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Author Topic: The end of medium format ?  (Read 26861 times)
Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #260 on: December 11, 2012, 09:32:01 PM »
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You provided staffing numbers. That, along with the assumption that it's a well run business, and the structure of your website, is sufficient to come up with a ballpark figure.

As an aside, the ad hominem attacks on members here by dealers is totally unnecessary.

Gerald - we sell more than just digital backs. In fact, our sales in 2011 increased by a higher percentage in other categories than digital backs. Nonetheless, I'm wondering what ballpark figure you came up with. Really it makes no difference.

Are ad hominem attacks on members by other members  (besides dealer members) ok?

I'll take back that Fred is out of his mind. I think he is very much in his mind. And knows exactly what he is doing. It's a shame how some on this forum command a huge amount of time and attention by providing agenda-driven slanted criticism or misinformation. I am sorry, but I feel strongly about this and feel it is a huge disservice to the forum.


Steve Hendrix
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gerald.d
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« Reply #261 on: December 11, 2012, 09:34:21 PM »
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General comment -

Please could I ask people not to send me private messages making defamatory personal comments about individuals.

Many thanks.
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #262 on: December 11, 2012, 09:37:18 PM »
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General comment -

Please could I ask people not to send me private messages making defamatory personal comments about individuals.

Many thanks.

I would like it to be noted that I have not sent any private message to Gerald. I agree with Gerald that whoever sent the message to him should not have.


Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #263 on: December 11, 2012, 10:11:01 PM »
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I would hope there are 2,000, or 10,000 or 20,000 digital backs sold a year.

These numbers might be a stretch, but the more professional equipment sold, the better the signs of a healthy industry.

I know some people think mfdbs are priced high, heck even at times I've felt like that, but when you step back and look at it, professional equipment always cost more than prosumer equipment and should.

But just for the record I don't believe that anyone has a right to know what a privately held company sells or receives in gross and net income.

That's between the owners, the government and well . . . that's it.

You know for years I've heard photographers say, ___________ (fill in the blank with any well known celebrity photographer) makes 6 figures a day and that's waaaay too much.

I've always felt the opposite, because the more the top person in any industry makes, the higher the bar, the more respected the industry is.

The sad thing is this thread started out with a negative title and now has even taken a turn for the worse.

Steve, who I know well, answered a question about tech camera use to be helpful and did so without any intentions other than to inform.

That now has been once again twisted to the negative for reasons that make absolutely no sense to me.

For the record, this week were shooting a day and mostly night time project with a Canon 1dx at about a gazaillion ISO. (whatever ISO is).

The file is pretty good, the focus is pretty good, but this is a very specialized project with a lot of low light LEDs and a lot of night shooting.

I rented the 1dx(s) and today asked for quotes to buy one or two.  The thing is I'm almost positive that at the end of two years I'll probably sell it and I'll just bet you in those two years I'll still own and still be working with my digital backs.

The d800 might be a good camera, but I've got 30 something megapixel cameras that are paid for and work very well and have deep rich ccd files which I find superior to any cmos file I've shot.

They don't do what a 1dx does, the 1dx does not do what they do.

Others may feel different, but that doesn't matter to me.

What does is this week we have three magliners full of cameras and we're using them all.  From Canons to Nikons to RED Ones, a Scarlet and our Contax/Phase(s).

Clients noticed them all and the cameras they noticed the most were the original RED 1's and the Contax, mostly because they are just different looking than the standard dslr.

Now does that make me a better photographer . . . no . . .did owning those cameras get me the gig . . . no. . . but in a client's mind does this add to the professionalism of the project.  I believe yes, because it was mentioned.

This is a competitive industry and everyone that prospers must be 100% complete with presentation, estimation, creative treatments, performance, crew, equipment, post production, and final billing.

So, I hope the medium format industry stays healthy.

I hope all segments of the professional photography industries prosper . . . myself included.

IMO

BC


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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #264 on: December 11, 2012, 10:18:55 PM »
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But just for the record I don't believe that anyone has a right to know what a privately held company sells or receives in gross and net income.

That's between the owners, the government and well . . . that's it.


what about a bank if you apply for a loan ? may it ?
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FredBGG
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« Reply #265 on: December 11, 2012, 10:27:12 PM »
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I would like it to be noted that I have not sent any private message to Gerald. I agree with Gerald that whoever sent the message to him should not have.


Steve Hendrix
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Wasn't me either.
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #266 on: December 11, 2012, 10:28:45 PM »
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I rented the 1dx(s) and today asked for quotes to buy one or two.  The thing is I'm almost positive that at the end of two years I'll probably sell it and I'll just bet you in those two years I'll still own and still be working with my digital backs.

that simply tells that 2 years later you will have a much-much better dSLRs at a lower cost and you will not have a much much better digital backs at a lower cost, that's it to it
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FredBGG
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« Reply #267 on: December 11, 2012, 10:35:15 PM »
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I'll take back that Fred is out of his mind. I think he is very much in his mind. And knows exactly what he is doing. It's a shame how some on this forum command a huge amount of time and attention by providing agenda-driven slanted criticism or misinformation. I am sorry, but I feel strongly about this and feel it is a huge disservice to the forum.

Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration



Please feel free to point out any mistakes in information I post and refrain from these personal attacks.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #268 on: December 11, 2012, 11:13:59 PM »
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Hi,

My guess that you miss a zero. I'd think that Phase/Leaf/Mamiya would not be able to operate successfully with just 100/year WW.

Best regards
Erik

Hello,

My guess is the total sales of Phase/Leaf backs per year would be about 100 units world wide.

Cheers

Simon

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jeremypayne
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« Reply #269 on: December 11, 2012, 11:15:40 PM »
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What a tempest in a teapot.

For the record, literally millions of private companies disclose financial results.  D&B sells the data.  In some countries, the results are filed with regulators and made public ... albeit slowly.  

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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #270 on: December 11, 2012, 11:24:41 PM »
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Please feel free to point out any mistakes in information I post and refrain from these personal attacks.


Fred -

I am willing to clear the air. I will say that recently your posts have been more helpful in pointing out some very useful 35mm features (which I see are being cross posted on the 35mm forum). But you have had some posts in the past that I felt were unnecessarily provocative, so as to purposely paint medium format digital in a negative light. This has made it hard for me to trust your motivations.

If you read my posts, you will see that I spend most of my time hear providing information that is factually correct or indicated as accurate in our testing and in the context of our tremendous comparative experience with medium format digital backs, which covers many years and many more different products than just about anyone else on this forum, users or otherwise. You will have a difficult time finding a post that I have written where I attempt to portray a product in a negative light, or where I initiate the idea of question marks that are not grounded in actual results when it comes to choosing to use a product.

I feel that photographers, while some may see themselves as craftsman, others as artists, and others as a combination of attributes, are first and foremost individuals. And as individuals, they have their own subjective preferences for the tools they use to complete their task. I highly respect those preferences.

As a result, when someone questions the use of a tool for photography just in general, and continues to produce information that seems to be pushing them away from legitimate tools, I find that of questionable benefit to photographers.

So, when you took my data offering on ratios and blithely asked for my annual unit sales, I was suspicious of your motives. I wouldn't provide such data to anyone - certainly not on a public forum - and nothing is being hidden by not doing so. There's no great conspiracy for dealers hiding their medium format sales numbers. The annual sales numbers for medium format worldwide have been in the 5k - 7k range for most of the past 10 years. I was rather shocked when Simon Harper stated his projection as 100 units worldwide for P1/Leaf. I will tell you the sales numbers from CI alone are way higher than that. But here is a respected and talented photographer posting a guess of 100 units worldwide. Perhaps he missed a zero. But such is the ease in which misinformation can be spread. I don't blame Simon at all, as I trust his track record as an honest advocate of whatever he is using or not, it was just a guess or a typo.

The fact is, photographers like to think they know all the other players. In reality, they do not. I've been told by a well known photographer that there are maybe 5 or 6 guys in the city he lives in who might shoot medium format, when in fact, we'd been selling more than that every year in that very same city (obviously to photographers he doesn't know, or doesn't know well).

If Simon asked me for my annual sales numbers, I wouldn't be offended and I would simply state that I respectfully decline to share those numbers. I don't have a reason to not trust Simon. Maybe you now have a different approach in contrast to some of your prior posts. If so, then I will try to keep that in mind going forward. You have some very positive insights into the practical use of cameras and I hope that those continue.

I hope that my frank explanation of my perspective on this issue is not considered an attack.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 11:30:36 PM by Steve Hendrix » Logged

Steve Hendrix
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FredBGG
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« Reply #271 on: December 11, 2012, 11:28:13 PM »
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Lets get back to the numbers regarding market share.

Okay from my seat which is a lot of workshop folks and of course the forum but a lot of hobbyists have bought into medium format maybe a lot more than Pros. It's not like a lack of money so throw that case scenario out the window it's simple not the case. Many of these hobbyist bought a IQxxx along with a DF since Phase and the dealers make a nice package. Buy a back get a DF and 80 LS to go with it. That is usually there first jump in than add a few lenses and graduate into the tech cams . Some go directly to tech cams. Now folks I can tell you this without blinking a eye they out spend me by miles. So lets not get into this D800 crap because this is a hobby for them and they want to play big and frankly photography believe it or not is a cheap hobby. Yes you heard it here, go buy a boat , sports cars , planes and such. This is chump change to a lot of these folks when it comes to a hobby, I play golf and that's dirt cheap compared to others. LOL

Now yes your talking about professional people , scientist, engineers, doctors and lawyers. I get them all on our workshops. Actually 18 workshops and I always had a doctor on board for instance. Thank god I may need one. LOL

The money argument does not always wash these discussions. To guys like me sure we worry about our ROI and use case but Pros are such a small minority here . We are seriously out numbered when it comes to photography. Frankly I would guess in today's world in total cams made we are maybe 1-5 percent of the total market is my guess. Love to know that number actually. Btw I'm not knocking the hobbyist at all I am if anything embracing them as without them we would still be shooting film. The market and technology may never have grown without them, they drive the sales. I agree with Steve sure there are departures both in 35mm and MF. That's just a natural order that has always been around. Some departures are also short term as well. The negativity towards MF is now resting on D800 shooters as the new holy grail. I'm not one of them I shoot it but I still love MF and hopefully will get back to it. The economy sucks and sure it's hurt a lot of things but if I was putting it on anything than that would be it. Maybe we will climb out I hope so, frankly its too freaking slow and let's be honest many of us are hanging on and some have already gone away. I work for big corporate clients and its slim pickings. It's rampant all through photography even for the top guns things are in adjustment periods both what you do and gear you have. Anyone tells you different is feeding you a line of BS.

I don't think Guy's estimate was intended to be a solid figure, but if the numbers are in the 1 to 5 % of total camera sales I think it would be safe to say that the MF manufacturers would be drowning in cash.

Consider this.

Canon in 9 months made 10,000,000 EF lenses. That would be about 13,000,000 in a year. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/about_canon?pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e024806188ec&WT.mc_id=C126149
Canon sold 7 million DSLRs in the previous year and estimates sales of 9,000,000.

Just for ballpark lets assume canon has 40% of the DSLR market ( it's a bit less I think)

So that would roughly put the market at about 22,000,000 DSLRs

If MFDB cameras had just 1% of the totals cameras made that would be 220,000 units.

Then lets even assume that they only their less expensive 40mp Phase And Hasselblad bodies.  $21,000 and $17,000. And lets split the one percent between
the two:

That would be $ 2,310,000,000 for one and $ 1,870,000,000 for the other.

These are just very rough numbers. No intention of establishing accurate figures, but just give an idea of the magnitude of the market.

Sales are in smaller numbers that 1% of the total market. However if we consider the size of the DSLR market even a very small percentage or fraction of a percentage is still a lot of sales.
The real problem though is the costs of development in regards to significant image quality gains and significant functionality gains.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 01:18:19 AM by FredBGG » Logged
Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #272 on: December 11, 2012, 11:55:39 PM »
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What a tempest in a teapot.

For the record, literally millions of private companies disclose financial results.  D&B sells the data.  In some countries, the results are filed with regulators and made public ... albeit slowly.  




Well, we're Capture Integration Incorporated, so look us up. I would imagine our annual overall sales numbers can be found somewhere.

Again - as is my right - I respectfully decline to provide our annual sales numbers by category to the Luminous Landscape forum. Mostly by principle - because I'd like to know what it would mean to anyone. I can already see the armchair extrapolations and the resulting miscalculations from receiving - critically - a very partial view of the worldwide annual unit sales numbers. And to prove what, exactly?

You will never know precisely the total number of units sold. Nor do I know - precisely. But I have worked for 3 of the remaining medium format digital companies, and did indeed have access to sales numbers worldwide. And the numbers that have been established are approximately accurate, so far as I can tell. I mean - it's not very many. 5,000 - 7,000 units, maybe a bit less in recent years? That is not a lot. But it never has been - a lot.

I do agree that medium format digital has an interesting road ahead. I think that the numbers will be more interesting/relevant in say, 5 or 10 years from now. No one should not consider medium format digital because of concern that it is dead. (Note - this last sentence is just my opinion).


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration

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« Reply #273 on: December 12, 2012, 01:02:59 AM »
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Hi,

My guess is that it takes about 100000$US to keep a person employed in the western world. So you need to sell like 5-10 backs/year for each employee making his/hers living of those backs, in development, manufacture and sales.

Best regards
Erik




Please feel free to point out any mistakes in information I post and refrain from these personal attacks.
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« Reply #274 on: December 12, 2012, 01:11:36 AM »
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Actually 5-7k of new MF backs sold last year is not a bad figure at all considering that older backs are still in use, even some many generations behind now.  To  me that means there are more and more MF users out there each year.  The problem MFDB makers have is these things don't wear out!   
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #275 on: December 12, 2012, 01:14:04 AM »
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Hi,

I guess MFDB makers offer attractive upgrade packages in order to keep old backs of the second hand market.

Best regards
Erik

Actually 5-7k of new MF backs sold last year is not a bad figure at all considering that older backs are still in use, even some many generations behind now.  To  me that means there are more and more MF users out there each year.  The problem MFDB makers have is these things don't wear out!   
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #276 on: December 12, 2012, 01:35:46 AM »
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Lets get back to the numbers regarding market share.

I don't think Guy's estimate was intended to be a solid figure, but if the numbers are in the 1 to 5 % of total camera sales I think it would be safe to say that the MF manufacturers would be drowning in cash.

Consider this.

Canon in 9 months made 10,000,000 EF lenses. That would be about 13,000,000 in a year. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/about_canon?pageKeyCode=pressreldetail&docId=0901e024806188ec&WT.mc_id=C126149
Canon sold 7 million DSLRs in the previous year and estimates sales of 9,000,000.

Just for ballpark lets assume canon has 40% of the DSLR market ( it's a bit less I think)

So that would roughly put the market at about 22,000,000 DSLRs

If MFDB cameras had just 1% of the totals cameras made that would be 220,000 units.

Then lets even assume that they only their less expensive 40mp Phase And Hasselblad bodies.  $21,000 and $17,000. And lets split the one percent between
the two:

That would be $ 2,310,000,000 for one and $ 1,870,000,000 for the other.

These are just very rough numbers. No intention of establishing accurate figures, but just give an idea of the magnitude of the market.

Sales are in smaller numbers that 1% of the total market. However if we consider the size of the DSLR market even a very small percentage or fraction of a percentage is still a lot of sales.
The real problem though is the costs of development in regards to significant image quality gains and significant functionality gains.



You need to read a little better, those are not sales percentage I am quoting. They are working Pros may only account for 1-5 percent of total sales worldwide compared to hobbyists buying all cams.
We are a a very small percentage of the market. Another words we count for shit. Lol


As far as how many backs sold annually by all OEMs I know that number but will not post it. It's immaterial
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FredBGG
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« Reply #277 on: December 12, 2012, 02:51:52 AM »
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You need to read a little better, those are not sales percentage I am quoting.

Did not say you were referring to camera or solid numbers. What I was getting at is the magnitude of things.
That even if pros are a small percentage and that if a majority of those bought MF that that 1 % would still
be enough to generate revenues in the billion dollar plus scales. Back in the day medium format was essential to
a much larger segment of photographers and when I started out I never met a pro photographer that didn't have a medium format camera.



However I would not count out the importance of professional photographers to Nikon, Canon and the MF makers.
Enthusiasts look up to professional photographers .... your workshops are a clear example of that.
Enthusiasts want the features pros want and this makes the manufacturers pay attention to the pro market.

The other day I was discussing with a photographer friend the whole instagram and pinterest phenomena.
All interesting stuff. So I asked my daughter and a couple of her friends to show me around pinterest and instagram.
The kids in their late teens and early twenties are really into pinterest. What was most interesting is that most of the images in pinterest
are professional images. What used to be images just sitting on various fashion and product websites are now getting huge exposure
through things like pinterest. This increased exposure makes still more valuable to clients.. that it good for photographers.

I think that is is also important to note that this new form of exposure is in a big sea of images including armature snaps.
All the more reason for clients to invest in better photographers so as to stand out.


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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #278 on: December 12, 2012, 05:39:43 AM »
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Like a lot of industries Pros are very important to the market place. I do agree we are just a very small percentage on a global level. Now MF we maybe even slightly better on percentages, that would make sense. Nikon,canon, Sony and so on they have very big product lines so less so but no question people do look up to Pros and buy like them.
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Steve Hendrix
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« Reply #279 on: December 12, 2012, 09:00:08 AM »
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Hi,

My guess is that it takes about 100000$US to keep a person employed in the western world. So you need to sell like 5-10 backs/year for each employee making his/hers living of those backs, in development, manufacture and sales.

Best regards
Erik






The most accurate way to gauge the numbers if you are going by payroll would be to assess the number of employees at the manufacturers themselves, not a dealer. Based on your numbers, the total sales figure for us would be substantially under represented. While we are known as medium format digital specialists, we sell a lot of other products. Even back when we sold less associative products, your numbers for compensation in a small company can be very skewed. The per employee compensation cost can be a good bit higher.
 
I don't think the numbers are any great mystery. In the healthiest years on record, perhaps 7,000, in recent years (like 2010), perhaps 4,000. From my experience, that is the ballpark range.

You guys can calculate percentages and such all you like, but you won't arrive at any closer or more accurate number than that, unless you focus on the manufacturer employment ranks, and even then, it's somewhat of a ballpark. Some manufacturers lay off in slow times, others hang onto employes until the good times. When you're not talking about thousands of employees, that is going to skew the numbers in a way you won't be aware of.

I would say - save yourself the trouble, just accept roughly 4,500 average currently (that may be a bit low, I don't know), and then do whatever you will with the numbers. I still don't really know what the objective is, once you think you know it.

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Steve Hendrix
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Direct: 404.543.8475
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