-byline- 9:26pm, 26 February 2012
Plustek is about to launch an all-new medium-format film scanner:

This is NOT the Pacific Image Primefilm 120 that has been available for some time, but apparently a high-end model designed by Plustek themselves. Now, Plustek isn't known for high-end products - they make decent but not-quite-spectacular scanners -, but the fact that they are touting the quality of the lens is a good sign - they have never been talking about the optics in their scanners before. The auto feeder and the newly designed film carriers also hint at a premium product.

I'm excited! Are you?
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
I know some people have been holding off on the Reflecta/Pacific Image scanner because Plustek was thought to be developing a 120 film scanner. I would guess a lot of those decisions will be made based on independent reports and testing once the production Plustek model hits the market. Real world scanner resolution and Dmax so often fall short of marketing claims that it's pointless to use those numbers as a means of deciding how good the final product will be.
5000dpi and 4.8 dmax measured is wildly beyond my dreams, hopefully not too much beyond my budget
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
I'd still wait for the independent numbers. 5000 DPI and 4.8 Dmax are just too fantastical to be real. If so, the cost of the scanner is going to be on the order of 4,000 $/€. Don't get me wrong, that could still be a good value, but I just doubt that's their target market.
-byline- 5 years ago
I know that my Plustek OpticFilm 7500i - which scans 35mm film only - can resolve more detail than a good 2700dpi scanner but less than a top-of-the-line 4000dpi model. If the new scanner truly does come with holders that can keep the film perfectly flat and it can achieve at least the same actual dpi value as the 7500i then it will be a killer MF scanner. (I secretly hope that with its new optics it can achieve 4000 actual dpi though.) For reference, Paul Bohman's experiments suggest that the actual resolution of a carefully adjusted Epson V750 flatbed scanner is somewhere around 2400dpi.
genotypewriter PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by genotypewriter (member) 5 years ago
-byline-: "Paul Bohman's experiments suggest that the actual resolution of a ... is somewhere around 2400dpi"

Actual resolution can't be expressed as one number. Such claims make me doubt the correctness of the experiment itself.
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
you can read about Paul Bohman's method here, if you like. It looks to me like seat-of-his-pants calculation, but they agree with what others have found for that scanner. Using resolution test targets, others have come up with maximum resolution numbers in the order of 2200~2600 ppi. You can argue the validity of those tests, but it seems like 2400 is a reasonable number to start with.
WB Lynch 5 years ago
2400 dpi for a medium format negative will still create a huge file. It seems that should be all one would practically need.

How big a print could that make? Any bigger and you would likely be needing a professional drum scan anyway.

(or an Optical Enlarger!)
uηderaglassbell 5 years ago
I hope this is true.

I have hated my V750 from day zero. Indeed I absolutely, unequivocally despise it, so a scanner like this turning up is exactly what I have been waiting for. The fact it will do 35mm as well as 120 is a bonus..
genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
I had to experiment a lot to find out what height was best for the focus of my Epson V750. It turns out that propping up each corner of the scanning tray with a penny (a US coin) did the trick. Not every scanner is exactly the same though, so I don’t guarantee this will work for you. You’ll have to experiment.- Bohman's article
A penny is around 1.5mm in height, which is far too big a change when looking for the optimum height. Here's a "6400 dpi" scan I did on a V700 that was calibrated at a precision in the order of 0.1mm (roughly 15x more precise than Bohman's penny):


Bohman's article then, pointing at crop from a 4800dpi scan goes to say:
As you can see, there is a lot of detail, with generally good rendition, but it looks enlarged past its optimum resolution. The original scan would still make excellent large prints — very, very large prints — but the 50% downsize looks better at the pixel level.
But can anyone guess why it's not correct to expect optimum (4800dpi at this setting) resolution from this shot? It's because it was shot at f/9 and the image starts to become diffraction limited at 3700dpi.

Like I said at the start, resolution can't be given using one number. But by no means Bohman's article is a credible test of the V700/V750's dry scanning abilities.
genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
: I have hated my V750 from day zero. Indeed I absolutely, unequivocally despise it, so a scanner like this turning up is exactly what I have been waiting for.

If it's that bad then you most definitely never learned how to use it correctly. Can you show us an example of your best scan?

I hope user error because anyone who uses it correctly and expects more from a scanner that costs a few hundred needs to get a grip on reality.
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
Not that I really care enough to defend Bohrman's methods, but misstating what he wrote isn't really helpful.
genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
Nope... I double checked. No misstatements. The only thing I missed was that he did a wet scan instead of a dry one. But it makes no difference to what I pointed out before.

But please do point out how I misstated him, if that really was the case.
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
Maybe three times is a charm. ;-)
Rodney A. Johnson PRO 5 years ago
That 4x5 scan you linked is outstanding! I have had pretty decent luck with the V750 as well (certainly not bad for my first scanner and limited digital processing experience).

I already don't like this plustek because it looks like it does only 3 6x6 frames at a time... I want even more than 6. If I need higher resolution than the V750, I'll get it professionally drum scanned.

genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
: Thanks! :) Learning to get the most out of the V700 has been an adventure like learning photography technique itself. Just when I thought I had it all figured out I realise that there are ways to do things even better.

I don't know about the Plustek and it surely has the potential to be a great scanner (forget the V700... let's hope it's better than the Imacon/Hasselblad Flextights!)
Dismayed & Perplexed 5 years ago
Glad to see that some folks are happy with their Epson flatbeds. I gave up on my Epson 4990 - it's now just used for scanning documents. I think I got a lemon - inexpensive scanners seem to have greater manufacturing variability.

The problems I had with mine:

1. The glass kept fogging inside the scanner. This was likely caused by outgassing of the plastics.

2. Unable to resolve detail from dense areas of slides.

3. Soft scans, no matter how I adjusted the adapter height.

Perhaps the newer Epsons are better. I'll never know - unless my Nikon CS 9000 breaks down at some point.
Rodney A. Johnson PRO 5 years ago
With #2, I found that even professionally done imacon scans are lacking. It really takes a drum scanner to pull out good shadow details from transparencies.
Auburn2010 5 years ago
Has anyone heard anything new on the Plustek Opticfilm 120?
if anything new leaks you're mostly to find it here:
Auburn2010 5 years ago
there are also some clues over at the RFF:
mdruziak 5 years ago
Hi Mark from Plustek here. I know a lot of folks are interested in seeing this scanner. We are going thru final testing right now. We want to make sure that we get this scanner right before we launch it.

Reliability and image quality are both critically important. So far, I have been happy with the testing data I have seen.

We will make an official announcement about 30 days before the scanner is available for sale and around the same time you will start to see the major retailers taking pre-orders.

I'll be throwing out some teasers and hints on the Plustek Facebook and Twitter accounts as we get closer to the official announcement.
Justin Berger 5 years ago
Thanks Mark-- so nice to see you guys checking in with photographers here and on rangefinder forum etc. getting feedback and keeping us in the loop. Wish all photo companies were so engaged.
Amir Barzi Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Amir Barzi (member) 5 years ago
So what are the true life specs, actual dpi not some marketing bait and switch number. What is its true Dmax? what is the warranty? Price?

Can not find any of that information, perhaps I'm blind. I think its silly if you say you have a product for release soon and have no specs. What are the design requirements or is this one of those hardware devices that is designed ad-hoc in an abortion style effort.
mdruziak 5 years ago
@Pictured_Life This device was actually scheduled to released last year but we re-designed it based on feedback that we received from potential customers. If you look at the Plustek Facebook page, you will see someone posted a photo of the earlier version of this scanner. This was an extensive redesign set us back.

We will publish full specs and pricing about 30 days before the scanner is available for sale. At least that is our plan in the US. There are some specs that were published as part of our CeBit press release. plustek.com/de/news/events-and-trade-shows/cebit-2012.html

I understand your concern about publishing actual vs product design specs. I can assure you that this scanner does use a 10,600 dpi sensor and creates MASSIVE raw files when scanning 120 film. Our development group has finished some preliminary resolution testing of the OpticFilm 120 vs other popular scanners that scan 120 film using USAF 1951. The data is VERY promising.
Vivo Elroy 5 years ago
"The fact it will do 35mm as well as 120 is a bonus.. "

That's the selling point but with that said, I'm not sure just how affordable it will be.
WB Lynch Posted 5 years ago. Edited by WB Lynch (member) 5 years ago
Thanks Mark.

It's nice that someone out there cares about us.

I believe it is scanners and computers that are keeping film alive. If we all had to rely on enlargers and darkrooms, even more would abandon film.

There is a market for advanced film scanners and if more become available it will breed new, and bring back old, film users.

Thanks Plustek for helping keep medium format film alive.
Amir Barzi Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Amir Barzi (member) 5 years ago
@mdruziak - Why 30 days? why not now?

I just hope your stepper motor inside the unit has the capability to scan 10,600 and I hope that it will not lose allingmnet on 6x12 format.

I'm all for great new scanners to come to market, the V700 series is up for an update as well, so there will a lot of folks wanting to upgrade. What i do have a problem with is not having clear specs. I do not understand 30 days prior. These specs in the product life cycle should have been defined and normalized by now. To be honest it is a red flag in the mfg industry if your design specs is still being changed.
Alex Guzun 5 years ago
not now because there is nothing to share
so start collecting money guys
Midori no Saru [deleted] 5 years ago
I hope the film holder won't be as flimsy as the one on the Opticfilm 7200. That's the only thing that let down that excellent scanner, IMO.
Tales of a Flaneur PRO 5 years ago
Sooner or later my Nikon Coolscan 9000 will die and I will need options for replacing it ... this sounds exceedingly promising.
mdruziak 5 years ago
@pictured_life The 30 day thing is company policy. I just work here!

The film holders are a completely new patent pending design and pretty massive compared to the existing holders.
Alex Guzun 5 years ago
Reflecta is 1300gbp now on amazon so i think Plustek will be the same price range, right Mark? :)
Al.Goye PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Al.Goye (member) 5 years ago
Hi, group: I sent an email asking Plustek America about a possible launch date for the OpticFilm 120 and this what I got:

"Hello Al,

We have a few New products coming out , Our Optic Film (8 series) should be available in August, Our New 120 Film scanner should be available in Sep , Now the price for our New 8100 Film scanner is Around $289.00, And the price for the 8200 Film scanner is around $389.00, And the difference between our older Film scanner models and the Newer Ones is the Software for our New Film series we use the Latest professional Silver Fast Software.

Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 9:26 PM
To: infousa@plustek.com
Subject: Inquiry about the upcoming Plustek OpticFilm 120 launch

Dear Plustek:

I would like to ask until when are you going to hold your loyal customers on a cliffhanger?

As a photographer, I have been desperately yearning for a high class, medium format scanner. I had refrained from purchasing a second hand Nikon CoolScan 9000 ED on Ebay hoping that you would release this product.

I would kindly ask you: When are you going to release your product? What price do you have in mind to charge us, the customers?

I appreciate your attention to this mail, hoping it can get an answer.


Al Goye"
mdruziak 5 years ago
Mark from Plustek here. So here is what I will tell you.... Yesterday I saw some scans of USAF 1951 test targets that were done with Lasersoft 8. The results were impressive. If you compare them to the USAF 1951 targets on filmscanner.info for the 9000 and the Flextight X1, the OpticFilm 120 is closer to the Flextight X1 than the 9000.

If anyone has any scanned images of USAF 1951 targets made with either the X1 or 9000, please drop me a note: markdruziak@plustek.com
OldUncleMe PRO 5 years ago
Send me the transparency in 35mm / 6xXcm / 4x5" and I'll scan it on a precision III if you want to compare to that machine. /..
Alex Guzun 5 years ago
Al.Goye PRO 5 years ago
Plustek America already is publishing the product: plustek.com/usa/products/opticfilm-series/opticfilm-120/i...
brandon_montz 5 years ago
Looks promising but I need the ability to scan negatives larger than 120.
genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
DMax is not important in scanners on which you can adjust the scanning exposure.

DMax is analogous to the f-number of a photographic lens. If you just want to let more light in, expose it longer.
Dismayed & Perplexed 5 years ago
"DMax is not important in scanners on which you can adjust the scanning exposure.

DMax is analogous to the f-number of a photographic lens. If you just want to let more light in, expose it longer. "

"He could be right, he could be wrong. I think he's wrong but he says it in such a sincere way. You have to think he thinks he's right."
~ Bob Dylan
mdruziak 5 years ago
The dynamic range of the scanner is important. However, technologies like SilverFast Multi Exposure help to extend the scanners native dynamic range. The fewer exposures you need, the better because there are less image alignment issues.
genotypewriter PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by genotypewriter (member) 5 years ago
Dismayed & Perplexed: Those who know, explain. Those who're unsure, just quote.

: "The dynamic range of the scanner is important. "

DMax is not quite the same as dynamic range... most people confuse the two because of the D and people like DR to be "max" :)

Also the whole term "dynamic range" is highly misrepresented on the net, thanks to websites like DXOMark. Their measure of dynamic range, which is defined as the highest and the lowest recorded intensity, is near-meaningless. Take the lowest DR image, normalise the data and voilà... massively high DR according to DXOMark.
OldUncleMe PRO 5 years ago
If Dmax-Dmin doesn't mean the difference or range between the brightest recorded detail and the darkest (in highlights vs. shadows), how would you (anyone) like to define it in a useful way? /..
genotypewriter PRO 5 years ago
This is a long and lengthy topic but I'll try and explain it briefly since I don't want to get in to a definition-swordfight :)

I'm sure most people would agree that a scanner is like a digital camera. It has a lens, it has a sensor, it uses the lens to focus light coming from an object plane (the film/paper) on to the image/sensor plane. The other differences are mostly implementation and application details.

So by extension, if dmax and dmin mean "the difference or the range between the brightest recorded detail and the darkest", then it should be applicable to digital cameras as well. Any ideas what the dmax and dmin values of someone's 5D Mark III or D800 is? Nothing really comes to mind, right? Someone might be quick to point out that there is such a "range" for any given ISO, which is referred to as dynamic range, and yes that's true. But, let's take a look at my original statement:

"DMax is not important in scanners on which you can adjust the scanning exposure."

Now, if you have a perfectly still scene, what is the minimum ("dmin"?) and the maximum ("dmax"?) level of brightness that you can record with a DSLR? That's what I'm getting at ;)

Also, let's not forget... when it comes to scanners, everyone talks about DMax but not DMin... so by increasing the intensity of the transparency adapter lamp or by increasing the scanner exposure (how slow it travels), you can get a massive DMax. What happens to DMin then? A "range" can't be topless (or bottomless) right? :) That's why I said that these values aren't "quite the same as dynamic range". They're not a good indicator.

And don't get me started on the meaninglessness of how people measure dynamic range :)
Excited to say the least! Here's to hoping this scanner is within my budget!
Jamanalogo 5 years ago
Why not making a clean scan of your negatives around the scanner software and use photoshop for color correction and your printer to make the enlargement? No huge bulky slow files.
I make medium format photos with a gazillion pixels and let the scanner mess it all up to make a intercorrelated 1200, 2400 or 4800, dpi illusion - and the print shop (even for fine arts print) only make a 360 dpi blow up - that's really all you need.
I made nice 4800 dpi scans on a Canon 9000F and my friend (a professional fine arts large format printer) laughed and said I might as well start shooting lousy digital photos if I after all the trouble of shooting the Mamiya RB and developing the film let the scanner software kill all the details in the original negative (I know he exagerated - but he has a point).
yeah, shoot 8x10 slides instead.
Al.Goye PRO 5 years ago
You can check this video in Youtube about the coming Plustek OpticFilm 120. www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKpu0ySFM8M
zerozaku 5 years ago
Reflecta MF5000 should be good enough.

mdruziak 5 years ago
Mark from Plustek here. Please note that that video was a review copy and there are a few mistakes on it.
Alex Guzun 5 years ago
what do you mean Mark?
Metrix X 5 years ago
zerozaku wrote
Reflecta MF5000 should be good enough.


It has had less then stellar reviews by end users.
symbolicinteraction 5 years ago
If the real specs were really that good, and the price would be around 1000€ then I would most likely buy it.

But if this device would cost as much as Nikon Collscan 9000 or even more expensive film scanners I will pass and stick to the flatbed and enlarger.
billbostonmass 5 years ago
I turned to plustek when flatbeds failed me with 35mm scanning. The plustek 7400 was leaps and jumps better than the flatbed imo.

Anyways, I'd likely purchase this new 120 scanner. Curious if there is any news on a realease date or price?.
mdruziak 5 years ago
Release date will be in September. Price will be in the $2000 range
billbostonmass 5 years ago
$2,000 seems very high to me. I was expecting a grand tops. O well, the flatbed will do for medium format.
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
I noticed it's not listed on your Japanese web page. Any info on what markets it will or will not be sold?
visioncity 5 years ago
heres the same scanner rebadged www.adorama.com/IPIPF120P.html
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
The imager may be the same, but the scanners do seem a bit different. Plustek claims their scanner is fully automated, and the 35 mm strip holder doesn't go through the side like the Pacific Image/Reflecta unit.
mdruziak Posted 5 years ago. Edited by mdruziak (member) 5 years ago
The Pacific Image and Plustek scanner are completely different devices. You can trust me on that one! Pacific Image and Plustek are competitors each with their own design and manufacturing.

The Reflecta and the PI scanner are the same (or based on the same H/W).
mdruziak 5 years ago
Yes the scanner will be available in Japan. I'm not sure why the web page isn't up.

Regarding price. I realize that this is a hot topic. However, we surveyed many of our existing and potential customers and also our largest retail outlets before determining the price.

This scanner has a measured resolution of 5300 dpi and a dynamic range of 4.01. This surpasses the Nikon 9000 and is starting to enter Flextight X1 territory.
m o n t s 5 years ago
FWIW. I bought an older Flextight photo a year ago for around £1200. I have found the Flexcolor software excellent but does take some subtlety to get just right. But essentially i found its all about getting the most information possible into photoshop. it doesnt always look pretty when you first open it in PS! I love the 3f workflow (like a live scan but you only ever scan it once) printing 20" x 20" from a 3000 dpi file through Ilford and v happy with the results so far.

well, after 3 years of rumors and discussions on many forums - it's a ~2k price point, it seems:
FabioVentura PRO 5 years ago
yep, and I already ordered one,
by the way, the last Nikon 9000 I followed on ebay went fro us$3500...

I am not sure how people possibly expected this to sell for a grand, on "paper" it is miles above the V750! ( Assuming it is as good as its specs say it is )

LANCEPHOTO PRO 5 years ago
I wonder if it will scan all the way to the film edge? I've been looking for something that will scan the entire image including the film edge without giving me Newton rings!
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
Congratulations to Plustek for having the determination to release a new high-end film scanner. It's gratifying to see a company still willing to meet the needs and desires of us film shooters.

I'd like to get an Opticfilm 120, and one of the Reflecta/Pacific Image scanners to show my support. Money is a bit tight though, so it will have to be one or the other. Let's see how the independent reviews look for the Plustek unit.
Auburn2010 5 years ago
Once you get it let us know how it does.
FabioVentura PRO 5 years ago
Mine should ship in 7 to 14 days...!

It seems plustek is trying to get one reviewed by luminous-landscape. By the way, reviews on the Reflecta/Pacific Image seem very dismal.

fingers crossed
Auburn2010 5 years ago

Have you got it yet?
FabioVentura PRO 5 years ago

B&H says available from September 30th....
trash-star PRO 5 years ago
Any word on the current delay, new expected delivery date?
mdruziak 5 years ago
As soon as I have a firm delivery date I will post it on the Plustek website and Facebook page.
andi_heuser 5 years ago
A gernan photo store sells it for € 1999.
I spoke with them today: the first scanners will arrive at
the end of the week
and eventuelly I can make a scan for test.

J E PRO 5 years ago
Is there any hope for Linux drivers?
Black Jack Shellac 5 years ago
FWIW. Not sure if there's any new info here:

I hope these smudgy results are due to some grain/noise/dust removal option (which is turned ON by default in SF8).

If not then I don't get it how could they make a scanner which pick up LESS details and grain than 7400.
Ian_Boys PRO 5 years ago
Well they look great compared to my Canoscan 8800F. But then they would ...
mostly.unoriginal 5 years ago
these samples make me sad.

could it just be a matter of 5300dpi being overly optimistic? maybe if they were scanned in at 4000 like the nikon they would be more in line with expectataions?

the v700 is rated to 6400dpi, for example, which is laughably over-optimistic for that scanner. though i'm perfectly satisfied with 3200...
Metrix X Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Metrix X (member) 5 years ago
OverdeaR : wrote
I hope these smudgy results are due to some grain/noise/dust removal option (which is turned ON by default in SF8).

If not then I don't get it how could they make a scanner which pick up LESS details and grain than 7400.

It looks very close to what I get with my 7400 )I only looked at the middle one. I'm expecting a good 3600dpi which is what I get out of the 7400 so to get that consistently with MF would be great.
can't agree with you on that one, my experience with 7400 is that, when coupled with right lenses such as Rokkor 35/1.8 or Nikkor 28/2, is definitely capable of capturing 'more grain' at same dpi.

let's hope these few samples attribute to sloppy/amateurish approach with both scanning and photographing, otherwise at $2k price point v700 seems more appealing.
trash-star PRO Posted 5 years ago. Edited by trash-star (member) 5 years ago
Looking at the 100% views, it looks to me like those scans are holding quite a bit more detail than I can get out of my V-750. But the grain looks more like a noise pattern than actual film grain, which makes me wonder if there is some slight mis-registration between the scanner passes (assuming it's a multi-pass scan) or maybe there is some kind of weird smoothing going on. Also, given the camera and films used, I think 5300 dpi is way-way too optimistic, I wouldn't have tried for more than 3600.

Also, those photos should at the least be considered pre-production. All bets are off until a production unit makes it into the wild.
Metrix X Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Metrix X (member) 5 years ago
OverdeaR : depends totally on the film and development about right for Tmax not HP5 but I'm not in a hurry and can wait for the production unit. For the 7400 I get best results with vuescan scanning at 7200dpi in 48bit colour and letting vuescan down size to 3600dpi and 16 bit grey scale no sharpening until post. rather then scanning at 3600dpi in 16 bit grey scale. I suspect their will be a similar sweet spot for the new MF scanner.
Justin Berger Posted 5 years ago. Edited by Justin Berger (member) 5 years ago
I think the complaints are premature here: To me a lot of those look more like fuzzy negs not fuzzy scans-- they seem to lack critical focus and/ or were shot stopped down to f 22. Also if the txt. file description is to believed there was no sharpening applied--my understanding is even with a very high quality scanner like a flextight you need to add at least some sharpening for best results-- and most default settings on scan software include some. I also agree with Trash-star that the pattern looks like aliasing or re-sampling-- so I would not make conclusions about the absolute resolution available. I find that each film type has a different optimum resolution for scanning-- more is not necessarily better because you can get aliasing. I'm a little amused about people complaining about the scan sharpness at 100% when those files would print at 40x40" @300dpi
mostly.unoriginal 5 years ago
Justin Berger

Shouldn't the (plentiful) dust on the negatives be sharper if this were the case?
jan_berglund 5 years ago
Any more updates on this? There seems to be no more samples scans to be found and no professional review.
Black Jack Shellac 5 years ago
Updates on Facebook indicate they're still working on the software.
FabioVentura PRO 5 years ago
Now B&H says December 20th.
Updates on their Facebook page seems to indicate software progress has been positive.

Crossing fingers here....
Al.Goye PRO 4 years ago
Hey, people:

Check this out. goo.gl/LSoes. A review from a guy that already has the OpticFilm 120.

B&H says they are out of stock, which means that they already got some batches of scanners but sold them.
Al.Goye PRO 4 years ago

Al.Goye PRO 4 years ago
Jeez! There is already a group of this beast here in Flickr!: goo.gl/lBAOn
Alex Guzun 4 years ago
not too much conversation untillnow, tho :( most of the discussion goes under photo comments, check it.
trash-star PRO 4 years ago
Still no idea when it'll be available in Japan. I guess I'll wait until then before I really consider it. Hopefully by that time all of the software bugs will be worked out.
mdekauwe 4 years ago
so was it released? it says out of stock? sounds v.interesting
Alex Guzun 4 years ago
as far as i know you can buy it in europe, it was here first
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