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Soon to be Leica user, need advice :).


Dob3rman
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Hello everyone. My name is Murat. I am new to the forum. I've been a photographer all my life and they shooting many different brands and always wanted to get into the Leica world. Currently I shoot Sony A7RIII, several Gmasters (70-200, 24-70), and have couple Fuji X mounts with many great primes and 100-400 I use for wildlife, mainly birds. I have an Xpro-2 and XT2. I hate to admit but I also have several OM bodies with some primes. 

As you can tell I do have GAS and collected too many systems. Each has pros. When I shoot professional work (not my full time job), I use the Sony. Great resolution (although besides cropping, I dont have a need for large resolutions.). For personal day to day shooting, family pets, kids, holidays etc. I use my Fujis. I love the tactile feeling of Fuji and the colors. The Xpro2 with a 28mm prime will be my desert island camera/lens. When I leave home, that’s what I pick everytime. Anyways, I decided to sell all my gear and switch to Leica. I went to a Leica store for the first time and I think I need to get a second mortgage soon. LOL. 

So here are my thought. I was thinking about getting an SL2-S (low lightr performance is great and I like shooting indoors, no flash) with the 24-70 kit. Order the M11 (I love the format and the feeling of the whole range finder system). Get one prime, may be a 35 or 50 that i can use on the SL2-s with the adaptor while waiting for the M11 to become available. Than I will have best of both worlds (not necessarilty the M11 and SL2-s) meaning a full frame large body with large lenses and a range finder.

Thoughts? Suggestions. Comments. Should I be considering the 24-90 lens instead (like the 24-70 size, weight and constant aperture.) Should I be starting with some cheaper alternative M lenses like a Voitlander? 

I know too much to ask but any feedback appreciated. I am sure there are Sony/Fuji/Other System converts here that can share experiences and lessons learned.

Thank you...

Murat

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Welcome on board. Nice photo! Don't expect miracles here. There are quite often questions like this. But in principle you are the one, who decides.

Edited by jankap
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Hi Murat,

Welcome to the forum.  Nice picture (!)

You will find on this forum as many opinions as there are forum members and all of them could be useful but don't let somebody else tell you what YOU have to do.

So I'm not giving you any advise what you should do but only my experiences with the SL and M platform.  It can be a starting point to help you make the decision. 

  • I started with M in 2009 and the main pro's for this platform are for me : relatively compact full frame, very small and excellent M lenses.  The rangefinder experience is/was not necessary the reason I got in this platform but I did like it.  Today I'm glad that due to aging eyesight my M11 has a very good Visoflex for critical focusing with fast lenses or lenses beyond the frame line scope of the M
  • I started adding (long) R lenses to my collection and the M10 (at that time) did not provide me with a good EVF, high ISO capability or IBIS
  • So I stepped into the SL platform some years ago and my wide M lenses and long R lenses came to life on the SL2.  
  • Along the road I also added the different Monochrom versions of the M's.  I currently have the M10M and this is by far the most astonishing camera I have (besides my M11 and SL2)
  • One important thing to note is that AF is not a feature I'm interested in.  I did not choose the SL platform for AF lenses and currently the only reason for me to keep the SL2 is IBIS for my longer R lenses.  Otherwise the SL2 has no appeal to me anymore since the M11 is so good.

Some things to consider when starting with an M :

  • Is the rangefinder experience for you ?
  • What is the appeal of a b&W only camera for you?   The M10M might be a very good alternative to live besides an SL2-S and mix and match M lenses on both bodies.

Good luck !

 

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Thank you for your response and comments. this is the kind of feedback I am looking for. I was not considering a B&W only camera but I am really liking the M10M option. I will keep watching the responses here. The photo I posted was not taken on a Leica. Hope that is OK to post here. The only reason I post is to give a feeling for the type of imagery I love, although I shoot all genres. I wish I lived in a place where I can do some street photography. I love traveling to NY, Chicago....Thanks again.

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Hi Murat, there is one thing all Leicas have in common and that is image quality, colors (I love the blue…) and logic of use.

You will find good and bad views on each and every camera here…

My way along decision path: 1) I have learned via several reviews that the monochromes are not visible better than color plus conversion. But some simply like the reduction. 2) Ask yourself if Rangefinder is your thing, even wideangle, if yes and you love the size go for whatever M. 3) If you cannot manage Rangefinder, because you are wearing glasses or you love EVF, move to SL system. 4) You love night and perhaps video, go for SL2S. And if you love extra pixel go for SL2. 5) do not be afraid about size of SL lenses, the SLs work great with M lenses. 6) Go to Leica shop and have cameras in your hand, you should feel good with your tool.

Enjoy your journey! I will not tell which camera I have 😀

Philipp

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Murat,

To give you some more food for thought:

  • I both have the M10M and M11 (replacing a M10).
  • although the user interface of the M10M is similar to the M10, overal performance wise the M10M is a different camera that plays in the same league as the M11
  • the M11 indeed has the better menu layout (similar to the SL2 or SL2-S), has better battery life, a much better EVF if needed and various other nice upgrades compared to the M10
  • however the M10M is unbeatable in ISO performance.  And this cannot be matched with a B&W conversion from any bayer based M color camera  (based on my experience, not based on the reviews, and you don’t have to trust me since I might be biased).
  • The M10M is my first camera where the ISO is out of the equation ISO-aperture-shutter.  With the M10M I don’t care about ISO anymore and with auto ISO set to 2xfl I let the camera chose whatever ISO is appropriate.  
  • And besides the better ISO the M10M forces your mind to think B&W.  

Conclusion : don’t rule out the B&W only M10M and don’t be blinded by the fact that the M11 is the new kid on the block.  Especially if the M10M would get a SL2-S as a companion.  

Edited by Stef63
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everyone gave you already good advices. I just would add

if

6 hours ago, Dob3rman said:

The Xpro2 with a 28mm prime will be my desert island camera/lens. When I leave home, that’s what I pick everytime.

So, get an M11 with a 28 Elmarit Asph, and you will find another "kind" of island ... Start from here, don't hurry. Use your new M+28 for a while, embrace it, feel the real RF potential, then make a decision and sell the rest.
.
I would suggest a 35mm instead of a 28mm, as the first lens. Then if you want to add more coverage, you go down to the 28. If you need a smaller POV, you passe to 50... IMHO in the 28-50 range is where the M magic happens
My two cents

 

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3 hours ago, PDP said:

Hi Murat, there is one thing all Leicas have in common and that is image quality, colors (I love the blue…) and logic of use.

You will find good and bad views on each and every camera here…

My way along decision path: 1) I have learned via several reviews that the monochromes are not visible better than color plus conversion. But some simply like the reduction. 2) Ask yourself if Rangefinder is your thing, even wideangle, if yes and you love the size go for whatever M. 3) If you cannot manage Rangefinder, because you are wearing glasses or you love EVF, move to SL system. 4) You love night and perhaps video, go for SL2S. And if you love extra pixel go for SL2. 5) do not be afraid about size of SL lenses, the SLs work great with M lenses. 6) Go to Leica shop and have cameras in your hand, you should feel good with your tool.

Enjoy your journey! I will not tell which camera I have 😀

Philipp

Thanks for the feedback Philipp. The problem is that I did exaclty what you suggested, I held all cameras. They all feel amazing, want one of and wish I could have an SL2 for resolution, SL2-S for Low light, M11 and an M10M for my black and white. And I can see myself over time getting there. And yes, I want to know what you have :)  

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They are all great and all different.  I think your choices should be based on resolution needs first.  I recommend getting an sl2 first and then adding an M to go with it.  They are very complimentary.  
 

I personally see the SL cameras as an effective M replacement with more useful features - in particular ibis, the zoom in vf, multishot, and weatherproofing… I’m not sure I would need an M11 after seeing how the SL2 and SL2-s shoot.  They aren’t that much larger than m’s.  But I find their features essential.

All the M glass works well on the SL cameras also so add what suits your purpose.  For me it’s SL zooms and summicron primes along with some lighter weight m glass…

Robb

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There are assignments where a job has to be done regardless of circumstances and whatnot. For that, I use the Sl2-S and the 24-90. This is a very capable no-nonsens combination. The 24-90 shows even some character besides extraordinary sharpness and other virtues such as a modern, calm and rounded bokeh. 

For video with the same requirements, I use the 24-90 too, plus the Atomos Nina. But when I have a film project that can be done with SL2-S and doesn't require a proper cine camera but needs to be more filmic and moody, I use a set of Leica R primes. 

For sports, or bird life for instance, I'd keep the Sony and a long zoom lens because Leica's AF-C is not up to the task yet. If portraits are your assignment, perhaps the 50mm Summilux SL would be the best choice. And for product photography an SL2 with a couple of SL primes would be the premium choice. But the truth is, the 24-90 can do all that to 85% and better.

Monochrome Leicas on the other hand are a speciality that very rarely are a client requirement. But, of course, an intriguing offer. However, for serious B&W, the SL2-S with its compelling texture in combination with Capture One (ISO 800+ and only colour noise suppression activated) does a marvellous job too. 

Bottom line: the Sl2-S and the 24-90 will be sufficient for most pro assignments. When adding the 90-280 you'll have the perfect Leica journalism kit that brings you almost everywhere. In In such a scenario, you'd want to have a second body for keeping a fast pace. But the truth is that in that area lighter Nikon, Canon or Sony kits are preferable. In journalism clients pay you for the motive but not for the skin tones, bokeh, corner sharpness etc ....

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I'm not you of course, but I was sort of soon tired with the SL system, I didn,t want to invest in autofocus in the first place and you may have good reasons for that. The SLsystem is quite an elephant in the bag, and I see you're used to compact.  The M10R as well as the M11 are for me more than handy enough systems to use non-M lenses on with liveview, and even without the EVF. For everyone his own GAS, but I would start with the M11 and wait and see if you really need an SLwhatever above it. You could also start with a used SL, great bang for the bucks, with a used 24-90 (they are not rare on the market).

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Welcome to the forum. Wonderful image - I will soon be coming to you for advice!

Well, finally, we can discuss a topic I feel somewhat an expert at: GAS! 🤣

When I was younger, I loved music so much that when a new album/tape/cd came out, I would run to the store to buy it, and then while at the store, find other music that also appealed to me. I would buy two or three, but in the end, only one would get the real “listening experience.” Hard to divide attention over so many good songs and musicians!

So, one suggestion would be to try one thing at at time, perhaps even a used option. For instance, if you like the Fuji haptics, you might really enjoy one of the M’s, and you can go all the way back to the M240 and still get a pretty “modern” experience. This way, you will know whether you connect with the rangefinder experience. If you like it, you can decide your next move from there. The SL2-S in my opinion, is for someone who has used a Sony A7 body and thought to themself “I wish I could trade some autofocus fancy magic bells and whistles for a more solid feel, simpler menu system, and a sensor that works really nicely with M lenses as well as native lenses.” For instance, I rarely use autofocus more than just focusing in the center point and then recomposing. So all the fancy options on the A7 and later A9 bodies were lost on me. What I appreciate about the SL2S is the solid feel, the EVF (I basically hate EVFs in general, but somehow this camera converted me), and the way the menus are set up for relatively easy customization.

Also, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For instance, I believe I went through literally every standard zoom option available for the SL system (Sigma 24-70, Panasonic 24-70, Leica 24-70, tested the Leica 24-90) and I ended up with something different — the Sigma 28-70! For me it was the best combination of size and weight. In addition, I have a Sigma 105 Macro, and I supplement with some of my M glass. 

If you like low light performers, and shoot mostly black and white, the M10M is special. If you ultimately will own two Leicas, an M10M goes well with an SL2S (my current combo). Sometimes, I wonder if an M10R or an SL2S plus Q2M would be a better combo. This is why I am a GAS expert ;)

A good way to balance costs is to pick one used camera and then after you have the benefit of personal experience, jump into a newer one with the lessons you have learned. In other words, financially speaking , it is way easier to buy an M240, figure out if you like rangefinders, and then if you LOVE them, get an M11 and sell the M240 or use it as a backup, or if you don’t like the rangefinder experience, to sell or trade it in towards an SL2S.

I would recommend starting with some sort of M, if you have decent eyesight. The learning curve is a little steep so you will either like the climb or you will not. If you have failing eyesight, I would say go for the SL2S and the best glass you can get, maybe even one of those APO SL jewels.

If you don’t mind all the buying and selling involved in GAS, then my final advice when jumping into Leica-GAS would be wherever possible, BUY AND HOLD Leica M lenses as well as all the do-dads and thingys (like thumb supports, grips, cases, straps, adapters) and buy/trade/sell all the other stuff (different Leica bodies, different brand lenses, etc..,) as you learn your preferences. Inevitably, you will be back to lusting after the simplicity of an M camera and when you do, you can more easily swap in the body of choice at that moment with the gear you kept on hand.

A few final thoughts before I leave it to the EXTREMELY WISE band of Leica Forum members who have always been willing to lend me a helping hand or a suggestion in the right direction, and who I have always appreciated tremendously: The SL2/SL2S is arguably a more well rounded system, capable of close focus distances for macro, high performing lenses for landscape or travel, or product photography. You can trick the SL2S into acting a little like an M with the M adapter, and that will keep the weight down, but it’s not the same as an optical viewfinder. The M10M has a glass viewfinder where you are looking at the actual world (what a concept in today’s world of screens everywhere) feels more like it puts the user in control, which can be good or bad, depending on the skill level of the user. The M11 (I would guess, having not used it) or perhaps the M10 R or the M10P before it, are probably the most refined of the M bodies, depending on how much resolution you actually need.

Good luck with your decisions! Either way, you have massive talent as can be seen from your first image, so I’m excited to see what you end up with!

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@Dob3rman, great questions and you see it sparked lots of responses!  I started using Leicas over 20 years ago with film and then added an M8 upgrading as time went on.  I actually took detour into the Fuji X Pro when I had a Monochrom that had to go back and forth to Leica to try and pair some lenses (the APO 90 summicron as one), but sold it after about a year.

I have extensive M, R and S glass with a few SL lenses.  I have also owned the SL, SL2 and Sl2-S.  I think the SL system is such a great camera to complement the M and S systems.  You can use the adapters and take two bodies with one set of lenses that work on both.  I love the R lenses and shoot film with an R8/R9 and the SL system.  It is just easy to pair with so many things.

That said, I loved the built in GPS of the SL (which I have in the S system), but I loved the resolution of the SL2.  What I found was the Sl2-S just has the best dynamic range and since I can setup a landscape on a tripod, I can get high resolution with the SL2-S using the firmware if needed.  I ultimately traded in my SL2 towards an S3 and don’t regret losing it.

I think you cannot go wrong with an SL2-S.  You can find used adapters at good prices (L-M and L-S).

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12 hours ago, augustwest100 said:

Welcome to the forum. Wonderful image - I will soon be coming to you for advice!

Well, finally, we can discuss a topic I feel somewhat an expert at: GAS! 🤣

When I was younger, I loved music so much that when a new album/tape/cd came out, I would run to the store to buy it, and then while at the store, find other music that also appealed to me. I would buy two or three, but in the end, only one would get the real “listening experience.” Hard to divide attention over so many good songs and musicians!

So, one suggestion would be to try one thing at at time, perhaps even a used option. For instance, if you like the Fuji haptics, you might really enjoy one of the M’s, and you can go all the way back to the M240 and still get a pretty “modern” experience. This way, you will know whether you connect with the rangefinder experience. If you like it, you can decide your next move from there. The SL2-S in my opinion, is for someone who has used a Sony A7 body and thought to themself “I wish I could trade some autofocus fancy magic bells and whistles for a more solid feel, simpler menu system, and a sensor that works really nicely with M lenses as well as native lenses.” For instance, I rarely use autofocus more than just focusing in the center point and then recomposing. So all the fancy options on the A7 and later A9 bodies were lost on me. What I appreciate about the SL2S is the solid feel, the EVF (I basically hate EVFs in general, but somehow this camera converted me), and the way the menus are set up for relatively easy customization.

Also, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. For instance, I believe I went through literally every standard zoom option available for the SL system (Sigma 24-70, Panasonic 24-70, Leica 24-70, tested the Leica 24-90) and I ended up with something different — the Sigma 28-70! For me it was the best combination of size and weight. In addition, I have a Sigma 105 Macro, and I supplement with some of my M glass. 

If you like low light performers, and shoot mostly black and white, the M10M is special. If you ultimately will own two Leicas, an M10M goes well with an SL2S (my current combo). Sometimes, I wonder if an M10R or an SL2S plus Q2M would be a better combo. This is why I am a GAS expert ;)

A good way to balance costs is to pick one used camera and then after you have the benefit of personal experience, jump into a newer one with the lessons you have learned. In other words, financially speaking , it is way easier to buy an M240, figure out if you like rangefinders, and then if you LOVE them, get an M11 and sell the M240 or use it as a backup, or if you don’t like the rangefinder experience, to sell or trade it in towards an SL2S.

I would recommend starting with some sort of M, if you have decent eyesight. The learning curve is a little steep so you will either like the climb or you will not. If you have failing eyesight, I would say go for the SL2S and the best glass you can get, maybe even one of those APO SL jewels.

If you don’t mind all the buying and selling involved in GAS, then my final advice when jumping into Leica-GAS would be wherever possible, BUY AND HOLD Leica M lenses as well as all the do-dads and thingys (like thumb supports, grips, cases, straps, adapters) and buy/trade/sell all the other stuff (different Leica bodies, different brand lenses, etc..,) as you learn your preferences. Inevitably, you will be back to lusting after the simplicity of an M camera and when you do, you can more easily swap in the body of choice at that moment with the gear you kept on hand.

A few final thoughts before I leave it to the EXTREMELY WISE band of Leica Forum members who have always been willing to lend me a helping hand or a suggestion in the right direction, and who I have always appreciated tremendously: The SL2/SL2S is arguably a more well rounded system, capable of close focus distances for macro, high performing lenses for landscape or travel, or product photography. You can trick the SL2S into acting a little like an M with the M adapter, and that will keep the weight down, but it’s not the same as an optical viewfinder. The M10M has a glass viewfinder where you are looking at the actual world (what a concept in today’s world of screens everywhere) feels more like it puts the user in control, which can be good or bad, depending on the skill level of the user. The M11 (I would guess, having not used it) or perhaps the M10 R or the M10P before it, are probably the most refined of the M bodies, depending on how much resolution you actually need.

Good luck with your decisions! Either way, you have massive talent as can be seen from your first image, so I’m excited to see what you end up with!

Thank you for taking the time and responding with great advice.  All makes sense, though still a tough decision. I like your approach and was thinking about starting with a Q2M. I love B&W photography. Ev.erytime I leave my house, I always pick the Fuji XPro2 with the 18mm (though always end up using the EVF). So I am thinking get the Q2M, use a little while and add the SL2-S. The hard decision will be 24-90 vs. 24-70 vs an M prime, may be a 50. Decisions, decisions. All very exciting though. Thanks again

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11 hours ago, davidmknoble said:

@Dob3rman, great questions and you see it sparked lots of responses!  I started using Leicas over 20 years ago with film and then added an M8 upgrading as time went on.  I actually took detour into the Fuji X Pro when I had a Monochrom that had to go back and forth to Leica to try and pair some lenses (the APO 90 summicron as one), but sold it after about a year.

I have extensive M, R and S glass with a few SL lenses.  I have also owned the SL, SL2 and Sl2-S.  I think the SL system is such a great camera to complement the M and S systems.  You can use the adapters and take two bodies with one set of lenses that work on both.  I love the R lenses and shoot film with an R8/R9 and the SL system.  It is just easy to pair with so many things.

That said, I loved the built in GPS of the SL (which I have in the S system), but I loved the resolution of the SL2.  What I found was the Sl2-S just has the best dynamic range and since I can setup a landscape on a tripod, I can get high resolution with the SL2-S using the firmware if needed.  I ultimately traded in my SL2 towards an S3 and don’t regret losing it.

I think you cannot go wrong with an SL2-S.  You can find used adapters at good prices (L-M and L-S).

Thank you David. Do you have either the 24-70 or 24-90? Whats your opinion between the two. Watched many reviews and comparisons, would love to hear some feedback from other users.

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1 hour ago, Dob3rman said:

Thank you David. Do you have either the 24-70 or 24-90? Whats your opinion between the two. Watched many reviews and comparisons, would love to hear some feedback from other users.

The 24-90 was my first lens (2018). I used that lens a lot, including about 2 weeks in Haiti.  It is a fantastic lens.  Ultimately I sold it because I do so much work on the coast, that I prefer internal focusing lenses.

RedDot has a great You Tube show on the 24-70 and talk about differences between the lenses.  They are both good and have different strengths.  If I remember right, the 24mm is the weak spot of the 24-70, and the 24-90 has a really strong macro ability.  I think you wont’ go wrong with either.

David Farkas and Josh Lehrer do a great intro to the lens here and the You Tube with a lot more info is listed at the bottom.

https://www.reddotforum.com/content/2021/05/leica-vario-elmarit-sl-24-70mm-f-2-8-asph/

Best of luck!

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Before I pull the trigger on both Q2M and SL2-s, are these cameras going to be updated soon, Q3M? SL3? I see some rumors for a 2022 upgrade. Is it worth the wait? I hate to make an investment that considerable and find out new gear is already around the corner? It seems like  Q2M and SL2/SL2-S will have OK resale value. Thank you.

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Murat, great picture, the M is so different to the SL, I would suggest you go to a reputable dealer and test drive if you are uncertain or need to choose. Whichever you choose, you will not regret it and the glass is great with both. A couple of thoughts:

If you are going to use live view or an EVF, then why bother with the M unless you are trying to maintain compatibility with glass you already own? The SL gets you right in there with Leica and their very latest all singing, all dancing sexy new kit.

If you want to take slower thoughtful pictures then the M is a great place to be... and over time will give you the chance to appreciate some of the subtleties and nuances of all sorts of vintage and modern Leica glass, from screw mount all the way up to the latest aspherical glass and including interesting new stuff from Voigtländer or TT or 7artisans. It's small unobtrusive and takes you back to a different kind of photography.

Both have their place. I use M colour and Monochrom... but also a bunch of old 35mm M and even older Leica screw mount kit which works perfectly with the M. I also have a range of R SLRs and glass. Once you jump in you can justify all sorts of extravagancies to yourself and I guarantee  you will fall under the spell.

Question for you though... why be embarrassed to admit a liking for OM? Maitani san was inspired by Leica and his approach to compact, high quality kit followed the original design thinking that led Herr Barnack to re-purpose 35mm cinema film stock. Indeed Maitani even named the first Olympus OM SLR the M-1 until Leica persuaded him that they owned the designation. I still use Olympus gear and have an OM4-Ti sitting on my desk right now, loaded with Pan F, and a "glow in the dark" 55mm 1.2 just for fun. PEN series and OM D M1 also get usage along with their older four thirds cousins. But that's all for a different forum!!

I have often found that those tempted by Leica also have a penchant for Olympus. My daughter, however, shoots Canon screw mount, Olympus 35mm and Olympus digital.

There we go... three brands mentioned in one post! 

Just enjoy, you are taking great pictures!

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