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Thread: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Hi all, I was just thinking about this the other day going through some old photos . And I found a picture of my youngest daughter taking a shot with my M8 and was curious when you first saw/used one ?

    My father was HUGE fan of leicas and could never afford one, so he bought a Soviet clone of one, the Zorki 4 , but he somehow instilled in me the mythic abilities of one so Ive always been lusting after them , once I had some health troubles a while back I thought screw it ............

    .......so the first leica I even SAW was the one I bought sight unseen from a vendor 2 years ago and I was 45!! but my daughter who is almost 6 now has taken shots with it and so has my 9 year old ( insurance makes me foolhardy!)

    Oh here is the 2nd shot i took with it easy to see why my poor pentax gear is gathering dust even though i didnt have an IR/UV filter yet


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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    If you count the D-Lux 4 then I bought my first Leica in 2009... If not then my first true Leica was my M9 that I got in 2010 which I sold after hearing rumors of the M9-P. yes it's the same camera but I prefer it aesthetically mostly unmarked. I guess the first one I can remember seeing in person was a Digilux2. The first one I lusted after was the M8 circa 2007 or 2008. By the time I got serious about purchasing an M and putting enough money aside for it the M9 was announced and I had to raise an additional $1500 or so.

    I will say its been well worth it to me and its the first "serious" camera I really got along with. Us there are technically cameras than do things better like high ISO and telephoto. From the time I attached my ZM50 Planar to it though and did a few self portrait test shots I knew it was what I've been looking for. It only took me a Canon, two Micro 4/3, and advanced p&s to get it through my head though luckily.
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I bought an M3 when I was 18
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    When I was college age, my photographic mentor used a Leica M4 (while I used my Pentax Spotmatic F SLR). When I had the chance to use his camera, I was hooked...primarily on the ability to see outsides the framelines in order to better anticipate the decisive moment. Not long thereafter, I found a well worn M3 for sale with a 50mm cron (as it was the only Leica I could afford at the time) and as they say "the rest is history".

    Postscript....there were many times in the interviening years, especially when digital photography was in it's infancy, that my interest (like many) waned from film and therefore my Leica....although I'd still often shoot it as I was very much into B&W and the wet darkroom. I'd tried keeping my hand into rangefinder photography during this developmental phase of digital with various incarnations of the M6, M7 but eventually merging my Leica and digital interests to the M8 and M9 when they were introduced.

    Dave (D&A)
    Last edited by D&A; 7th February 2013 at 06:09.

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    Senior Member RVB's Avatar
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I bought a Leica S2 about 18 months ago,that was the first time I ever used a Leica,I just upgraded that to an S,I love the ergonomics and the lenses are exquisite

    Rob

    BTW,thats a sweet snap of your daughter..

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    A black Leica SL2 with a 50mm Summicron in Mainz, Germany, ~1998.

    I still have it and have lots of memorable pictures taken with it.

    Much later, I bought a Nikon SLR with a 50/1.8. Holy crap the difference between the Summicron and the Nikkor was like day and night!

    RF cams came much later. Though I like the compactness and the quietness, I really do not appreciate the limitations of the RF method, particularly if one has to deal with misbehaving (RF coupled) lenses.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Incredibly enough, I had my first personal Leica experience during military service in the ´60es: I was assigned one of these Swedish Army Leicas! I still have the receipt slip I had to sign for it.

    The thing was: I didn´t like it at all! My own camera was a brand new Minolta SR7 SLR, and, to this youngster, the Leica felt very primitive in comparison....

    More than ten years later, The Minoltas (they had multiplied somehow) were replaced by two Leicaflex SL´s. An M2 followed, and then I began to collect older Leicas, too. But by then, an Army Leica was much out of my financial reach...
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    11/2012 to be exact, after a long stint with Nikon DSLRs which I still do have now; along with the Micro 4/3s system acquired in 5/2009. Now, I'm color blind.
    Kindest,
    Dave

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I saw my 1st Leica when I was 16 and it was a Leicaflex SL. At this age it was far too expensive for me, so it stayed a dream for many years to follow and I bought instead a Minolta SRT 101.

    I bought my 1st Leica - a used Leicaflex SL2 - when I was around 30.

    I bought my 1st Leica M - a Leica M6 - in 1987. Together with a 2/35 Summicron and a 2/90 Elmarit. And I never sold this Leica M!!!
    Life is an ever changing journey
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    In 1969 I joined an Army National Guard battalion. At that time they had in their equipment a whole Leica outfit with additional lenses. And yes, I lusted for that camera system. However, with my limited funds at the time, I opted for a Canon SLR and later into MF with a Hasselblad 500 C/M that I still own. So, now that I have lived to be a senior citizen with some money to purchase a Leica, I am on the waiting list for my first Leica, the M.

    Greg
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I first Leica I saw was in 1990 in Tokyo. Just rows and rows of them in a camera store window. I had my first picture taken with a Leica, an M5, at the opening of my show in the Kodak Photo Salon in Ginza in 1994. To this day, I have never handled one. But if someone wants to visit...

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Not sure when I first saw one, but bought an M3 used in 1970. Sold a year later and next one (an M4) bought in 1975

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    To this day, I have never handled one. But if someone wants to visit...
    Good thing you've never handled one...or you'd might be spending most every waking hour figuring out the possible combination of winning lottery #'s and a whole lot more. In fact I suspect you'd also be investing in ramping up production of ski masks....even though it might be in the dead heat of summertime with temps in the mid 90's Count yourself as one of the lucky ones!

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    My grandfather had a IIIc that he wouldn't loan my father for his honeymoon in 1952. So my father's first act upon arriving home was to buy a IIIf... He used that camera all through my childhood, both for family photos and to document his work (dental reconstruction, with a bellows and Hektor short mount).

    In '67, I started assisting him at the office in the darkroom and at the chair. I worked the camera and developed the films from it and the X-ray machine. That was my first use of a Leica.. A couple years later, I had one of my own...

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Well, Leica for me was 2008. But rangefinder (a Voigtländer Dynamatic II) as early as... 1981/82ish? It was my dad's and my first exposure to a "real" camera. With its broken selenium meter I learned to guess exposure *real* quick. The rest, as they say - is history. Still have it:

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    DN, that is a beautiful camera.

    I first saw an M6 in my college roommate's hands almost 15 years ago. A few years after and a year before he died, my late father bought me an M6TTL that I still use.
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I purchased a Leitz Minolta CL off of eBay in 2010, but I'm still not sure if I consider it a "real" Leica since there was an actually Leica CL as well. I purchased the Leica M8 on eBay in 2011.

    There were some William Eggleston and Garry Winogrand documentaries I had watched that really inspired me to try a rangefinder camera. I immediately fell in love with rangefinders.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I'm fairly new to rangefinders. Bought my first Leica (M6) in 2011 and M9 in 2012.
    M262 ZM 25/2.8 35/1.4 50/2 85/2

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    the first rangefinder was my father's Agfa Ambi Silette- he had the 50 and the 90. At 15 I pleaded and pleaded and we bought a sears (ricoh) 35rf, which i still have and takes decent pictures.
    I first saw an M6 I guess at the Maine Workshops and wondered about the special sauce everyone said it had. Didn't buy one till 1998 but got it home and had a hard time seeing through the small exit window, got scared, thought my editors would never bother with 35mm so I returned for the Mamiya 7 which essentially taught me the mechanics of the rangefinder with it's bigger eyepiece.
    Feeling flush in 2000 I bought a used M6 and elmarit 28, followed by a 35 and 50 and haven't looked back since. M8 in 2007 since sold. Awaiting possible future with M240 but maybe not.
    Two years ago I bought the agfa 35 on ebay to complete my dad's set and gave it to him for christmas. He was astonished I could find it. The ambi was always called the poor man's leica. In some ways it is better, leaf shutter, bayonet is indestructible.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by animefx View Post
    I purchased a Leitz Minolta CL off of eBay in 2010, but I'm still not sure if I consider it a "real" Leica since there was an actually Leica CL as well. I purchased the Leica M8 on eBay in 2011. ...
    The CL was a collaborative effort between Leica and Minolta. The body design came from Leica, the manufacturing techniques and production from Minolta. The 40 and 90 mm lenses were designed by Leica, Leica manufactured all the 90mm lenses, branded both Leitz and Minolta, and their branded 40mm, the Summicron-C 40mm f/2, where Minolta manufactured the gen 1 & 2 versions of the M-Rokkor 40mm f/2. Same designs, slightly different materials and finish ... it's hard to tell them apart. (The M-Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 is a 100% Minolta design and manufacture, and not up to the same performance level as the 40 and 90 mm lenses.)

    (You can see the difference to the Minolta design DNA when you look at the Minolta CLE body—that's what they wanted to produce after the CL. It was too radical a departure for Leica, I suspect, and Leica hadn't made much profit on the CL anyway was my understanding.)

    So I see the CL as a real Leica, regardless of the facts that Minolta manufactured the bodies and they were sold as "Leitz Minolta CL" and "Leica CL". They're all the same camera, just the branding is different to satisfy the two collaborators' different market demographics.

    I've had three CLs and a CLE; still have my third CL now. It's still one of my favorite film cameras. A good CL is a very good shooter, and it plus the 40 and 90mm lenses make a superb kit. Add a shorter focal length (I use the Color Skopar 21mm f/4) and you have it all for a film kit.

    G

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I saw my first Leica in the mid 50's. My dad was into photography and used to take me to the camera shops with him when I was a kid. I always thought the looked very cool. When I got to college I was deep into photography and during my sophomore year in 1968 the chief photographer of the university paper was goi g to Alaska for a newspaper job and hired me as his replacement. Henry was a hardcore Leica user and had 2 M2's and a new M4 plus a great selection of glass from 21 to 200mm. Another friend who shot for a nearby news paper used Nikon SP's. Both friends let me shoot their cameras and both had their good and bad points. The M's just seemed right for me so I purchased a used but like new M2 and 50 summicron in 1968. I soon added two more bodies an lenses from 21-200mm. I wound up with 2-2's and a 3. Eventually I traded most of the gear in the mid 70's for a Linhof Technika and three lenses. It wasn't long till I had a couple of new M bodies and lenses. Since then there has been only a shirt period when I didn't have M's. One period in the 70's was in a moment of insanity when I bought 2 SL bodies and an SL MOT. Unfortunately they were a disaster.

    Still using M's 45 years later. I still have one of my early M2's an ALaCarte MP and M9.
    Last edited by DDudenbostel; 8th February 2013 at 05:51.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by MikalWGrass View Post
    DN, that is a beautiful camera.

    I first saw an M6 in my college roommate's hands almost 15 years ago. A few years after and a year before he died, my late father bought me an M6TTL that I still use.
    Thank you!

    I have a similar story with my camera; especially after my dad passed I couldn't possibly part with it. Unfortunately, the silvering in the VF is failing and the meter is dead - or I'd still use it. The lens is very good - much like the 50mm f/2.5 LTM Color Skopar I use on the M today.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Late 1970s, an R3; then an M3 (s/h, one titled owner); then R4 and M4.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    First Leica was a IIIC around 1979. I really wanted an M, any M, but it was way beyond my financial ability. Regardless I loved that IIIC (and still do) and developed a life long relationship with Leica.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    First M mount body I bought was a Voigtlander RM3 + 50 Heliar kit and the 15mm lens, in 2007, mainly because I saw some images made with a the Voigtlander 15/4.5 which blew me away. I got an M6 some time after that and eventually everything went to Leica, the voigtlander eventually sold, but I still use the 15/4.5.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I had my first (used) Leica (M6) over 20 years ago.
    My uncle had been a long time Leica user and he borrowed me his M6 which I later bought used from him. I paid over 2 years until I had paid it off.
    Used an older used 35 Summicron and an old 90/2.8 Tele-Elmarit with it for many years. It was my main camera for many years. I still have that M6 and will never sell it (if I am not forced to financially).

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Got into photography kinda late, 2 years ago in my mid 30's with the Sony NEX5. I didn't like the lenses Sony had to offer, so looked into manual focus lenses and bought a 50'Cron DR. I loved it so much that I wanted more Leica, and finally bought a used M9 off Ashwin 10 months ago. Now, I think I'll be using rangefinders for life.

    A bit conflicted at the moment... when the new M comes out, I would love to get it for all of its advantages, but to afford it, I would probably have to let the M9 go, which I'm quite sentimentally attached with it being my first M and all. Perhaps I should just buy another lens to quell my GAS (for a little while).
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    My first Leica was an M6 Titanium with a 35 1.4 Asph. purchased from Jim Khuel back in 1996. I unpacked the camera, loaded a roll of Fuji Sensia and shot my first assignment of the day (picture below)
    Last edited by Sharokin; 7th April 2014 at 20:50.
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I had seen Leica equipment occasionally in shops and magazines as i grew up and hunted for Pentax and then Nikon equipment, but Leicas were way more expensive than i could afford. They were ignored. In my mid 20's i had a job that required contact with the media. One day i was being interviewed for a magazine and a lady photographer was sent along to take the supporting images. She was using a Leica R and took 4 or 5 shots before leaving. I was surprised: in my experience photographers would fire off at least a roll or two of film at such a shoot, and it made an impression. When the article came out 2 or 3 of her images were published, and each a great shot. I was impressed and determined to try one when i could. In the mid 1990's i was able to get My First Leica, a M6 together with 35 1.4 Asph. This i later 'upgraded' to a M6TTL once it was released (though some might not regard this as an upgrade) and i continue to hold onto it today. Both were fabulous cameras. I then brought into the M8 and M9 as they became available, and am now looking forward to the Type 240 which i have on order. I guess I have enough Leica bodies to pass on to each of my children, but not for a while yet :-).

    Unfortunately, I cannot recall the lady's name otherwise i would thank her.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Saw my first one in 1966 on my first trip to Europe. Could not afford one for a long time. Then when I could afford one I got a Hasselblad. Once I decided to leap into digital my M9 was my first Leica in Dec. 2010. So it took me like 44 years between the two events the OP asked about.
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    My first Leica was an M6 Titanium with a 35 1.4 Asph. purchased from Jim Khuel back in 1996.
    Struck a chord with me....relied upon the judgement and advice of Don Chatterton and Jim Khuel from 1984 till they both retired...now Sean Cranor at Camera West.


    Regards,

    Bob

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    My first Leica was a M2. It was delivered on my hand on Oct. 14, 2011.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    When I moved to Austin from Corpus Christi, Texas to get a degree in Photojournalism many of my classmates -incuding Mike Murphy, Larry C Price (2-time Pulitzer Prize winner) had Leicas as well as Nikons. This was 1973 and I had a Nikon kit but the first time I took Garry Winogrand's class at the UT School of Art, I knew I needed some RF gear. It wasn't a question of not having a Nikon kit too - because the Leica was too limited on sports and other types of photography that I did - but being able to affort Leica equipment. I took four semesters of Winogrand's class and by the last semester had an M3 (with a 50 cron, a 28 'rit) and a CL with the 40mm.The first time Winogrand saw my CL he asked to examine it and after a long time squinting at it, he handed it back and said "Leica must be trying to go out of business."
    Anyway, working as I had to during my college years, I raised the funds to also buy some Hasselblad equipment, which I later sold for more Leica stuff. When digital came along I sold all my film camera equipment and got some Canon gear and when Leica got in the digital game, I sold all my Canon gear and now only own Leica digital gear.
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    My first Leica.. 2004, a IIIc.
    A friend in college introduced me to the world of rangefinders with some cheapy Russian copies in the fall of 2003.

    This quickly lead me into the purchase of a IIIc, and within a year.. an M2.

    Graduation and a job meant I could pick up an M6.

    As my time became more expensive, and prices fell.. I swapped the M6 for an RD1.

    Used that for a couple years, took a break.. and ended up coming back to Leica with an M8 in 2010.

    Now I've added a IIIf, so I can shoot both film & digital..
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I can't tell you when I saw my first Leica, but I was already sufficiently intrigued to have picked up a brochure for the R4S, probably from Francis Camera in Honolulu, circa 1984.

    But my first Leica was an all-Canadian combo of M4-2 + 50mm Summicron acquired in the early 1990s. It was inadvertently also an exploration into minimalism: In order to afford it, I had to sell off my Nikon F3, MD4 motor drive, Speedlight, and a number of Nikkor lenses. I wasn't keen on the M4-2's lack of a built-in light meter and wasn't totally sold on the RF experience, but I sure liked the size and weight of the outfit.

    This enforced minimalism brought a certain clarity to my shooting: What lens should I take? Why the 50/2 of course! Amazing what you can do with just a 50mm when that's all you've got.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Just last night after dinner, I handed my camera to a friend to give him a taste of shooting with a rangefinder for the first time. Not sure he appreciated the speed of manual operation, but he was able to focus quite well after 10-15 seconds. We might have another convert, yet

    David Young
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    Leicaflex SL, 20 years ago. I was 17. I was spoiled ever since. And never stopped the intense darkroom ever since, except for a hiatus of about 3 years around 2005-ish.

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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    First I saw was my roommate's Leicaflex, freshman year in college in 1970. The following year the night security guard at the tech building loaned me his IIIG. Hooked is an understatement. My first one purchased was a Leicaflex SL in 1979.

  39. #39
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    I was combining a postdoc in physics with a pretty serious interest in semi-pro photography in Chicago in 1969. Leicas were lying around the camera stores used and relatively cheap, as everyone rushed to get Nikon gear. I picked up an M2, collapsible Summicron 50, collapsible Elmar 90 (now lost to fungus), pretty nice Canon 35/2.0 and a scary Canon 19/3.5 for the money I could make then selling what we would call stock photos (for textbooks) and some portfolios. It all fit into a surplus gas mask bag with 10 cans of hand-wound bulk Tri-X, ready for street demonstrations.

    Ultimately, the day job won, but the M2 and three of the lenses are still in use. The M2 had a Sherry Krauter refurb in 2007. The gas mask bag did finally die a few years ago.

    scott

  40. #40
    Member Duane Pandorf's Avatar
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    Re: Curious, when did you see/use your first leica?

    My initial experience with the Leica brand began a year a go. I had heard the name but really knew nothing about the company. Tried using my father's Exacta in high school but it had issues. Early in the Marine Corps shot with a compact Rollei 35mm. In the 90s a Canon A1 and later a Minolta SLR. The 2001 the Nikon D100, then D200.

    A year ago this month I bought the Ricoh M mount module and a Leica 40mm Summicron. I then began to learn about the Leica magic.

    I bought my first Leica body the M-E 12/29/2012.
    Duane Pandorf
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