost no specific UK regulations that cover this area and I have already come across a horrific story of a giclee cowboy that operated just like the dodgy motor mechanics, builders, plumbers etc. I would really like to see a specific worldwide trade body that covers the production and sale of fine art prints whether giclee litho, lightjet or whatever technology. Attempts by national bodies like the FATG and manufacturers regional efforts such as Epson UltraGiclee and Epson Digigraphie are not enough in my view. With agreed international standards of production and sale, we can jointly raise and maintain our collective reputations and educate the buying public.

Any comments?

Cheers,

Ryan

Edit 1: Clarified a point or two.
Edit 2: Added Mediastreet link


Ryan - thanks for your feedback.  I admit that I've never used a generic ink, paper, accessory, etc.; I wonder if a good vendor actually exists, because I've never heard any success stories using generic inks.  I'm curious if anyone will respond with positive feedback.

Sticking with my original plan, I'll drop the $900 for replacement ink.  When I invested in my printer, I set aside the $ knowing what I was facing for replacement inks.

Thanks again for your response...

Cheers!  Debbie
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MHMG
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« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2009, 06:01:09 PM »
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Quote from: Ionaca
I would really like to see a specific worldwide trade body that covers the production and sale of fine art prints whether giclee litho, lightjet or whatever technology. Attempts by national bodies like the FATG and manufacturers regional efforts such as Epson UltraGiclee and Epson Digigraphie are not enough in my view. With agreed international standards of production and sale, we can joinlty raise and maintain our collective reputations and educate the buying public.

Any comments?

Way OT, but I'd like to take you up on your request for comment. The UK Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG) is also being discussed concurrently in another thread ("Hahnemuhle Sugarcane 300 GSM"), and so this whole notion of accreditation, test standards, conformance to standards, and who pays for all this testing is already on my mind. I can think of no other time in the history of art, and printmaking especially, that so much attention is being given to the quality of methods and materials and their subsequent impact on the durability of the work.  Print longevity seems to come up often in photography and printing forum discussions, and I trust that is a sign that many take it seriously.  Photographs in particular have the often unspoken intention and high expectations of purpose to permanently preserve an otherwise fleeting moment in time. I certainly try to encourage artists to seek out stable materials for their work, but to do so they need both general and product-specific information.

To get good print permanence information takes the involvement of many technical experts and the allocation of funding to do the research. It's a patch-work quilt of resources and content providers, and it can definitely use an injection of new thinking and approaches to the problems.  I founded Aardenburg Imaging and Archives in 2007 to add another patch to the quilt.

There are two fundamental issues, IMHO. The first problem is establishing a more robust test methodology and rating system.  The current industry-approved test methods are outdated and can seriously misrank the fading performance of multi-colorant inkjet technologies. However, they are generating highly flattering "years on display" ratings for the most recent product offerings, so the industry doesn't have a big incentive to change to new tests that might lower the scores.  The FATG, to its credit, recognized that for fine art applications something closer to "just noticeable" fading was required at its product pass/fail limit rather than the more common industry-sponsored "easily noticeable fading" endpoints in test.  However, the FATG light fastness test method relies on the Blue wool scale which has its own set of reliability and interpretation issues and at best produces only a single pass/fail result. The big problem with pass/fail standards is that two products, one marginally meeting the standard, and one passing with much performance to spare will be given the same figure of merit.

Problem number two: Paying for tests.  Even if the ISO, for example, could create or adopt a great suite of print permanence tests (it hasn't yet but not for lack of trying), manufacturers could never be expected to apply the tests across all product lines.  Part of this reality is self-serving (don't show the bad stuff), but part of it is the aggregate cost of testing. If print permanence tests were somehow mandated by law, many independent suppliers whose products we like so much would get squeezed unfairly because they would have a significantly greater financial burden of cross-platform testing compared to the OEM printer manufacturers. We must find other ways to share the financial burden of image permanence testing so that a more diverse set of materials can be get tested.

So, how can image permanence testing reach a wider spectrum of products that we would like to see tested?  The best answer I could come up with for a practical broad-based testing initiative and knowledge base for today's digital imaging media was to implement the AaI&A digital print research program.  Admittedly,  AaI&A is the "new kid on the block", and the program is still in its infancy with a long way to go.  But I have high hopes for it going forward.  My hypothesis is that by using a superior open-source testing and evaluation method, giving lightfastness ratings that don't grossly oversimplify the whole "how long will it last" argument as is now the case in this industry, and by enabling participation at relatively low cost entry to all constituencies, we might just find a way to break out of the current rut. The way that the AaI&A program gathers samples from all members should ensure that it won't be constrained to a limited number of product combinations or get "highjacked" by self-serving marketing interests.

I have finished rebuilding the engine and transmission of lightfastness testing. I am eager to expand to other tests well.  But for now, I really need many of my fellow printmakers to help me put the wheels on this bus. The individual subscription fees to the program are no where near enough to cover the true cost of even a single test, but a vibrant and growing membership should allow me to pool resources and achieve a materials and process diversity unmatched by any other print permanence testing program. That  in turn may encourage manufacturers, distributors, and perhaps the museums and archives community as well to get more involved with the AaI&A digital print research program so that even more results can be made available to the general public.  It could work! That's the idea, anyway.

best regards,

Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2009, 01:50:02 PM »
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Quote from: Outback Shooter
Peter - is 'MediaStreet Inks' the vendor you've used that you've been so happy with that has saved you so much $$?

Debbie, the inks I use in my Epson 4800 are from MIS Associates at

www.inksupply.com

Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been offline.  In the Waterpocket Fold in Utah, actually.  

If I were selling prints on a regular basis, I might consider using OEM inks if only for peace of mind for the clients.  For my own use, or for my personal portfolio, I have no concern with either image quality or longevity with third party pigment inks based on nearly a decade using them in several Epson printers.

Someone commented that the "free" profiles available for OEM inks are a good reason to stay with those products.  In contrast, I paid $35 to Cathy's Profiles for my MIS K4 inks on my preferred matte paper and was delighted with the changes in image quality that resulted from this one-time cost.

If you haven't purchased your inks yet, Debbie, I invite further conversation on this topic.  I print 17X22 images for a total cost per page of approximately US$5.00

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Outback Shooter
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« Reply #29 on: April 06, 2009, 09:40:58 AM »
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Quote from: Peter McLennan
Debbie, the inks I use in my Epson 4800 are from MIS Associates at

www.inksupply.com

Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been offline. In the Waterpocket Fold in Utah, actually.  

If I were selling prints on a regular basis, I might consider using OEM inks if only for peace of mind for the clients. For my own use, or for my personal portfolio, I have no concern with either image quality or longevity with third party pigment inks based on nearly a decade using them in several Epson printers.

Someone commented that the "free" profiles available for OEM inks are a good reason to stay with those products. In contrast, I paid $35 to Cathy's Profiles for my MIS K4 inks on my preferred matte paper and was delighted with the changes in image quality that resulted from this one-time cost.

If you haven't purchased your inks yet, Debbie, I invite further conversation on this topic. I print 17X22 images for a total cost per page of approximately US$5.00

Hi Peter - thanks for your input...  

I just recently located the calculators [via Excel spreadsheet] for cost of prints depending on your paper and ink, of course.  I'm excited to try these out, as I've got several shots to print and need to provide a price.

Debbie
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mills
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« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2009, 01:52:23 PM »
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Just for your info.
InkRepublic now is shipping 3800 refillable cartridge system with the latest IRK4-nano inks.
http://www.inkrepublic.com/3800-iRefill.asp

you can follow the instruction here and keep reusing your maintenance cart
http://www.inkrepublic.com/KnowledgeBase/3...irefill-faq.asp

This would bring down the cost to 10 cents each mil liter v.s. epson is selling 80ml at 55 dollars so it's about 70 cents per mil liter plus shipping.
The IRK4-nano inks according to InkRepublic should look as good as the OEM's.
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« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2009, 07:40:30 AM »
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Quote from: Charles Gast
If you want an ink-cheap printer the z3100 is a good one.  It uses virtually no ink maintaining the heads. The epsons all waste large amounts of ink doing just that even when you see no head clogs. When the head does clog and you do  a Power Clean you can watch the huge drop in all ink levels.
The z series also uses considerably less ink in the printing process.

and how much are 12 heads to replace?
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drwillie
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2009, 10:26:41 AM »
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I've been using 3rd party inks for several years with no negative effects in print quality and/or fading.  Specifically, I've used Media Street pigment inks for the Epson 2200 and Epson 4000 and, more recently, Jon Cone's K3 equivalent pigment ink for the Epson 3800.  The savings have been tremendous over the past few years and I've had absolutely no regrets.
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2009, 12:11:47 AM »
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In addition to inkjetrepublic, Jon Cone sell color ink and a CIS for the 3800.  
See http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl?c=362672...arch=3800%20cis

See Mark's AaI fade testing for the best data in that regard:  
http://aardenburg-imaging.com/cgi-bin/mrk/...19kb2NfbGlzdC80

Paul
http://www.PaulRoark.com
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jjlphoto
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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2009, 08:59:23 AM »
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When the 3000 and 1280 were the printers of choice, people had good reason to look for third party inks and delivery systems. Been there, done that. But with the arrival of the Epson K3 inks, no need to do such anymore with one caveat: Printing on matte/art stocks. Dye ink is still richer looking there, but I am not aware of any dye inks from the big three (Epson, HP, Canon) or the third party guys that offer any sort of real permanence.
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Thanks, John Luke

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Paul Roark
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« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2009, 10:23:53 AM »
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Quote from: jjlphoto
When the 3000 and 1280 were the printers of choice, people had good reason to look for third party inks and delivery systems. ... But with the arrival of the Epson K3 inks, no need to do such anymore ...

It is certainly true that, from a B&W perspective, the K3 approach is a vast improvement over other OEM approaches.  As such, the OEMs now have the bulk of the B&W market.  However, if price -- for color or B&W -- or ultimate B&W quality are important factors, there are definitely reasons to use third party inks.

The price issue is obvious, and with http://aardenburg-imaging.com/cgi-bin/mrk/...19kb2NfbGlzdC80 fade testing results you can find third party color inks that are both inexpensive and lightfast.  Even with the 3800, which has been the most difficult printer for the third party vendors to get access to (perhaps until the 7900/9900), there are now options.  The inkjetmall CIS, for example, can be filled with any third party ink.

For B&W, the OEM approaches still use lots of color and too few neutral channels for the best quality.  No question that most casual B&W printers will be fine with the quality they achieve, but purists will not if they take a close look at what they are using for their "B&W" prints.  Just take a quick look at the high resolution scan of a K3 "B&W" print highlight on page 1 of http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/R1800-Lightfastness.pdf.  The color inks are the sources of lots of compromises that I'm not willing to have in my fine art prints.

At least with B&W, the irony is that, in my view, the very best -- a 100% carbon image -- can also be the least expensive.  
See http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Ink-Mixing.pdf

The dedicated B&W field is now much smaller than is was when I designed the UT2 inkset, but it still holds the high ground on several both quality and value fronts.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/
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