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Author Topic: Older backs vs new DSLRs  (Read 14367 times)
FredBGG
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2012, 03:42:28 PM »
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- Flash sync speed with standard strobes rather than dinky flashes (up to 1/1600th, some back/lens combos)


This needs some clarification....

First MFD has very poor support for portable flash and auto flash exposure.

Regarding high speed sync for overpowering the sun it can be done with studio strobes on location with the D800 and 5D mark III using Pocket Wizards HyperSync.
I get great performance with my 6,000W/S Elinchrom pack synching as high as 1/4000th. There is a fair bit of power loss, but with one or more big packs there is plenty of power to spare.

Large packs are not expensive used. I picked up a couple of extra Elinchrom 6,000 packs for $300 a piece.

Added advantage is that by investing in lighting rather than MFD I have more lighting options for other things.... like 8x10 film.

Another thing to consider too is that the very fast mechanical shutters of the leaf shutter phase one lenses have reliability issues, limit the optical design of the lenses and come with a rather
unpleasant 5 blade pentagon shaped iris resulting in not so nice bokeh.

See this post regarding reliability issues:
http://forum.phaseone.com/En/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=11964
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FredBGG
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« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2012, 03:51:57 PM »
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- larger bodies (for some this will be a big negative, but for others their hands are simply too large to comfortably use a camera like the 5D3, even with the optional vertical grip)

6'4" size 14 feet and large hands here. No problem holding any cameras.

To increase the grip size of the d800 or 5D mark III there are various kits for added protection.
They add grip and a bit of size with little added weight.

Like this from Delkin:

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ThomasCampbell
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2012, 07:50:30 PM »
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I already shoot with my AFD, so not worried about the size.

I own 9 different Elinchrom lights, but am unaware of any 6,000w/s light. But I am cool with a handful of 1,100w/s lights. I don't really care about auto exposure with flash because I shoot everything manually.

The leaf shutter is something I am interested in down the road, but I am not dropping thousands on a new back and new lens on top of what I already have. I have a 35, 55, 80AF, 80 1.9, 210 and 300mm lens. When I can afford an IQ back, I am sure I will be getting the leaf shutter lenses as well. But for now, no dice.

I was looking hardest at the Leaf 75. But don't want to spend thousands on something that won't give me an appreciably better image from in the same circumstance as what I already have. I currently shoot portrait sessions with my 85LII and 135L on my 5D3. If I would get better quality from a Aptus 75 and 80 1.9 or 210, then I am happy to make the switch. I wouldn't doubt that I would shoot a good bit in the 200-400 ISO range. I would also probably shoot at 25ISO if I got a back that goes down that far for my on location strobed shots.

I also like the slower shoot speed, because I know from shooting film that it would help me slow down and process what I am doing instead of just flipping the 'green box' switch in my mind and going to town. I like how deliberate I shoot in MF, which is why I would like to get a back for my camera.


Thank you all for your comments and help.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2012, 12:52:40 AM »
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I already shoot with my AFD, so not worried about the size.

I own 9 different Elinchrom lights, but am unaware of any 6,000w/s light.

Elinchrom 6K twin tube flash head:



They were made in two versions. The one in the photo is the better overlapping tube version.

They can be used with two 3K packs or one 6k pack

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FredBGG
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2012, 01:00:58 AM »
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I have a 35, 55, 80AF, 80 1.9, 210 and 300mm lens.

I had the 55mm, the 80mm AF, 80 1.9 and 210.

The 55 and 210 were very nice. Did not like the 80 AF or the 80 1.9.

This was shot with the 210:



it's a crop of about 50% of the frame from a P25+

the 210mm is a great lens, but the Canon 135 f2 is superior IMO.
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Pingang
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« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2012, 12:22:39 PM »
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But this is somewhat true!  Back in the days when I use Leica M6, I shot much slower than say with a Nikon F4s or later with a F5, or my beloved RTXIII, and we are talking about very much the same film.  Yes there is motordrive for M but it is an awkward motordrive because the shutter release constant goes up and down with the winder that I found it really annoying, so then I have to adapt to a slower pace.  With F4s or F5, of course, you can rapid shoot beause of the autofocus, and of coruse the auto rewind, compares to digital camera today yes it is a cut in sequence, but there is really no choice, so everyone taking the short break the same time, or you simply have 3-4 cameras/lenses that the assistant constantly do all the reload, mode setting, exposure setting, passing to you.  RTXIII is by far, IMHO, the most beautiful - automated picture taking machiine ever made - even to this day I still every so often take it with a 85/1.4 MM to point and shoot (no film loaded), just to listen to the beautiful shutter sound - and the most beautiful viewfinder layout ever designed.
Anyway, as much as photography as an art, it is as much as equipment related, and the photographer eventually has to adapt to what the machine is capable of, physically and mentally. 
I know it is a bad habit to shoot fast sequence - but CF card once paid you might as well use it and hey, the modern raw converer batch process is so good that you can just prepare the recipe, let the machine run, and have a coffee break. True, you might not get better image when shoot faster than slow, and again, it is not a good habit, but when over 90% people do so, it is a phenomenon.

BR,
Pingang


So let's see your "logic" here. So a photographer want's to shoot relatively fast.... So according to you it's better for them to shoot with a sloooow MFDB at 1 fps than to shoot at 2 fps or a bit faster with a DSLR without having buffer problems.
You ALSO FAIL to mention that you can use two cards in a D800 or Canon 5D III to speed up writing to the cards.

IF a photographer can get into the rhythm of shooting at 1 fps with a MFDB her or she can do the same thing with a faster camera, but also have the advantage of hitting a burst if something interesting happens like a wind gust etc.
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TMARK
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« Reply #26 on: August 17, 2012, 04:23:25 PM »
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The old backs are nice in a studio.  I like Leaf colors, even the old Aptus 22, better than current DSLRs.  That is really the advantage, but even there, you can get what you want from a 5d2 or Nikon, and with adapters, use most lenses which ae far more important, in my opinion, to the look of an image.  For instance, I think the newer Nikon lenses are too sharp and I don't like the color, so i use Hasselblad V and Mamiya lenses via an adapter when shooting portraits with the D800. 

 
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Fine_Art
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2012, 01:56:20 PM »
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I shoot a 5DIII (previously II) for the faster and less-well-lit parts of weddings and have a lot of respect for the camera. The odd fact is I could show you a Phase One H25 from 2003 which will match or exceed the 5DIII on image quality in nearly every category. Granted the H25 was only good at base ISO (50), could only shoot tethered, was limited to 60 second exposures. But it's color rendering, tonal smoothness, and overall image quality still edge out my use of a 5DIII. As just one small pet peeve, Canon STILL cannot render a skin tone transition in dramatic lighting without a strong color break between highlight and shadow (regardless of which raw processor, setting, etc you use).  

It comes down to, more than anything else, the priorities of design of a system. Phase and Leaf, when facing a decision between image quality and [cost, speed, features] choose image quality every time. The sensors selected, the way the data is read off of them, the color filters and IR filters chosen, the internal electronics to convert the analog signals to a raw file - they are all selected first and foremost for image quality.

So yes, I think you'll be very pleased with the image quality, color, and tonality from any Leaf Aptus or P/P+ back. For shooting people I'd suggest a 30+mp back to avoid issues with moire. Likewise, if you like to shoot wide open on your Canon I'd suggest a larger-sensor digital back like the 33mp Leaf or (Aptus II 7) or 39mp Phase One P45+. They will exaggerate the look of wide open shooting. A Phase One 150mm D shot wide open on a large sensor is a really beautiful thing.


I have read that Canon chose wider overlap in their color filters than Sony. This gave them an advantage at higher ISO. It degraded tonality. Their decision does match the tendency of many review sites to put emphasis on high ISO capability. This was info from a couple years ago.

These days the resolution is getting high enough on DSLRs that a downrez is an option to fix many tonality issues. IMO the technology is at a point where you should make your decision on the lenses with maybe some weight to ergonomics.
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bcooter
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« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2012, 04:31:52 PM »
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I wouldn't have said this a year ago, but today, is probably a good time to buy a medium format system.

Looking at Hasselblad's site they have h4d 40's for 12k to 13k (U.S.) under their certified pre owned section and you can buy a new Pentax 645 for 13k.

What does that give you over a $3,400 or almost $4,000 5d3 or a 36mp Nikon?  Well, basically another and different device in your arsenal and most medium format cameras seem to be kept for a much longer time than the dslrs.

I'm not saying you don't need a dslr, I think for a lot of images you do, but at those prices which really are about 1/2 of what was offered a few years ago their good.

Now for my work I think the $35,000 back and $50,000 still camera system is a rather limited thought given the fact that a cinema camera like the RED One's sell for $22,500, but for 13k not a bad deal especially if you keep it for 5 or 6 years (and of course use it).

Comparing it to a new phase 40mpx back (only) that's about 7 grand less and most people rave about the kodak (or ex kodak) 40 mpx sensor used by the blad and the Pentax.

I'm not saying medium format is better, (better covers a lot of territotry) but it is different, you will work differently you will probably shoot less frames, but have more thoughtful images.

Since I use Contax and said I could replace my complete kit if need be, I started looking at prices and a P30+ in good shape with some warranty a contax body, prism, and one lens will get very close to the Hasselblad price.

So without pixel peeping or brand worship, looking around at prices, especially pre owned, the prices today at good and almost 1/2 of where prices were 5 years ago.

In fact people love lists of what to buy and why, but I'd look at availability in rental, company history, localized repair, being able to talk directly to the manufacturer and today seems like the best time in history to own a medium format camera.



IMO

BC
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2012, 04:13:55 AM »
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These days the resolution is getting high enough on DSLRs that a downrez is an option to fix many tonality issues. IMO the technology is at a point where you should make your decision on the lenses with maybe some weight to ergonomics.

Agreed. This should put Leica pretty much on top of everyone's list.

The S system being priced very irrealistically, this leaves existing R lenses as one obvious choice if you don't need AF.

I have found the 180 f2.8 APO and 280 f4 APO to be out of this world good on the D800. They are expensive for 35mm lenses but look cheap compared to recent MF prices. It seems that the 100mm APO is also extraordinary at short to medium distances.

Once you have realized that it is only a matter of selecting the best sensor on which to mount these wonders.

Cheers,
Bernard
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FredBGG
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« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2012, 11:55:47 AM »
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I'm not saying medium format is better, (better covers a lot of territotry) but it is different, you will work differently you will probably shoot less frames, but have more thoughtful images.


IMO

BC

I keep on hearing this bogus logic. Just because a camera is slow does not make for more thoughtful images.
You can contemplate and take your time with any camera. Actually I would say that the more functionality the camera has the more time and effort you can dedicate to the subject and hat you want to do with it.

If a camera dictates how much though one puts into an image ... well you have a problem that has nothing to do with your gear.
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #31 on: August 19, 2012, 11:59:06 AM »
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I think BC is right at least that the results are different certainly for format size, and ratio differences, but also because with most MF you have a different view for composing images. The bigger brighter viewfinder alone makes working differently - at least for me.  I also think the color is better with MF.

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« Reply #32 on: August 19, 2012, 12:02:50 PM »
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I still have a lot of R lenses and agree for 35mm they are wonderful, and I used to think they were the best but after using the schneider glass for Rollei I changed my mind.  Leica R lenses render a beautiful image but the character always reads at least to me as "this is a photo, a captured moment".   The schneider on MF reads as "this is real, you are there right now".     And as far as pricing goes, maybe the R lenses are cheaper than the Leica S lenses but not really cheaper than MF lenses really since we are talking used.    Compare R lenses to Mamiya RZ lenses for example.    The leica r lenses such as the ones Bernard called out are even way more expensive than the Rollei Schneider.     Compare a Schneider 300mm APO f/4 to the Leica 280mm f/4 for example.   The leica has to be twice the cost of the Rollei and the rollei covers 6x6 too.   It's too bad there isn't a solution to mount the Rollei lenses to the 35mm bodies.
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itsskin
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« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2012, 02:55:54 PM »
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I'd say the most important thing about MF is the look. If you feel it and need it - the only way to get there is MF.
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Gigi
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« Reply #34 on: August 19, 2012, 03:36:01 PM »
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I keep on hearing this bogus logic. Just because a camera is slow does not make for more thoughtful images.
You can contemplate and take your time with any camera. Actually I would say that the more functionality the camera has the more time and effort you can dedicate to the subject and hat you want to do with it.

If a camera dictates how much though one puts into an image ... well you have a problem that has nothing to do with your gear.

runs counter to most experience.
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Geoff
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« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2012, 11:02:15 PM »
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runs counter to most experience.

In my experience, the camera you are using is irrelevant. What I found to be relevant is the experience of having shot with a camera forcing you to be slow (nothing beats large format from that standpoint).

That is the key learning experience whose outcome is the ability to shoot slow with any camera from then on.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #36 on: August 19, 2012, 11:05:19 PM »
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And as far as pricing goes, maybe the R lenses are cheaper than the Leica S lenses but not really cheaper than MF lenses really since we are talking used.    Compare R lenses to Mamiya RZ lenses for example.    The leica r lenses such as the ones Bernard called out are even way more expensive than the Rollei Schneider.     Compare a Schneider 300mm APO f/4 to the Leica 280mm f/4 for example.   The leica has to be twice the cost of the Rollei and the rollei covers 6x6 too.

True, but those are on the cheaper side of MF lenses. Look at the recent lenses from Phaseone, Hassy or even pentax. They tend to be more around 4,000 US$.

The 2 lenses I mentioned are probably the 2 most expensive R lenses to be found (except some super exotics), most of the others can be had for less than 1500 US$. They may not be as good though.

Cheers,
Bernard
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KevinA
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« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2012, 01:18:04 AM »
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What fuzzy logic is this?Huh

Every digital Canon or Nikon I have can shoot 1.2 frames per second until the CF card is full so I can't understand what the heck you are trying to SELL here....
My 1DsmkIII will not shoot at 1.2 frames per sec until the card is full, I would get about 20 frames before waiting a few seconds to shoot again and that's better than my 1DsmkII.
Shooting raw to both card slots.
One reason I'm half tempted with the 1Dx is to shoot long quick sequences, then again I'm fed up with throwing money at cameras in general, they are all tomorrows junk and nothing new released would earn me a penny more than anything I have.
I would think the main reason for MF these days is the way it makes you work.
If portraits was my thing I would like to work with something like a 500cm with a digital back, although I believe that has critical focus issues.
 It was mentioned earlier about the sense of being in control, I would go along with that. I like to use old cameras for fun (Rolleiflex mostly), I actually think it easier and more rewarding taking a reading, judging the scene and twiddling the aperture and shutter speed. I have no idea what the modern computerised camera is thinking about, I don'y know how much it's allowing for the over bright or over dark parts of a scene. You can point it at a scene and waggle it a few degrees and the exposure will move around by a large amount.
I don't like the quality variations of Canon or Nikon, neither do I like their attitudes towards their customers or the way they sell us upgrades.
MF would be limited use for what I do, but it's appeal to me is more than image quality, if portraits and people were what I made a living at, I would have one and a DSLR.

Kevin.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2012, 03:21:10 AM »
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I would think the main reason for MF these days is the way it makes you work.
If portraits was my thing I would like to work with something like a 500cm with a digital back, although I believe that has critical focus issues.
 It was mentioned earlier about the sense of being in control, I would go along with that. I like to use old cameras for fun (Rolleiflex mostly), I actually think it easier and more rewarding taking a reading, judging the scene and twiddling the aperture and shutter speed.....

Kevin.


Sense of being in control....
You know you can take a reading, judge the scene, set the aperture and shutter speed with just about every DSLR.
You can be in control as much as you want to.

Regarding the 500CM why would you choose it if you believe that has critical focus issues?

Actually thanks to the higher magnification waist level finder it's better than a Phase One or Hasselblad H when using manual focus.
Also there is a rare Hasselblad waist level finder with a movable loup. Gives you even higher magnification than the waist level finder.
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bcooter
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« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2012, 04:13:10 AM »
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I keep on hearing this bogus logic. Just because a camera is slow does not make for more thoughtful images.
You can contemplate and take your time with any camera. Actually I would say that the more functionality the camera has the more time and effort you can dedicate to the subject and hat you want to do with it.

If a camera dictates how much though one puts into an image ... well you have a problem that has nothing to do with your gear.


Last night with to the Sunset Music Festival.   I am understating it when say there were 10,000 people in the crowd taking pictures with I phones.

I even shot one, (god help me)., though  99.99999999999% were all crappy pictures and video, but pictures none the less that will be published on the web the next day or even faster.   

In the crowd I saw about 5 professional cameras, probably freelance stringers covering it on semi assignment.

Now I'm not saying a camera makes a photographer, but the real problem with the make a living at photography business today isn't digital, isn't the web, isn't the format.  It's the fact that they're are twenty gazillion photos taken and instagramed every hour to the point the world is going visually blind and in capitalism if there is way too much of anything in the market place, whether it's good or bad, the overall price of that segment goes down, because a photograph is not as unique and precious as it once was.

I know of a young photographer that just got a major national gig shooting with an iphone and instagraming them, because the photographer get's a lot of hits on facebook.  Now this isn't the norm but when you walk onto a sound stage to shoot a professional gig, there should be more investment than your plastic phone and your ability to push a button. 

To shoot a good photograph, much less a very good photograph takes investment in time, learning and yes usually some equipment, so my point is I'm not advocating any camera or brand, because I could care less what anyone uses.  My point is just shooting pictures to shoot pictures doesn't go very far and if you have a camera that will shoot 6fps, I can promise you, even in commercial work due to the economic pressures, you'll now and then shoot 6fps.  Sometimes that's good. Usually that's bad.

I'm also not advocating $50,000 still cameras. Not any more because I think those days are over.  Heck I think those days are over even for hollywood motion picture cameras, but I've found the broad strokes are easy, the fine, studied detail of what makes a good photograph are much harder.

But back to my original post.  I'm not saying to run out and buy a hasselblad or Pentax, but given what they cost just a few years ago, $13,000 is a steal and I'd rather spend 12 to 13k on a camera that I will probably use for 5 to 10 years than one I'll use for 2 to 3.

I'm also not saying that if everyone in the crowd last night was shooting an old film camera  that the photos would be better, but let's face it, they're wouldn't have been 10,000 bad photographs shot of the event from the same angle and published for the world to see.

But like it or not, some cameras make you think more than others. 



Shoot 8x10 film and you'll really think about every detail.   Shoot medium format with a computer as a ground glass and a tilt shift lens and you'll think about the image in ways, that click, click, click doesn't allow.

I've used the same Contax system for about 7 years, probably will for another 7 and unless somebody comes up with something I just can't do without.  My dslrs I generally use for commerce . . . the day I buy them I am thinking about selling them.


IMO

BC

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