Archives for January 2009

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM and Sports Photography

This is my second lens of choice for portraits but my first choice for sports photography of baseball. This lens incorporates Canon’s second generation Image Stabilization technology. The IS is another must have for a 100mm plus shot.  The telephoto zoom responds in half a second, which is key for fast shot acquisition. It also provides up to three stops of correction for camera shake. The range and performance of this lens make it a must have in my book for sports photography. Here are a few shots that were taken with my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens.

Sony Alpha DSLR-A900: Review

sony-a900Sony, the newest new kid on the DLSR block, first high end DSLR. The pressure was on Sony to show it was committed to becoming a major SLR system player and that it wasn’t going to squander Minolta’s long legacy in this market after picking up the assets Konica Minolta shed. Thus we saw the first prototype of the Alpha 900 – Sony’s flagship full frame digital SLR – back in early 2007.   Information has been trickling out ever since January of this year of a 35mm full frame CMOS sensor.

So when Sony finally showed the finished Alpha 900 to us back in the late summer there were few surprises at the basic specification or the appearance of the camera. As we started to actually use the Alpha 900 we were surprised at some of the decisions made by Sony’s engineers when designing its flagship SLR.

The success of the Alpha 900 amongst the Minolta, Konica Minolta and Sony faithful seems assured. The launch price of the Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 is just shy of $3000. It offers a lot of great feachers and there is undoubtedly a significant number of Minolta film SLR users who’ve been waiting years for a full frame digital body on which to use their existing lenses. The challenge for Sony, however, is to generate some interest from people without an existing investment in the Minolta system. On paper the Alpha 900 looks promising –

Key features
24.6 MP 35mm format full-frame CMOS sensor (highest res in class)
SteadyShot INSIDE full frame image sensor shift stabilization (world first)
High Speed Dual Bionz processors
Eye-level glass Penta-prism OVF, 100% coverage, 0.74x magnification
9 point AF with 10 assist points, center dual-cross AF w/2.8 sensor
5 frames per second burst, newly developed mirror box
Intelligent Preview Function
3 User programmable custom memory modes on mode dial
Advanced Dynamic Range Optimizer (5 step selectable)
40 segment honeycomb metering
3.0″ 921K pixel Photo Quality (270 dpi) LCD display, 100% coverage
Direct HDMI output
ISO 200-3200 (ISO 100-6400 expanded range)
User interchangeable focusing screens (3 options)
CF Type I/II and MS slots, LI-ION battery, STAMINA 880 shots
Weight 850g (without battery, card, accs)
New Image Data Converter SR software (includes vignetting control)
New Vertical Grip
Supplied with wireless remote control
Magnesium Alloy body and rubber seals for dust and moisture resistance
AF micro adjustment
$2999.99 body price; available late October 2008

Canon EOS 5D Mark II: Review


The Canon EOS 5D Mark II does live up to its billing. It takes a great full-frame DSLR, the original 5D , boosts damn near everything, adds high-definition video capture, and turns in an overall performance that makes it a virtual steal (or at least as close as a steal comes in this price bracket). The body-only street price is $2,700; $3,500 with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM kit lens.

Does the 5D Mark II have drawbacks? Certainly. The autofocus is no faster than that on the original 5D . The burst rate, at just 3.9 frames per second, isn’t pro-sports caliber. And when shooting video, though the image quality rivals any consumer-level camcorder, there’s no autofocus.

Image Quality

Talk about the best of both worlds! Until this 21.1MP Canon debuted, the choice in the under-$3,500 price range was between lots of pixels or high image quality at high ISOs. One route was a camera such as the $3,000, 24.6MP Sony A900, which produces high-resolution images but tops out at only ISO 6400, and even there serves up lots of noise. The other approach was the $3,000 Nikon D700, with just 12.1MP but impressively clean images at ISO 6400, along with the ability to shoot (albeit noisily) at up to ISO 25,600.

But the 5D Mark II matches the Nikon for sensitivity and comes close to the Sony in resolution. At its lowest standard sensitivity, ISO 100, the Canon scored 2820 lines of resolution; the Nikon, 2350 lines; and the Sony 3230.

Reduced to ISO 50 for longer exposures and bright-light work, the Canon’s resolution was 2830 lines, matching the $6,680 (street) 21.1MP Canon EOS 1-Ds Mark III (see, the 5D Mark II is a steal). Neither the Nikon nor Sony offers ISO 50.

And even when the ISO is cranked up to 25,600, the Canon edges out the Nikon with 2400 lines of resolution. Put simply, in our tests, even at its worst, the resolution of the Canon beats the Nikon’s best. That’s the power of 21.1 versus 12.1MP.

Of course, at such a high ISO, both the Canon and Nikon are in Unacceptable territory in our noise tests (4.9 for Canon, 4.6 for Nikon). At 6400, the Sony scored 3.5, while the Canon and Nikon hit 2.0. Any reading above 3.0 is Unacceptable.

These numbers suggest low-light shooting like you’ve never seen before. We took the Canon out at sunset in New York’s Central Park and photographed a rollerblader, capturing the scene with a shutter speed of 1/20 sec and aperture of f/11. At ISO 6400, there was no more than a light dusting of noise. Compared to the grain you’d see with 6400-speed film, this is the stuff of revelation.

Such high resolution and ISOs will change your photography. You’ll use the 5D Mark II in settings where you wouldn’t have opened your camera bag before. And you can leave your auxiliary flash at home (though think twice, because this camera doesn’t have a pop-up).

One benefit of the camera’s 14-bit capture (up from 12-bit), with help from the camera’s processing engine, is Canon’s Highlight Tone Priority setting. When enabled, it limits your ISO range to 200-6400, but also captures a little more detail in highlights. The effect is subtle and, according to Canon, may add a little noise to the shadows. If you’re shooting a wedding dress, though, you’ll likely be glad you have it.

But this low-light performance isn’t glitch-free. As have commenters on the web, we noticed tiny black blotches next to areas of blown-out highlights, such as the streetlights in our image of the skater. We found it hard to predict what images these spots would turn up in — sometimes we’d find them, sometimes we wouldn’t. Canon is aware of the problem, and our bet is that the issue soon will be resolved with a firmware upgrade. In any case, the blotches are easily removed in postproduction.

When working with RAW images, we noticed finer gradations of tone in the final images. Credit the sensor’s 14-bit capture. And that sensor ranked fourth out of all current DSLRs in DxOMark Sensor tests, which analyze and compare unprocessed RAW data.

Color? In our testing protocols, anything below 8.0 is Excellent. The Canon scored 6.3. This beats both the Nikon and Sony. And with 9.0, the Sony fell into our Extremely High category.
The Body

Canon didn’t change much of the ergonomics from the original 5D. Same control layout (two command wheels and a tiny joystick to quickly maneuver the menus), and same magnesium-alloy chassis as the original.

What’s new? The 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD (up from 2.5 inches and 230,000 dots). This larger screen meant moving the delete button to the left.

Look through the viewfinder, and you’ll instantly be reminded of what a full-frame DSLR is all about — an awesome, wide view. If you’re accustomed to using Canon’s popular 24-105mm f/4 L-series lens on an APS-format camera, be prepared for a bright, wide-angle experience. Although viewfinder accuracy isn’t the Sony’s 100 percent, the Canon’s 98 percent is still impressive and beats the Nikon D700’s 95 percent.

The standard viewfinder screen (EG-A) can be swapped out for a grid (EG-D) or, for photographers who focus manually, a Super Precision (EG-S) screen. Each of these optional focusing screens streets for about $45.

While there’s no pop-up flash (we can’t get over it), the hot-shoe is more rugged, with the addition of a rim that seals Canon’s EX II-series Speedlites in place.

Despite the fact that many pros will use this camera, the 5D Mark II (like the Nikon D700) has only one CompactFlash slot. Canon’s 1D and 1Ds cameras, however, have twin slots, which we find more useful for heavy shooters. The Sony? Both CF and Memory Stick PRO Duo slots.

Canon upgraded the shutter to boost its life expectancy to 150,000 cycles, up from 100,000 cycles. That makes it the same as the D700, leaving the Sony’s 100,000-cycle shutter behind.

If dust keeps finding its way onto your imaging sensor, you’ll appreciate the 5D Mark II’s Integrated Cleaning System. It shakes the sensor each time you start up the camera so that any loose dust falls down to be trapped by a sticky surface below the sensor. Also, the low pass filter on the front of the sensor assembly has a fluorine coating to repel dust in the first place.

If all of that weren’t enough (and sometimes it isn’t), a menu option lets you create a dust map by capturing an image of a plain white surface large enough to completely fill the frame. That dust map data then becomes embedded in your future image files — you can use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional software (version 3.3 or later) to remove the dust spots from your images in postprocessing. Most people think of that Photo Pro software just for RAW conversion, but the latest version also works on JPEGs and TIFFs, so you don’t have to shoot RAW to take advantage of dust mapping.

For all the similarities with its predecessor, the 5D Mark II uses a different battery. Not a small issue for photographers who have spares for their old 5D, as well as those stepping up to this model who have extra cells for their EOS 20D, 30D, 40D, or 50D. The new battery packs 1800mAh, up from 1390mAh in the BP-511A, and is rated for up to 850 shots per charge.

More bad news for those moving up from Canon’s APS-sensor DSLRs with a bag of digital-only lenses: As with other Canon full-framers, this new one doesn’t take that glass. In contrast, the Nikon D3, D3X, and D700 can go both ways.

Sigma New Lenses and Teleconverters

Sigma has introduced nine new lenses and teleconverters this fall and made them available with a selection of different mounts.


First up are two fisheye lenses that offer a minimum aperture of f/22 and can focus as close as 5.3 inches:


  • The 4.5mm F2.8 EX DC Circular Fisheye HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) lens produces a circular image within the frame of DSLRs using an APS-C size sensor. The lens has a 180 degree field of view and is now available for Sony/Minolta and Pentax mounts as well as Sigma, Nikon and Canon DSLRs and carries an MSRP of $1,400.00


  • The second fisheye lens, is the10mm F/2.8 EX DC Fisheye HSM, is also designed for use on DSLRs with APS-C size sensors. The 10mm lens’ angle of view depends on the camera used and ranges from 154-180 degrees and is now available for Sony/Minolta and Pentax mounts and is also compatible with Sigma, Nikon, and Canon DSLRs. The MSRP for this lens is $1,000.00.


A 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM (Hyper Sonic Motor) will be available from Sigma. This standard zoom lens offers a minimum aperture of f/22 and focuses as close as 15 inches. The lens supports AF mounts from Sigma, Canon, Nikon, Sony/Minolta, and Pentax. Price is not yet available for this lens.


A 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM lens for the Four Thirds System was also announced recently. This fast prime lens features a minimum aperture of f/16 and can focus as close as 17.7 inches. The MSRP is $730.


Sigma is offering a couple of new telephoto zooms including the APO 70-200mm F2.8 II EX DG MACRO HSM. The lens features SLD (Special Low Dispersion) and ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) glass elements to offset possible aberrations and multi-layer coating has been added to reduce flare and ghosting. Of note is the fact that the length of the lens remains constant during focusing. Designed for Pentax and Sony, and Olympus/Four Thirds mounts, the 70-200mm lens is equipped with a tripod socket, accommodates Sigma APO teleconverters and comes bundled with a case and hood. MSRP is $1,200.00.


The 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM zoom lens measures 3 x 5.5 inches and weighs 27.5 ounces and comes bundled with a case and hood. It features a minimum aperture of f/22 and is compatible with Pentax and Sony mounts. The MSRP for this lens is $1,150.


Sigma’s APO120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 DG OS HSM lens is available with Canon, Nikon or Sigma mounts. The lens, with a minimum aperture of f/22, utilizes Sigma’s original Optical Stabilizer (OS) function. A minimum focusing distance of 59.1 inches is available throughout the entire zoom range. The lens has an MSRP of $1,270.


For additional telephoto reach, check out Sigma’s APO 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM lens. Like its 120-400mm sibling, this lens is equipped OS to help keep images shake- and blur-free. Available for Sigma, Canon and Nikon lenses, the 150-500mm model comes equipped with a removable tripod socket and has an MSRP of $1,450.


Sigma has also introduced two teleconverters designed for use with Sony mount telephoto lenses and cameras that support HSM. The 1.4x and 2x teleconverters offer an aperture range of f/2.3-f/32. The 1.4x teleconverter has an MSRP of $280; the 2x model costs approximately $300.

Sigma’s New 18-250mm F3.5-6.3

sigmas-new-18-250mm-f35-63Sigma’s New 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 for all the Sony and Pentax user out their. Here it is! If you’ve been hoping for an optically stabilized lens then you should be clapping your shaky hands in happiness right now. The 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM lens offers image stabilization in both the camera body and the lens. There are also models that fit Canon, Nikon and Sigma bodies without the extra IS. All mounts of the DC use four low-dispersion elements and three aspherical lens elements to help cut down on the distortion that can sneak into the longer focal lengths of these wide-range zooms. Pan down for the rest of the details.

Hits streets on March 10, 2009
Minimum focus distance of 17.7 inches
18 elements in 14 groups
7 blade diaphragm
1:3.4 maximum magnification
72mm filter size
79mm diameter. 101mm length.
22.2 oz weight
Included petal hood
Multi-layer coating on glass

Nikon D3X Image Quality is Best in Class, According to Latest DxOMark Sensor Rankings


Nikon D3X INFO

  • FX-format, 24.5-megapixel (6048 x 4032) CMOS sensor
  • Five FPS at full resolution
  • 12 and 14-bit capability
  • Dual card slots (CompactFlash)
  • 5:4 Crop Mode for 8 x 10 shooting
  • 7 FPS using DX-format lenses at 10.5 megapixels
  • ISO 100-1,600, expandable to 50 and 6,400
  • .12 seconds start-up time
  • 3D Color Matrix Metering II
  • Multi-CAM 3500FX focus module, with 51 AF points
  • Up to nine available customizable presets
  • Tested to exceed 300,000 cycles for maximum durability and longevity
  • Viewfinder offers 100 percent coverage with 0.7x magnification
  • Up to 4400* shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium ion battery
  • Shoots tethered or using the WT-4a wireless transmitter to eschew writing to cards
  • Available right now for $7,995
  • Nikon D3X with a 24.5MP DSLR Image Sensor

    The new Nikon D3X with a 24.5MP DSLR image sensors claims that it has the best image quality on the market — by a considerable margin.

    According to DxO Labs which launched its DxOMark testing service last year, the D3X “takes the lead on the DxOMark Sensor scale with a 6-point gain above all other camera bodies currently evaluated on the website.” The D3X scored an 88 out of 100 for its image quality which is first out of 54 cameras tested on the site.

    DxOMark is run by DxO Labs, a software company which produces RAW image conversion, processing, and correction software. DxOMark was created as a free online resource designed to objectively test sensor performance based on RAW image evaluation of leading digital SLRs.

    According to DxOMark’s testing, thhe Nikon D3x is “the first camera which actually achieves more than 12-bit depth of effective image information and thus is able to take full advantage of its 14-bit Analog/Digital (A/D) converter.”

    Interestingly, the top three cameras in DxOMark’s Image Quality Database are all made by Nikon. In second place, for image quality, is the Nikon D3, which scored an 80.6 out of 100. In third place is the Nikon D700, which scored an 80.5. The top ranked camera from Canon is the 1Ds Mark III which is in fourth place in the Image Quality Database with a score of 80.3.

    Best Form and Function
    Engineered for real-world functionality, the D3X retains a rugged shell with moisture, dust and shock resistance that has become a hallmark of flagship Nikon D-SLRs, while preserving the usability and ergonomics that allow the camera to remain an extension of the photographer’s vision. Attention to detail goes so far as to include a self-diagnostic shutter system that is tested to exceed 300,000 cycles for maximum durability and longevity. The camera’s body also maintains the resilient magnesium alloy construction and form factor of the D3, promoting consistent Nikon system synergy.

    A bright and accurate viewfinder offers 100 percent coverage with 0.7x magnification. The body also houses Nikon’s acclaimed 3.0-inch super density LCD screen, now relied upon by so many photographers. The high-resolution 920,000-dot screen is viewable at wide angles up to 170 degrees, and will allow photographers to quickly zoom in to confirm critical focus. Users can also output the video signal to an external display via HDMI to allow client viewing. Thanks to incredibly efficient internal circuitry, the D3X can capture up to 4400* shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium ion battery.

    Photoshop CS4 Performance Optimizing for Digital Photography


    With the newly launched CS4 a lot of people are experiencing new problems and error messages. This is ironic because the main focus of CS4, according to Adobe, is to optimize performance and work flow.

    However, a lot of the errors and problems that can occur can be fixed by using the right setting. Many of the problems are not based on CS4 Adobe programming but rather customary user habits that worked well with CS3, but not so well with CS4.

    This article is about what you can do to optimize and tweak Photoshop CS4 to get the best settings to maximize performance for the high-resolution digital photographer (full frame or under).

    Photoshop CS4 is different from CS3 and I have been getting too many “Out of RAM” errors to ignore this problem. At my department we work with lots of very big files (39 MP+). This requires serious computer power and even with tons of Mac power and lots of memory (RAM), sometimes things just do not move as fast as we hope for.

    I just spent a weekend with my team trying to figure out Photoshop CS4 in therms of optimizing for the best possible performance for stock photography and below are the results. When we did these changes to all our computers, the result was mind-blowing. Spread this post around, because it really, really,…will help a lot of people!

    Setting scratch disks
    In Photoshop > Preferences > Performance > Set your scratch disk location

    The main issues we had with this setting was that sometimes a computer would have less than 2 GB of free storage space available and no one noticed. Photoshop needs at least 2 GB of free hard disk space as scratch disk so make sure you always empty your trash bin and free space regularly. More often than you think you will have too little free space for Photoshop to perform well. We try to have about 10 GB of free space on all our computers at all times.

    Adjusting your Cache Levels to 8
    In Photoshop > Preferences > Performance > Set Cache Level to 8

    Low levels are for users with low-res images with lots for layers, high numbers for users with high-res and not too many layers (below 50). For the high resolution digital photographer, a higher setting is better. For full frame shooters or photographers shooting at 16 MP+, a setting of “8” is best. Go to Photoshop > Preferences > Performance > Enter the value 8 in the Cache Levels text box. Click OK.

    Set the History States to no more then 15 states
    In Photoshop > Preferences > Performance > Set History States to 15

    When you reduce the number of history states available, you potentially reduce the number of copies of your image filling up your memory (RAM). If you are a high resolution photographer and not a digital artist that “paints” and uses a lot of brushes in Photoshop, there really is no reason for you to have more then 15 history states. Every state is potentially a full resolution copy of your entire image that has to be stored in the cache, so even at 15 history states, this is potentially equal to having 15 images open at once. If you like to move around layers, merge layers, copy layers, liquefy, free transform, paint on masks, copy adjustment layers from one image to another, you are in danger of filling up your cache very fast. Photoshop default is 10 history states, so if you have less then 4 GB of memory, then you should stay at this setting.

    Set the Photoshop memory usage between 85-90 and not 100%
    In Photoshop > Preferences > Performance > Select Photoshop Memory Usage to 85%

    Counter intuitive, Photoshop needs outside memory (non-Photoshop allocated RAM) to perform some Photoshop tasks such as Free Transform, Liquefy and Content Aware Scaling. If Photoshop is set to memory usage of 100%, you risk getting the famous new CS4 error message “could not perform action… out of memory.” My workstation has 32 GB memory and I still get this message if I set the Photoshop allocation of memory to 100%. When I got CS4 I found this issue so irritating that I at one point moved back to using CS3. It took me quite a long time to figure out that what I had to do was to turn down the amount of memory allocated to Photoshop in order to free more memory. Very counter intuitive

    Deselecting Export Clipboard
    In Photoshop > Preferences > General > Deselect Export Clipboard

    Unless you export a lot of copied files or clips from Photoshop to other applications there is no reason to have this function turned on. Every time you switch away from Photoshop, it stores the clipboard elements as a a PICT file, ready to use for other applications. When switching between applications with Exposé, this function creates the lag that sometimes is experienced in going from Photoshop to other applications.

    Do not have any files on your desktop
    According to some Mac experts, having files and folders on your Mac desktop is equivalent to telling the Mac OS to keep these files active in memory at all time. Most people will have stacks of things on their desktop background because of comfort, but they should, according to most experienced Mac users, greatly reduce the performance of your system overall. This is a waste of cache resources, unless you really use the files on the desktop a lot.

    Don’t use 16 bit Tiffs
    After almost two years of using 16 bit Tiffs at my department, we set up a test to determine if we where actually able to see a difference in quality. The result was interesting. No one at my department (almost ten people involved in photography), where able to distinguish 16 bit files from 8 bit files. If 16 bit files were directly compared to duplicate 8 bit files, most people where able to see slightly more color details in shadows, but none in the bright areas. If you are a stock photographer, remember that all your files are converted to jpeg, which is at 8 bit anyway.

    Save files as Tiff uncompressed without compression
    Even though I highly recommend saving Tiff files as compressed lossless, only do this as the last step. When editing pictures, whether opening or saving, never use compression. Compressing a file takes up to five to ten times longer, both opening and saving.

    Turn off Application Frame
    This feature is supposed to be one of the main reasons why a lot of people are getting the “Out of RAM” error. Turn it off and remember that CS4 handles multiple files differently than CS3 and therefore you cannot have as many open windows with high-resolution files as you could before. This is a little frustrating and I personally hope for an update that will fix this issue.

    Almost done
    Restart Photoshop for the changes to take effect and do a little system optimizing.

    Go to Application > Utilities > Disk Utility > Press Verify Disk Permissions and wait.

    Go to Application > Utilities > Disk Utility > Press Repair Disk Permissions and wait.

    Tenba Shootout Backpack

    This is the best camera bag I have ever had. The Tenba Shootout Backpack holds everthing I need in the field.



    It is padded with weather-resistant Ripstop nylon backpack made to carry a two digital SLR seven lens camera outfit and a 17″ laptop computer. It has a padded dividable main section for photo equipment and a removable padded, frame sheet reinforced laptop compartment for a laptop computer. There is a fully adjustable harness/belt system, a waist belt that features multiple clip-on points for pouches and accessories plus hand carrying straps on top of the pack and on both sides to let you “grab and go” from any position.


    The Shootout backpack has padded side pockets that feature interior panels that can be moved to convert the space from cargo pocket to QuickAccess interior hatches. This allows fast, easy retrieval of a lens or accessory without having to fully remove or open the entire pack. There are interior clear, plasticized mesh pockets and web loops to hold accessories plus a Media Wallet and Phone/Music Pouch.

    The backpack also features a MSTC (Multi-Stage Tripod Carrying) system which adjusts to securely and optimally carry tripods of varying sizes and styles. A fast deploying WeatherWrap auxiliary protection cover fully encloses the entire harness for hand carrying or storage.

    Key Features

    • Padded water-resistant Ripstop nylon photo/computer backpack
    • Customized, well padded interior dividers
    • Body contact points covered in ventilated, moisture-wicking padded mesh for comfort
    • Compartments;
    • Main section for photo equipment
    • Removable padded, frame sheet reinforced laptop compartment
    • Pockets
    • Exterior padded side pockets feature interior panels that can be moved to convert the space from cargo pocket to interior hatches
    • Removable Media Wallet
    • Removable Phone/Music Pouch
    • Interior clear, plasticized mesh pockets and web loops hold accessories, for easy identification and access to contents.
    QuickAccess interior hatches allow fast, easy retrieval of a lens or accessory without having to fully remove or open the entire pack.
    MSTC (Multi-Stage Tripod Car

    Arctic Butterfly

    I use the Arctic Butterfly® SL724 to clean my sensors.

    The Arctic Butterfly® SL724 is an entry level DSLR sensor cleaning tool. It uses one AAA battery , has a lower spinning speed and offers the convenience of a detachable brush.The Arctic Butterfly® SL724 is compact so that it can easily fit into this photographer’s pocket and comes with a bristle cap and sturdy carrying case.

    Nikon will increase its price soon 1st February 2008

    If you are Nikon shooters or want to use Nikon camera equipment in short term, the price on many part of the world including USA reported will be increase on February 1st. On all items. approximately 15% on camera bodies and 18% on all lenses. It will also increase compact cameras and accessories.

    So if you need some Nikon gears for coming months, please be prepare for the price hike or order it before the month ends.


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