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Thread: SONY a99

  1. #141
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    To heck with universal flash control standards why not a UN convention to enforce a universal lens mount? I mean talk about a bigger audience; everyone uses lenses, but I bet only 5% of DSLR users own more than one flash. I should be able to slap any glass on any camera:-) What is really so special about each of those mounts? A few electronic contacts and maybe a small motor or two. And make all the focus and zoom rings adhere to a standard for which way they turn and which is closest to the camera body. I cannot believe we live in this crazy world of dozens of lens mounts for the past 100 years.

  2. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgosden View Post
    To heck with universal flash control standards why not a UN convention to enforce a universal lens mount? I mean talk about a bigger audience; everyone uses lenses, but I bet only 5% of DSLR users own more than one flash. I should be able to slap any glass on any camera:-) What is really so special about each of those mounts? A few electronic contacts and maybe a small motor or two. And make all the focus and zoom rings adhere to a standard for which way they turn and which is closest to the camera body. I cannot believe we live in this crazy world of dozens of lens mounts for the past 100 years.
    TAMRON had a "universal" manual approach to lenses called "Adaptall." They provide a wide variety of low-cost camera mount adapters... that have no electrical contacts, but allowed the use of the SAME lens on nearly all the different manufacturer's mounts (Canon, Pentax, Konica, Minolta, Nikon, etc). If you were a photographer who could live without the electrical feedback from the lens... this was a true choice for multiple camera manufacturer users.

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    Adaptall is no longer supported... but, it is a rather excellent example of a third-party manufacturer's attempt at what you speak of.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-15-2013 at 01:34 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

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  3. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    You're right about my contention that a flash adapter that slaps on the top of a new camera is a mistake.
    so that's the contention is it ? that removing an already perfectly working tiny device from the top of the camera is the BIG step you're talking about ? that's the HUGE leap that's on your radar ? that's the BIGGEST obstacle that there is in photography at the moment ? I mean really...seriously...lol

    SONY/Minolta TTL flashes have their own encoding for flash operation, with the current IR system. The SONY flash units respond to it. In order to make the detachable TTL flash compatible with an RF-source... they would need to have an RF-transceiver built into them. Regarding the current inventory of external flashes (1995-2013) that currently only have the IR-transceiver in them, they would REQUIRE an adapter be fitted to the hot shoe stem (to provide RF-transmitted TTL and ratio control) to bring them up to speed. Also, the RF-transceiver adapter would be required for almost any non-SONY flash device. That is a given. Again, the adapter would not be on-the-new-camera-body.
    this already exists. perhaps you just don't know how to use it very well. strobist.com is a good place for you. start at lighting 101.

    Now, change the SONY name and make it a Canon or Nikon system. You would have a Canon or Nikon style RF-transceiver built-in the camera body, also. You would need a RF-transceiver at the removable flash or other strobe lighting, also, that would respond top that manufacturer's digital encoding. So, since it is in the very same location, lets make that RF-transceiver adapter unit UNIVERSAL, so no matter what manufacturer is triggering/controlling it... it obeys. That is entirely doable with software (even encrypted software) and would make everything sing as it was born to. Upgrades to software is a "magical aspect" of the digital word.
    so what you're asking for is for the manufacturers to forego any licencing they have on their own TTL system ?

    It is troubling that you cannot picture this, but I will draw up some simple (basic) illustrations to help you focus, mate. The overall idea is exceptionally simple (compared to the nonsense we currently are put through)... and the worst part, entirely doable, in very short order.
    thanks...cos at the moment you're only proposal is to remove the transmitter from the top of the camera. phew...there is something of substance coming...I just have to read on ! ok...lets do it !!!

    My contention is to eliminate any kind of silly RF ADAPTER riding on the camera body at all (free up that hot shoe... or even eliminate it from the camera body) and make the flash controller an integrated part of the camera's software, so you can directly manipulate it through a soft button and the LCD panel. It eliminates the need for additional batteries and the RF flash-controller is always there, no matter what.
    eliminate the hot shoe ? lol ok...I know that was a joke want it...wasn't it ? please tell me that was a joke ! actually...im not laughing...so its a bad joke if it is one.

    Having an RF-adapter of some kind, at the flash unit, seems to be a necessary evil, because who knows what is being used as the light source. It could be a simple ISO flash unit, a complete studio strobe set with sync cords or a few of the manufacturer's more complicated TTL devices. The remote RF-adapter would convert SONY to SONY, SONY to Nikon, Nikon to Canon, Canon to Hasselblad, Hasselblad to Rikoh, Rikoh to Panasonic, Panasonic to Olympus, Olympus to Pentax... so on and so forth. Lighting control is pretty standard, when you look closely. The idea is to eliminate any boundaries and provide well-timed and precise flash performance. There is always going to be a RF-transceiver at the flash, unless the RF-transceiver functionality is built into the flash (something new).
    so we're back to square one. you admit there is always a need for a receiver. the only thing you want to change is to not have a transmitter ? that's it ? that's your revolution ? hmmm...I still say that sucks ass cos I have more than one camera so you are actually limiting my ability to use my triggers now cos I have to have an RF enabled transmitter built into my body. now for your information, the Nikons have their own IR enabled flash system which enables you to adjust camera power via the body, so the software you are talking about exists in the primitive IR format. and here's the thing, I much prefer to use the SU800 to make these adjustments. it is FAR easier to use a hotshoe mounted device. I prefer to have my camera LCD for chimping or LV and don't want to switch to a flash setup screen that I can have easily accessible on the hotshoe with another more suited device with clearer dedicated buttons.

    either way, whether its preference or not preference. what you are proposing offers very little by way of change to current hardware availability and as a photographer that uses flash a fair bit, you're not making the compelling argument you think you are.

    Like any idea, this one lives... because it has been expressed and offered, publicly. It is an idea whose time has come and needs to be implemented as soon as practical.
    in Australia we have a saying about what you're trying to do here.

    "if you cant dazzle then with brilliance, try and baffle them with bullsh*t".

    I smell something and from my understanding...brilliance is odourless.
    Last edited by Rooz; 04-19-2013 at 06:05 AM.
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  4. #144
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    Working the sidelines...

    Rooz,

    Your do nothing and let 'em eat cake methodology is precisely why there is no serious advancement of the art, in my opinion. We have all this third-party effort at improvement going on and the main manufacturers are deadly slow in adopting any of it. How can it be solidly implemented at all, under those circumstances? Some one has to make the paradigm shift.

    If it takes a consortium to get it done, so be it. A flash standard is a great idea. Why did I not say that. Oh wait, that was my point, was it not? Then, finally, everyone has a chance to use a lighting system that does not have to be a direct derivative of their system. The sheer flexibility would be awesome.

    So, we have SONY, who has introduced a new camera, into the mess. Completely new methodology for image capture (SLT)... and that deserved the implementation of a more reliable flash trigger and shutter release system, than the current faulty and unreliable one. It didn't happen... and we are left with the same old same old solution for control. Camera after camera has been released... not really advancing the art, but adding silly, rarely used gimmicks. To me, that is simply wasting my time. If I want the gimmicks, I'll buy them.

    I told you what I wanted in my new camera. You said "T.S." I said "T.S., you are not getting any more of my money, Ace!"

    So, here we are, no further down the merry path and you are happy about it. Fine, you sit right there... I'm taking a hike... with my money still in my pocket. I will get by and you can stew in your old juices.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-15-2013 at 04:35 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  5. #145
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    No serious advancement ? Lmao a ludicrous statement. Shoot your a100 against a d5200 and let's see how it goes.

    lol More rhetoric and still not a single compelling argument in sight. Not a single logical point being made. Just garish exaggerations, mythical problems, flaccid punch lines and what appears to be a genuine and fundamental lack of understanding of what advancement in photography actually means.

    The photography world is progressing in leaps and bounds when it comes to taking images, both still and moving, and you're rooted to the same spot arguing about an inferior, more limiting version of what already exists.
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  6. #146
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    Frustration, disappointment and a shake of the head

    I'm a bit disappointed that you cannot agree that an in-hand photography-controller is crucial to image flow. What I want is a reduced-weight device (eliminating batteries) that can handle movement of the camera from place to place, without having to worry about objects or ambient illumination blocking the signal. A fighting man's camera, that control's the adjustments, from the LCD. For the most part, this is just a change in medium, as computer's have successfully done, over the years, giving birth to Wi-Fi and such. I had a few InfraRed printing devices... and understood their shortcomings, as misdirected calculator emitter or other transmitter had the signal blocked. It made it impractical to move, although it did alleviate wire entanglements. Again, RF was not there, yet. Today... we are needlessly missing out on this enormous advantage to our suites.

    Again, practically speaking, with the device built-in to the camera, software revisions and changes would always be able to address it. You would not have sudden disappearances of functionality, just because an upgraded version software/firmware came out and denied functionality to attached third party units. Or, in SONY's case, the "unexpected" hot shoe change that, now, leaves everyone wondering what's next.

    Well, this should be next in camera history. You really need to get over being stuck in the mud with IR-technology. It is a loser.. and I am relatively certain many people have lost images because of it. I know I sure have. Enough is enough!
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-15-2013 at 04:34 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    I'm a bit disappointed that you cannot agree that an in-hand photography-controller is crucial to image flow. What I want is a reduced-weight device (eliminating batteries) that can handle movement of the camera from place to place, without having to worry about objects or ambient illumination blocking the signal. A fighting man's camera, that control's the adjustments, from the LCD. For the most part, this is just a change in medium, as computer's have successfully done, over the years, giving birth to Wi-Fi and such. I had a few InfraRed printing devices... and understood their shortcomings, as misdirected calculator emitter or other transmitter had the signal blocked. It made it impractical to move, although it did alleviate wire entanglements. Again, RF was not there, yet. Today... we are needlessly missing out on this enormous advantage to our suites.

    Again, practically speaking, with the device built-in to the camera, software revisions and changes would always be able to address it. You would not have sudden disappearances of functionality, just because an upgraded version software/firmware came out and denied functionality to attached third party units. Or, in SONY's case, the "unexpected" hot shoe change that, now, leaves everyone wondering what's next.

    Well, this should be next in camera history. You really need to get over being stuck in the mud with IR-technology. It is a loser.. and I am relatively certain many people have lost images because of it. I know I sure have. Enough is enough!
    Why is it that the people that know how to use flash don't feel that they are enormously missing out on anything ? Perhaps you should be asking yourself that question.

    Enough with your strawmen, I'm not talking about IR. And by using my cybersyncs I can use my flashes on any camera I've ever owned or any camera I've ever borrowed with a hotshoe. Lx3, d5100, d300, x100, xe1, d800, d700, d4, 5d mkiii, d3. Yepp, every one of them worked flawlessly with the same system and the same cheap $80 flashguns. No need change anything.

    The only thing limited here is your argument.
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  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    The only thing limited here is your argument.
    I often wonder... that's it. I've made my point and if the rest of the world doesn't want to go along... there's the cliff -->
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #149
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    Somehow I doubt that will be it.
    But you are right to step aside, you're getting in the way of genuine progress.
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  10. #150
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    I guess I have an issue with your level of progress... and still using limited/defective technologies. How about we fix the problem so many are waiting to correct? I was not waiting to make movies, Rooz. Never was.

    This is from the editor of AlphaTracks (dedicated to SONY/Minolta photography)

    Cowboy Studio Flash Triggers for the Sony Alpha
    Posted: 19 Mar 2013 06:00 AM PDT

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    After waiting for Sony to offer a radio wireless flash trigger for the auto lock style hot shoe, I found a Cowboy Studio trigger/receiver set up that works with the auto lock shoe.

    I’ve been testing a set of Cowboy Studio Wireless Flash triggers on my Sony Alpha with the Minolta/Sony Auto-Lock hot shoe. I am fairly happy with these inexpensive radio triggers, especially since I don’t have to mess with a hot shoe adapter.

    With the A99, NEX-6, A-58 and other new models, Sony has embraced the new Multi-interface hot-shoe design. This is essentially the same hot-shoe used by other manufacturers, meaning Sony Alpha owners can access numerous third-party accessories if they upgrade to the newest Alpha hardware.
    Owners of older Sony Alpha designs, however, still have the less compatible auto-lock hot-shoe originally designed by Minolta. In addition to older, discontinued models, many of the current top sellers in the Sony catalog (A-77, NEX-7) still use the auto-lock shoe.

    I’ve gone on record to say I prefer the auto-lock shoe because I think it is far superior to the slip-on multi-interface shoe. Still, there is no denying that the multi-interface design is much more compatible with third-party accessories. Going forward, Sony users will have many more choices available to them for flashes, radio triggers and other hot shoe accessories.

    Which still leaves users of older hardware and those purchasing new cameras with the auto-lock shoe at a disadvantage. One of the biggest concerns is using radio triggers with the auto-lock shoe.

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    Look ma, no adapters! The Cowboy Studio Model NPT-04S1 fits the Auto Lock hot-shoe used on older Sony Alpha models and all Minolta dSLRs. Reliability is good, at least at a distance of less than 35 feet.
    Still No Sony Brand Radio Trigger

    If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I have questioned why Sony hadn’t introduced a Sony Alpha branded radio trigger set. With Sony’s vast experience in the radio communications area, this would seem to be a logical move. Several years later, I and the rest of the Sony Alpha world are still waiting.

    I considered going with another solution like Pocket Wizards, but this would involve some form of adapter, and really didn’t want to start messing with hot-shoe adapters. It might work fine, but it seemed that the adapter would be just another link in the chain that could cause problems.

    So I waited, watching while Sony experimented with translucent mirrors, mirrorless cameras and other innovations, but pointedly ignored the need for an Alpha radio flash trigger.

    A few months ago, I was listing to Frederick Van Johnson’s round table podcast called This Week In Photography. TWIP is way too focused and Nikon and Canon for my taste, but all-in-all it offers an excellent look at current photography trends. The guest list changes weekly, and here have even been a few Sony shooters among them.
    One of the recent guests was Derrick Story. While I have never met Mr. Story, I have been listening to his own podcast for years, and reading his articles in Macworld for much longer. I was surprised to hear Story recommend Cowboy Studio flash triggers. Everyone knows that cheap, Chinese flash triggers are a waste of money. But Story claimed the inexpensive Cowboy Studio flash triggers worked flawlessly for him. Hmmm.

    A couple of weeks later, I listened to Story’s own Podcast, The Digital Story. Once again, Story praised the Cowboy Studio units as reliable, affordable and well-made flash triggers.

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    I ordered two sets of Cowboy Studio triggers. One is designed for the Sony Alpha Auto Lock Hot Shoe. The other fits the more common slip-on Multi Interface shoe.

    Selling for less that $25 for a set, this seemed like it might be worth checking out. I figured I would still need an adapter, but for less than $25, what did I have to lose?

    When I checked Amazon for Cowboy Studio units, I was excited to see a model designed for the Sony Alpha auto-lock shoe. No adapter needed. With Story’s recommendation, and the knowledge I wouldn’t need an adapter, I ordered a set.

    Actually, I ordered two sets. The first is the NPT-04S1, which provides a transmitter for the Sony auto-lock hot shoe and a single receiver that accepts a auto-lock style flash.

    Because I have a collection of older Minolta 4000AF flashes, which use the common slip-on flash foot, I also ordered the NPT-04 set. This gave me two receivers designed to accept the multi-interface flash foot. It also included a multi-interface trigger, which I have no real use for at this time. But Amazon had a sale going on and I got the NPT-04 set for less than the cost of a single receiver.

    Despite Story’s recommendation, I didn’t know how well this would work, When the trigger sets arrived, however, I turned on the trigger, slid it into the flash shoe of my Sony Alpha, installed two AAA batteries into a receiver and attached one of my old 4000AF units. I touched the shutter button on the Alpha, and POP — there was light
    I’ve tried these triggers on several assignments so far. Overall, I am pleased, but there are a few limitations.
    Short Range Radio Triggers

    My biggest gripe concerns range — or lack of it. According to the specs, the triggers are supposed to have range of 30 meters — roughly 90 feet. I am only seeing about half of that. When the trigger is less than 30 feet from the receiver, everything works fine. At 35 -45 feet, the reception is spotty. The flash only fires part of the time. Beyond 45 feet, forget about it.

    This isn’t deal-breaker. At 30 feet or less, the Cowboy Studio triggers are perfectly reliable.

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    Receivers run on two AAA batteries. I am using NiMH rechargeable cells.

    Although I doubt it will make much difference, I intend to test the triggers with different batteries. The trigger came bundled with a A23 cell. Batteries that are supplied with new electronic equipment are notorious for being old and weak, so I intend to replace the included cell with a fresh A23 battery to see if it makes a difference.
    I may also try other cells in the receivers. The receiver uses two AAA batteries. I am using 800MA NiMH rechargeable batteries. NiMH cells usually work perfectly a replacement for alkaline batteries, but they only have a voltage of 1.2 instead of the the 1.5 voltage you get with alkaline batteries.

    I doubt this will make a huge difference, but I will try some alkaline batteries to see if they improve the range.

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    The Auto Lock Shoe Set (PT-04S1) contains one radio transmitter that fits the Sony Alpha auto lock shoe and a matching receiver for Sony style flash units.

    Cannot wake Sleeping Flash Units

    A second concern is using Sony and Minolta flash units with the system. These flashes are designed to conserve battery life by going dormant when the flash is unused for a time. Used on the hot shoe or with a sync cord, the camera is able to wake the flash from its battery-saving nap. The radio triggers don’t have that ability. If the flash goes dormant, the trigger cannot wake it. You have to physically turn it off and on again. Depending on circumstances, this can be a pain. Besides the nuisance of having to physically turn the flash on and off, it also resets the flash to full power. If I have the flash set to a lower power setting, I have to remember to adjust the level again. It is a little thing, but when you are engrossed in making a series of important shots it is one more detail to remember.

    I haven’t tried the Cowboy Studio units with my Sony HLV-F42AM flash as yet. I have heard that you need to attach the flash to the camera first, then attach it to the receiver. Otherwise the flash will not be recognized by the receiver/transmitter. If true, this sounds like a real pain. Anytime the flash goes dormant, you would have to mount the flash to the camera to get it working again. Fortunately, the Minolta AF4000 doesn’t require this step, but you do need to turn the flash off and on to wake it when it goes dormant.

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    The bottom of the Cowboy Studio auto lock receiver displays the brass tripod socket. The hexagonal opening on the flange on the left is designed to accommodate a standard umbrella mount. Not all of the Cowboy Studio receivers feature an umbrella mount, this is the receiver included in the PT-04S1 kit.

    No TTL Flash: These Triggers are Manual Flash Only

    The Cowboy Studio triggers do not support TTL flash. I wasn’t too concerned about that, because my main flash is the 4000AF, which doesn’t support TTL flash with the Sony Alpha.

    I quickly discovered there is a big difference using manual flash from a bracket on the camera, and firing your flash from a distance with a radio trigger.

    Using the 4000AF with a sync cord at the camera, it is a simple matter to manually adjust power levels to suit the conditions. It only takes a second to adjust the power up or down if my LCD preview indicates the power is too high or too low.

    When the flash is on a light pole some distance away, however, it is no trivial matter to adjust the flash. You have to leave your position, lower the flash and adjust the power level. If the flash is located in an inaccessible place, you may have no access to the flash until the event is over. In this situation, you have to live with the flash setting, even if the light levels at the scene change. Obviously, TTL flash would be a great option in this situation.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the build quality of these units. I am accustomed to see poor quality control from inexpensive, off-brand electronics from overseas. That is not the case with the Cowboy studio flash triggers. It is true, the casing are plastic, and might be damaged in hard use. But what do you want for $25.00?

    The seams in the receiver bodies line up well, the trigger foot clicked into the hot shoe perfectly and all the screws were in place and appeared to be tight.

    One nice touch was the tripod attachment on the bottom of the triggers and receivers. Although the bodies are made of plastic, the attachment point is metal. This makes sense, but it is surprising how

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    The NPT-04 set will not fit the Auto Lock shoe that the majority of Sony Alpha dSLR and SLT cameras. The transceiver should work with the new Multi Interface shoe that Sony is using on newer cameras such as the A99 and NEX -6. I am using the receivers with my old Minolta 4000AF flash units.

    Many inexpensive photographic accessories attempt to get away with a plastic tripod socket. The metal attachment gives me confidence that the Cowboy Studio components were well engineered.

    I plan on a more exhaustive test in the near future, I am sure I will have a lot more to say at that time, In the meantime, if you have always wanted to experiment with a radio flash trigger. I join Mr. Story in recommending the Cowboy Studio flashes — especially for Sony Alpha shooters with auto-lock shoes.

    You can find Cowboy Studio radio flash triggers at Amazon.com.

    I'm not kidding about this Rooz... and you, my friend, do not have your finger on the pulse.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 04-19-2013 at 11:14 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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