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Author Topic: DIGITAL Medium Format photography is almost as moribund???  (Read 43940 times)
KLaban
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« Reply #260 on: March 13, 2013, 11:26:15 AM »
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I'm of the mind that if you need fast AF, use the appropriate camera.  If you need the look of MF, use an MF camera.  If you need something small and unobtrusive, use a Leica or a Fuji.  If you shoot landscapes, use an MF or stitch, whatever works.

Agreed.

I'd add use something you love using.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #261 on: March 13, 2013, 12:30:19 PM »
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The AF on MY D800e is spot on with all of my lenses.

You are lucky.  That is pretty rare.

My 800e requires an adjustment of 8 for the 70-200, 4 for the 14-24.  on my 3 zeiss lenses, when the camera indicates they are in focus, they are in fact very close but I can get them sharper with 10x live view. I think I can actually dial in an offset for these lenses as well, but haven't tried it yet.  Even though the lens doesn't focus, the camera still provides feedback when it thinks the lens is sharp.

We calibrate 2 or 3 cameras a week with normally between 3 and 5 lenses each  Less than 10% require no adjustment.  Using FoCal, we also test for focus consistency, and haven't seen a lens yet without some variation. Personally for landscape, 10x liveview focus is the only thing I trust.
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TMARK
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« Reply #262 on: March 13, 2013, 01:37:02 PM »
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You are lucky.  That is pretty rare.

My 800e requires an adjustment of 8 for the 70-200, 4 for the 14-24.  on my 3 zeiss lenses, when the camera indicates they are in focus, they are in fact very close but I can get them sharper with 10x live view. I think I can actually dial in an offset for these lenses as well, but haven't tried it yet.  Even though the lens doesn't focus, the camera still provides feedback when it thinks the lens is sharp.

We calibrate 2 or 3 cameras a week with normally between 3 and 5 lenses each  Less than 10% require no adjustment.  Using FoCal, we also test for focus consistency, and haven't seen a lens yet without some variation. Personally for landscape, 10x liveview focus is the only thing I trust.

I haven't needed to calibrate any of my lenses.  They are all on the money, even my 50 1.4 and 85 1.4, at 1.4.  I also use the 28 AI-s, 28 AF-d, 60 Micro D, and Hasselblad V 50 C, 80CF and 150CF.  These light up the indicator when in focus. 

I sat down with both of my D800s (one belongs to the office) and my "e" was a bit more acurate than the plain vanilla 800.  I have a Zeiss 35 F2 zf.2 on the way.  I will check acuracy when it shows up.

My "luck" might have to do with using older lenses.  I don't know but my 30 year old Nikkors light up the focus indicator and are spot on, even at 10x live view.  My newer but still 10 year old AF-d lenses work as above.  No adjustment needed. 

Of note, I had to calibrate all of my Canon lenses on the 5D2 and ds3.  Some needed enormous adjustments, some none at all.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #263 on: March 13, 2013, 01:41:33 PM »
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Hi my guess is that Fred mixes up things a bit. I'd suggest that darkness of hair is more of a rendition thing. I think DR is overexclaimd, mostly it is limited by lens and camera internal flare. I analyzed a lot of images using raw digger recently and has found one with DR in excess of 9 stops and it was a velvia dupe, with all surrounding light shielded in a dark room.

Best regards
Erik


Not mixing things up at all. L'Oreal and Wella are clients and I shoot a lot of hair, so it's quite important to me.
I used to process black and white with a water bath process to get nicer shadows. Also I really like deep shadows in my work.
As I mentioned the d800 has a slight edge over MFD backs in detail in the deep shadows and has a cleaners fall off of detail into the blacks
and an anti alias filter also helps keep this smoother even at the cost of losing a wee bit of detail.

That said the MFD backs are very close in this area to the D800. My Canons however are worse in this area.

I have also found that the D800 has the cleanest blue channel in and near the blacks. Using the blue channel in black and white conversions
for hair can really bring out contrast in fine detail while somehow smoothing large area differences helping significantly when retouching hair
using large area high pass technique.
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #264 on: March 13, 2013, 01:56:20 PM »
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Fred: could you be more specific. WHICH medium format digital backs have you observed this with? The P25 you briefly owned? Other more recent digital backs? If so, could you share any files you've shot with these backs which illustrate this?
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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Rob C
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« Reply #265 on: March 13, 2013, 01:56:49 PM »
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I haven't needed to calibrate any of my lenses.  They are all on the money, ... These light up the indicator when in focus. 

My "luck" might have to do with using older lenses.  I don't know but my 30 year old Nikkors light up the focus indicator and are spot on, even at 10x live view. 


My Nikkors are also all manual except one... never needed to adjust anything.

It's what I've been bitchin' about for ages: there used to be Final Inspection, once upon a time, and you expected and got quality... now, I'm amazed to see that people expect to return new lenses a couple of times: I find that attitude shocking, both from the manufacturer's angle and from the way the buyers accept it as normal.

Rob C
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FredBGG
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« Reply #266 on: March 13, 2013, 02:02:30 PM »
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My experience with the AF of the D800 (phase AF, not live view) is that it is generally accurate and much faster than me. It works like magic to detect the subject out of its array of sensors, when that subject is a human. But, especially with fast lenses, it sometimes misses a little bit. The H3D surprised me as 100% consistent. Then there is also the saying you'll find on the forum that nothing less than live view will do if one needs accuracy and my real life observation that live view is not always possible in bright sunlight and that contrast detect AF (in live view then...) also sometimes misses. I am not saying that the H3D is superior, just observing that forum talk does not reflect my practice.

Words of wisdom to which I readily agree. I'll even add that for fast AF, the Hasselblad is not the appropriate camera at all. Wink

Fast lenses with NF cameras with only center AF focus points have limited accuracy if the feature you want in focus is not in the center of the screen.
Full length fashion for example where you want the eyes in focus. It's better with the H4D and H5D, but still has it's limitations wide open with the fastest lenses.

Here is what the AF focus and recompose problem looks like. These were shot with the Phase One DF and 80mm lens.
There were shot on a tripod.

This is to show the extent of the recomposition that is actually not that extreme


Focus error with Focus and recompose.


And here is the same feature, but framed in the center of the screen.


The problem is not the lens being softer towards the edges. I did some focus bracketing and got results comparable to the center
as far as focus goes.

Nothing beats focusing without having to recompose.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:14:02 PM by FredBGG » Logged
FredBGG
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« Reply #267 on: March 13, 2013, 02:12:12 PM »
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Fred: could you be more specific. WHICH medium format digital backs have you observed this with? The P25 you briefly owned? Other more recent digital backs? If so, could you share any files you've shot with these backs which illustrate this?

Don't get your kickers in a twist Wink. The difference is very small. Both MFD and the D800, D600 (as well as the dinky little D7100) have excellent dynamic range.

That said MFD was getting better results in this areas than even the best Canons... even the P25 that you seem to want to attempt to discredit me with did a better job than newer Canons. The D800 changed all of that bringing high dynamic range to high end 35mm DSLRs


How briefly I owned the P25 has little to do with this and a lot to do with the DF being not up to the level of Phase One backs.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:19:55 PM by FredBGG » Logged
Doug Peterson
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« Reply #268 on: March 13, 2013, 02:18:19 PM »
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Don't get your kickers in a twist Wink. The difference is very small. Both MFD and the D800, D600 as well as the dinky little D7100 have excellent dynamic range.

My knickers are thoroughly untwisted.

I was just asking for clarity. "MFD" covers at least 100 makes/models of back; everything from a 6mp Lightphase from the 90s to an 80mp IQ180.

So you meant the P25 you shot showed less detail in the shadows then your D800. Thanks for the clarification.
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DOUG PETERSON (dep@digitaltransitions.com), Digital Transitions
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FredBGG
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« Reply #269 on: March 13, 2013, 03:05:11 PM »
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My knickers are thoroughly untwisted.

I was just asking for clarity. "MFD" covers at least 100 makes/models of back; everything from a 6mp Lightphase from the 90s to an 80mp IQ180.

So you meant the P25 you shot showed less detail in the shadows then your D800. Thanks for the clarification.

Nope I did not say that at all, but the D800 does have better shadows... and I had a P25+ with a claimed dynamic range of 12+.
The IQ180 according to phase one has a dynamic range of 12.5 so we are not talking about a massive difference.
In tests I did the detail in the blacks especially where there is little color is visibly better with the D800 putting the D800 right up there as far as this goes with the newer Phase One backs.
I have also found ... as have others.... that there is a bit more detail in the blacks with the D800.

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

In this test the D800 showed a bit more shadow detail...... and this test was done by an IQ180 owner.
A landscape photographer and instructor. I'm sure he has a good grasp on dynamic range being a landscape photographer.
The IQ180 is the newest MFB from Phase One.

From the article.
Quote
Not all of them weighted in favour of the medium format camera, though. For instance,
the D800E produced much more pleasing shadow areas on the prints of the photographs produced to test dynamic range.

Anyway let me repeat that the difference is not very big, but the important point is that you can now get great dynamic range without the heavy investment
in a medium format system and have this great dynamic range in an agile and fast system.

I live in Southern California and we get a load of crisp sunlight and I like to shoot on the beaches and in the deserts.
having great dynamic range is so helpful. Even more helpful is shooting fast exposure bracketing so as to be able to blend multiple frames
to blend scenes with say one model slightly in the shade and one model in more direct sunlight. or shooting a black and a white model in the same shot.
Fast frame rates coupled with the great dynamic range is very useful.

Even highlight recovery is bloody great with the D800. I often shoot on location which is an added cost to the cleint so it's important to bring back the elements of the background that are over exposed when using diffusion on the model.

Here is a quick test I did that shows just how much can be recovered.



Dynamic range:


Interesting if you take into account effective ISO.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 04:05:42 PM by FredBGG » Logged
jerome_m
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« Reply #270 on: March 13, 2013, 04:07:32 PM »
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http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

In this test the D800 showed a bit more shadow detail...... and this test was done by an IQ180 owner.
A landscape photographer and instructor. I'm sure he has a good grasp on dynamic range being a landscape photographer.

These are not my observations. For example, I photographed the interior of a church here at iso100 on the D800 and H3D-31 (I posted the pictures earlier):



To analyse the deepest shadows, I need to go back to the raw data files. There are three little paintings at the right of the column in the shade two thirds to the left. If I raise the shadows on the two raw files I can see the content of the pictures a bit better on the H3D-31, especially the one on the right. The colours are also more saturated on the H3D-31. Noise is a bit better on the D800, but can be reduced nicely on the H3D-31. Neither of these is great because the paintings were severely underexposed and the difference is not very large, but it is in favour of the H3D-31.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 04:30:13 PM by jerome_m » Logged
wildlightphoto
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« Reply #271 on: March 13, 2013, 05:02:13 PM »
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It's what I've been bitchin' about for ages: there used to be Final Inspection, once upon a time, and you expected and got quality... now, I'm amazed to see that people expect to return new lenses a couple of times: I find that attitude shocking, both from the manufacturer's angle and from the way the buyers accept it as normal.

Agreed.  It seems now that features and initial price are all that matters to the majority of buyers.  The manufacturers are supplying what the buyers say they want.
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KLaban
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« Reply #272 on: March 13, 2013, 05:16:37 PM »
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It's what I've been bitchin' about for ages: there used to be Final Inspection, once upon a time, and you expected and got quality... now, I'm amazed to see that people expect to return new lenses a couple of times: I find that attitude shocking, both from the manufacturer's angle and from the way the buyers accept it as normal.

Sadly it seems to be the norm, although interestingly it doesn't seem anywhere near as commonplace with the larger formats.

Over to you, Fred.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #273 on: March 14, 2013, 12:12:45 AM »
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These are not my observations. For example, I photographed the interior of a church here at iso100 on the D800 and H3D-31 (I posted the pictures earlier):



To analyse the deepest shadows, I need to go back to the raw data files. There are three little paintings at the right of the column in the shade two thirds to the left. If I raise the shadows on the two raw files I can see the content of the pictures a bit better on the H3D-31, especially the one on the right. The colours are also more saturated on the H3D-31. Noise is a bit better on the D800, but can be reduced nicely on the H3D-31. Neither of these is great because the paintings were severely underexposed and the difference is not very large, but it is in favour of the H3D-31.

I took your full size jpegs and used the shadow highlight filter in Photoshop. Same settings applied to both.
I scaled the Nikon down to match the H3D

Here is the result:

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jerome_m
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« Reply #274 on: March 14, 2013, 01:21:50 AM »
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I took your full size jpegs and used the shadow highlight filter in Photoshop. Same settings applied to both.
I scaled the Nikon down to match the H3D

Here is the result:



Now, this is quite surprising. I'll have to check the files to find out why the raws and jpegs give different results.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #275 on: March 14, 2013, 01:32:28 AM »
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Hi,

I had run RawDigger on the files you sent me. The plots are not easy to interpret and there is some clipping of the highlights. The present version of Raw Digger has a few issues with 16-bit files, it seems, so I used an older version.

In many cases I would suggest that lens flare and camera internal reflections limit DR more than the sensor itself.

Best regards
Erik

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bcooter
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« Reply #276 on: March 14, 2013, 02:18:54 AM »
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............Fast lenses with NF cameras with only center AF focus points have limited ..........
............Full length fashion for example where you want the eyes in focus.............



In practice I believe your 100% wrong.

This week I've been shooting thousands of full length fashion vertical frames with a third of them focus and recompose, many more with a single center point focus.

In our quick overview (we're still in production) only a very small percentage are not in focus.

(In a couple of months when the project clears embargo I may show them).

It's rare photographers shoot full length fashion wide open, 1.8, 2.8 or whatever.  Most client's don't want just the eyelashes in focus they also want the garments which is their product in focus, regardless if it's editorial or for commerce.

I've probably shot a few fashion images at wide open on any camera.

Focus is never really easy, regardless of camera and even cameras with multi point focus, usually one point is more accurate than another.

The best focusing camera I've used is our Canon 1dx, better than our Nikons, but still not perfect.

No camera is perfect, all are different nearly all professional cameras today are very good.

I really don't understand why anyone compares them.  

In fact the most famous 35mm cameras of all time were designed around focus and recompose . . . the leica.

Since you mention eyelashes in focus, well . . .

I shot this in Paris,  almost wide open with an M-8 series using window light and practicals, by focus and recompose.

It was almost wide open because it was just a fun snap, when the model was still in hair and makeup.



Also, one center point focus is also not near the end of the world, as you suggest.

This image was with my Contax 645/Phase p30+ focusing with weak modeling lights on the subject, strong in the lens lights poking through the background to flare into the lense and the subject moving fairly quick.



I don't think one from this session was soft.

If my old Contax will do this, I can promise you a Phase DF/ Mamiya, A h4-5d, a Pentax will do it sleeping.

But here's a hint.  If you really want to have sharp images and pixel peep until your eyes bleed, I suggest using a tripod.

Nothing improves sharpness like a tripod.

BTW:  For someone who reports time and time again on the results of their medium format experience, by drawing charts and designing pulsating gifs,  didn't you test your DF before you bought it.

If you dealt with a professional dealer, that's not difficult to do, before you actually spend the money and find yourself suffering buyers remorse.


IMO

BC
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 02:31:17 AM by bcooter » Logged
jerome_m
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« Reply #277 on: March 14, 2013, 05:17:49 AM »
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Now, this is quite surprising. I'll have to check the files to find out why the raws and jpegs give different results.

For some reason, the D800 gives better results from the jpeg files than from its raw files. That is quite surprising and I did not expect that at all. For my presentation, the raw files from the H3D-31 and D800 were converted with the same application (Apple Aperture), because I thought that using the same processing with the two cameras would give them equal chances.
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #278 on: March 14, 2013, 07:53:31 AM »
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In practice I believe your 100% wrong.

This week I've been shooting thousands of full length fashion vertical frames with a third of them focus and recompose, many more with a single center point focus.

In our quick overview (we're still in production) only a very small percentage are not in focus.

(In a couple of months when the project clears embargo I may show them).

It's rare photographers shoot full length fashion wide open, 1.8, 2.8 or whatever.  Most client's don't want just the eyelashes in focus they also want the garments which is their product in focus, regardless if it's editorial or for commerce.

I've probably shot a few fashion images at wide open on any camera.

Focus is never really easy, regardless of camera and even cameras with multi point focus, usually one point is more accurate than another.

The best focusing camera I've used is our Canon 1dx, better than our Nikons, but still not perfect.

No camera is perfect, all are different nearly all professional cameras today are very good.

I really don't understand why anyone compares them.  

In fact the most famous 35mm cameras of all time were designed around focus and recompose . . . the leica.

Since you mention eyelashes in focus, well . . .

I shot this in Paris,  almost wide open with an M-8 series using window light and practicals, by focus and recompose.

It was almost wide open because it was just a fun snap, when the model was still in hair and makeup.



Also, one center point focus is also not near the end of the world, as you suggest.

This image was with my Contax 645/Phase p30+ focusing with weak modeling lights on the subject, strong in the lens lights poking through the background to flare into the lense and the subject moving fairly quick.



I don't think one from this session was soft.

If my old Contax will do this, I can promise you a Phase DF/ Mamiya, A h4-5d, a Pentax will do it sleeping.

But here's a hint.  If you really want to have sharp images and pixel peep until your eyes bleed, I suggest using a tripod.

Nothing improves sharpness like a tripod.

BTW:  For someone who reports time and time again on the results of their medium format experience, by drawing charts and designing pulsating gifs,  didn't you test your DF before you bought it.

If you dealt with a professional dealer, that's not difficult to do, before you actually spend the money and find yourself suffering buyers remorse.


IMO

BC

Have to agree both my DF and Nikon the center points where or are very accurate. The Nikon outside the Center point is not very accurate. I just shot 4 models in two days in the studio at F8 shooting clothing. I would never shoot commerce articles wide open. Frankly I always used focus and recompose for years on every cam I have had. The Nikon does not have the market on focus , sorry its pretty much just like everything else inside the center very good outside and even one movement up to the top on a horizontal shooting podium type work was off. I went to manual focus that day and or focus recompose to get my take. I shot that stuff for 4 days and tried every trick in the book to get that upper point to be dead on. I resorted back to focus and compose . And no nothing wrong with my cam either. Ill give it maybe some issues when very tight on focus and compose can be problematic but its not the rule either.
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TMARK
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« Reply #279 on: March 14, 2013, 08:37:05 AM »
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For some reason, the D800 gives better results from the jpeg files than from its raw files. That is quite surprising and I did not expect that at all. For my presentation, the raw files from the H3D-31 and D800 were converted with the same application (Apple Aperture), because I thought that using the same processing with the two cameras would give them equal chances.

Different converters have much different results on D800 files.  C1 is sharpest, NX has the best color.  LR4 is a nice balance between the two, and the workflow is convenient.  It could be that the profile in Aperture clips shadows in the raw files.  That program, to my eye, is designed to make an image pop, so it crushes the blacks.
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