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01-21-2009, 04:34 PM   #1
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Link AF point and AE ?

I'm a new K200D owner and new to DSLR
i see in the K200D manual that it is possible to link the AF point and AE during multi-segment metering.
Does anyone here do this? Is it a good idea or not?

01-21-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Really, it's six of one, half dozen of the other. If you link them, then the camera will do what you want in some situations, and you'll need to override the default exposure in other situations. If you don't link them, it will still be the case that the camera does what you want in some cases but not others - except the situations will more or less have reversed themselves.

For example, with the link on, you'll get better exposures when your focus target is more or less average in value (lightness/darkness) against a mostly darker or or lighter background, but worse exposures when the background is average and subject is darker or lighter. With the link off, it's the other way around.
01-21-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Really, it's six of one, half dozen of the other. If you link them, then the camera will do what you want in some situations, and you'll need to override the default exposure in other situations. If you don't link them, it will still be the case that the camera does what you want in some cases but not others - except the situations will more or less have reversed themselves.

For example, with the link on, you'll get better exposures when your focus target is more or less average in value (lightness/darkness) against a mostly darker or or lighter background, but worse exposures when the background is average and subject is darker or lighter. With the link off, it's the other way around.
So, knowing this, for set-up shots its just a menu change to better camera control
01-22-2009, 04:54 AM   #4
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Full Technical Details and Answers!

QuoteOriginally posted by johngs Quote
I'm a new K200D owner and new to DSLR
i see in the K200D manual that it is possible to link the AF point and AE during multi-segment metering.
Does anyone here do this? Is it a good idea or not?
This question, together with a FAQ of another Pentax DSLR Custom Function, have been asked by uncountable of Pentaxians more than five years. I opt to write a new blog article in explaining all the technical details and in practical usage, what should be learned/known. Here it is:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Two Important Custom Functions for Proper Metering

Help this could finally help (any Pentaxian who is in trouble)! :-)

01-22-2009, 06:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
This question, together with a FAQ of another Pentax DSLR Custom Function, have been asked by uncountable of Pentaxians more than five years. I opt to write a new blog article in explaining all the technical details and in practical usage, what should be learned/known. Here it is:-

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Two Important Custom Functions for Proper Metering

Help this could finally help (any Pentaxian who is in trouble)! :-)
Hi RiceHigh!


Mind if I ask you a question (I also left a comment on your blog)?

Let's first summarize the default behaviour and options we have on a Pentax and a Canon:

Pentax default behaviour = DO NOT link AE to AF point in evaluative and/or DO NOT lock AE when AF is locked in all metering modes.
Pentax's options: LINK AE to AF point in evaluative and/or LOCK AE when AF is locked in all metering modes.

Canon default behaviour = LINK AE to AF point in evaluative + LOCK AE when AF is locked in evaluative but DO NO lock AE when AF is locked in other metering modes (so the default behaviour changes when you change modes).
Canon's option: NONE (except if you redefine the AE-L button to do both AE and AF, then shutter button will AE lock in all modes... very simple...

Now some comments:

Linking AE to AF point in evaluative metering is useful only in a handfull of situations (as you noted in your blog) so default Canon's behaviour doesn't make sense for 90% of the situations... furthermore, there is no way to choose the behaviour on the Canon...

With both CF, the Pentax can be configured to do what the Canon can, but the other way around doesn't work: try locking AF and AE at the same time on the Canon in spot metering...

Pentax offers you more flexibility but, according to you, that is a bad things since you have to:
1/ sometimes RTFM;
2/ most of the time think about the picture you're taking and how you would like it to appear... ie make an educated CHOICE!
01-22-2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Not Correct for Your Conclusions.

QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
Hi RiceHigh!

Mind if I ask you a question (I also left a comment on your blog)?
Hallo.

I don't mind your polite response and a sensible discussion is always welcome! :-)

I have also responded in details at my blog post about your comments and questions.

QuoteQuote:
Let's first summarize the default behaviour and options we have on a Pentax and a Canon:

Pentax default behaviour = DO NOT link AE to AF point in evaluative and/or DO NOT lock AE when AF is locked in all metering modes.
Yes.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax's options: LINK AE to AF point in evaluative and/or LOCK AE when AF is locked in all metering modes.
Yes.

QuoteQuote:
Canon default behaviour = LINK AE to AF point in evaluative + LOCK AE when AF is locked in evaluative but DO NO lock AE when AF is locked in other metering modes (so the default behaviour changes when you change modes).
Correct.

QuoteQuote:
Canon's option: NONE (except if you redefine the AE-L button to do both AE and AF, then shutter button will AE lock in all modes... very simple...
Also correct but not confused IMO. If the Canon user changed the Custom Function and choose a new one, he/she knew well what he is doing, I suppose. And then what you said this "confusing" option is not available in Pentax DSLRs.

QuoteQuote:
Now some comments:

Linking AE to AF point in evaluative metering is useful only in a handfull of situations (as you noted in your blog) so default Canon's behaviour doesn't make sense for 90% of the situations... furthermore, there is no way to choose the behaviour on the Canon...
Not correct. Please re-read my blog post. I believe I have made my point very clear and elaborate in details. My suggestion and recommendation is: ALL Pentax DSLR users should NOT link AE to AF and ENABLE "lock AE when AF locked".

And, you cannot compare the case of Canon DSLRs with Pentaxes. The evaluative metering segment of the Canons are far more fine and well matched with the AF sensors in their body. Not so for the Pentax case.

QuoteQuote:
With both CF, the Pentax can be configured to do what the Canon can, but the other way around doesn't work: try locking AF and AE at the same time on the Canon in spot metering...
Yes, but Pentax DSLRs do not have the CFs for configuring the AEL and AF button/AFL as in a Canon DSLR - no difference here - each to his own. But the default setting of Pentax makes no sense for disabling "lock AE and AF locked" even in the supposed to be fool-proof evaluative metering, which, using your word, is CONFUSING the users and creating ERRORS.

With the limited number of multi-segment metering cells and misaligned AF sensor, "linking AE to AF" is not a true "option" IMHO. The Nikon's 51 zone AF with 1005 RGB segment metering will surely be. Still Okay with Canon's 35 Segment metering system. Not so for the Pentax's 16-Segment metering system with *misaligned* AF sensor which are far larger in coverage size.

QuoteQuote:
Pentax offers you more flexibility but, according to you, that is a bad things since you have to:
1/ sometimes RTFM;
2/ most of the time think about the picture you're taking and how you would like it to appear... ie make an educated CHOICE!
So, you conclusions are not valid.
01-22-2009, 07:12 AM   #7
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And, it is very easy to open up many many choices so that there are infinite combinations which have no practical meanings. In this case, as detailed explained in my blog post and my response above, the two CF functions are not much meaningful if the correct default behaviours were set correctly, if long ago.
01-22-2009, 09:40 AM   #8
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OK, so I read what lol101 wrote and it was logical, consistent and easy to follow. Then I read your reply, RiceHigh, and find it confusing and logically inconsistent.

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
My suggestion and recommendation is: ALL Pentax DSLR users should NOT link AE to AF and ENABLE "lock AE when AF locked".
Your suggestion for how to use the camera is a separate issue from the options that camera provides. More options are good even if only one photog in 100 needs to use it in just one case in 100.

I am not disagreeing that "AE-L with AF locked" should be on by default. I am only saying that the option Pentax provides but Canon does not can hardly be taken as a negative criticism of Pentax!

QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
And, you cannot compare the case of Canon DSLRs with Pentaxes. The evaluative metering segment of the Canons are far more fine and well matched with the AF sensors in their body.
Whether true or not, this is irrelevant. Comparing the quality of the AF or metering between cameras has no bearing on what someone using a particular camera at a particular moment can do. They must make their decisions based on the camera in front of them. And Pentax gives the user more options than Canon in that regard.

01-22-2009, 07:28 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Your suggestion for how to use the camera is a separate issue from the options that camera provides. More options are good even if only one photog in 100 needs to use it in just one case in 100.
But some options can be reductant, useless and confusing. The case holds true for the CF of "link AF point to AE", which is not needed indeed, if the camera is just a bit more intelligent enough.

As pointed out already in my blog post, this CF is *only* somehow meaningful when multiple auto AF point mode is used. Also, ideally, the camera *should* always taking the AF data in evaluative metering if it is just a bit smarter, and whether these data should be used or ignored should be decided by the evaluative metering algorithm. Just say there is not a stupid CF for letting the user to choose what metering segments should be used for the evaluative metering or what scene and what photography is the photographer is taking and doing, for example.

QuoteQuote:
I am not disagreeing that "AE-L with AF locked" should be on by default. I am only saying that the option Pentax provides but Canon does not can hardly be taken as a negative criticism of Pentax!
I critise that as no other maker on Earth make such an inapprioprate setting, especially as Pentax's evaluative metering is yet centre-weighted by default, it SHOULD always be locked once AF is done - Simple.

What happened have just shown that Pentax is inthoughtful about the technical details, which reflects the robustness of their algorithms developed, of which the same might apply.

QuoteQuote:
Whether true or not, this is irrelevant. Comparing the quality of the AF or metering between cameras has no bearing on what someone using a particular camera at a particular moment can do. They must make their decisions based on the camera in front of them. And Pentax gives the user more options than Canon in that regard.
Why? Options are not all the things. Performance and design are prevailing factors, as stated above.
01-23-2009, 12:39 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
But some options can be reductant, useless and confusing. The case holds true for the CF of "link AF point to AE", which is not needed indeed, if the camera is just a bit more intelligent enough.
I agree, "link AF point to AE" is not very useful as evaluative metering shouldn't be biased towards the reflectivity of the subject that is in focus. If a special emphasis is needed on the focused subject, one should use CWA or spot metering + AEL.

QuoteQuote:
As pointed out already in my blog post, this CF is *only* somehow meaningful when multiple auto AF point mode is used.
Sorry, I don't why this setting is more relevant when multiple AF point are selected... exposure should not depend on AF point period.

QuoteQuote:
Also, ideally, the camera *should* always taking the AF data in evaluative metering if it is just a bit smarter, and whether these data should be used or ignored should be decided by the evaluative metering algorithm.
Again, I thought you suggested is "should not" take the AF data into account in evaluative metering...

A small example extracted from my own experience with Canon's evaluative metering: camera on tripod, taking a portrait of my wife (black) and one of my kid (kind of white ), according to where I put the focus point (on my wife, on the kid, on one T-shirt or the other...) the camera chooses a different exposure... not a good thing!

With the Pentax camera in evaluative: whatever AF point is chosen, the exposure stays the same: good!


AFAIK there is only ONE correct exposure per picture (as given by a incident light meter for example).

QuoteQuote:
Just say there is not a stupid CF for letting the user to choose what metering segments should be used for the evaluative metering or what scene and what photography is the photographer is taking and doing, for example.
... could you please rephrase that?

QuoteQuote:
I critise that as no other maker on Earth make such an inapprioprate setting, especially as Pentax's evaluative metering is yet centre-weighted by default, it SHOULD always be locked once AF is done - Simple.
I have used Pentax *istDs, K10 and K20 quite extensively: evaluative metering is clearly different from CWA, default of not... so

QuoteQuote:
What happened have just shown that Pentax is inthoughtful about the technical details, which reflects the robustness of their algorithms developed, of which the same might apply.
To me, the only place where Pentax's setting can be "dangerous" for an uneducated user is when they do what you're suggesting (always enable "AE lock when AF is locked") and switches out of evaluative. Then there is a risk of using an outer AF point while AE will be locked on the center portion of the image, hence possibly leading to the wrong exposure (I agree that this setting should be restricted to evaluative metering or using center AF point only or at least well described in the manual).

QuoteQuote:
Why? Options are not all the things. Performance and design are prevailing factors, as stated above.
Options are important for educated users because they add some necessary flexibility to the system but they can indeed be confusing for newbies.

Nevertheless, I have the impression that your final argument is basically that AE doesn't work properly on Pentax cameras and this, no matter what CF settings are used, while AE works flawlessly on Canon cameras, even though they don't offer the same flexibility.

That is not my experience, I often regret the lack of flexibility of the Canon system and positively disagree with their choice of linking AE to AF in evaluative metering... different strokes for different folks I guess...
01-23-2009, 06:23 AM   #11
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lol, I still cannot agree with your conclusion. But before we discuss further, I think you should think about if AF point data is used then the evaluative metering have to solely rely on these data, or NOT!

The AF data and mutli-segment readings should be analysed *as a whole*, which is for the case of Canon (you verify yourself if still unconvinced, since you have a 5D). But for Pentax's case, if the CF (link AF point to AE) is enabled, almost all the in-focus point(s) are put with all the emphasis and if disabled, all the in-focus point(s) are ignored (except it is by default putting emphasis in the central segment). So, this EITHER / OR approach by Pentax is not a good thing - that's what I wish to point out. I wish I can make it clear this time.

And, as for the "AE locked on AF locked" to be set as factory default. I just follow your "educated users" argument. By default, novice users use the evalutive metering (which is the "green" metering mode" and my suggested default setting is approriate for them. And if the more experienced or "edcuated" users switch to the CWA or Spot mode, they will know to hit the AE-L to override just in case if needed and they need to do so anyway except in M exposure mode. So, what's the problem here? And, why to do it in the reverse way is better??
01-23-2009, 08:26 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
lol, I still cannot agree with your conclusion. But before we discuss further, I think you should think about if AF point data is used then the evaluative metering have to solely rely on these data, or NOT!
My position on the matter is that one should not use the AF point data for pondering AE. AF is just not relevant to AE.

QuoteQuote:
The AF data and mutli-segment readings should be analysed *as a whole*, which is for the case of Canon (you verify yourself if still unconvinced, since you have a 5D).
I know, it's the reason why I don't like it that much! I still don't understand why they make it the default (only I should say) behaviour for eveluative.

QuoteQuote:
But for Pentax's case, if the CF (link AF point to AE) is enabled, almost all the in-focus point(s) are put with all the emphasis and if disabled, all the in-focus point(s) are ignored (except it is by default putting emphasis in the central segment). So, this EITHER / OR approach by Pentax is not a good thing - that's what I wish to point out. I wish I can make it clear this time.
Errrr... sorry

What are you trying to say here? What's the difference between Pentax's option "link AF point to AE = enabled" and the Canon way of doing evaluative metering? I did side by side shooting with the K20 and the 5D and they both gave me the same results with these settings... ie more or less overexposed pics when a dark subject is in focus or more or less underexposed pictures when a light subject is selected.

Only the Pentax with "link AF point to AE = disabled" gave me a stable and as "reflectance neutral" as possible reading.

QuoteQuote:
And, as for the "AE locked on AF locked" to be set as factory default. I just follow your "educated users" argument. By default, novice users use the evalutive metering (which is the "green" metering mode" and my suggested default setting is approriate for them. And if the more experienced or "edcuated" users switch to the CWA or Spot mode, they will know to hit the AE-L to override just in case if needed and they need to do so anyway except in M exposure mode. So, what's the problem here? And, why to do it in the reverse way is better??
Why would novice users want to lock AE and AF at the same time more than experienced ones?

Say I am a novice and I want to take a picture: I point the camera at the subject, the AF (hopefully) locks on the subject, evaluative metering does its jobs at evaluating the exposure, I take the picture... at what time do I need AE to be locked?

Only if I use "focus/recompose" and/or some other metering modes will I need to lock AE. Fortunately, there is an AEL button for this

To me, the "AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" option is only useful if:
1/ you have a Canon that tinkers the evaluative metering with the AF data AND you want to focus/recompose your shot (if evaluative doesn't take into account AF data, it should be sufficiently stable to be relatively insensitive to some minor recomposing);
2/ you want to use the center AF point and do an "all in one " focus + spot metering on your subject (with the appropriate +/- EV comp already dialed in according to which "zone" you want to put your subject): that's what I use it for most of the time.

"AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" makes sense relatively to the way Canon defines evaluative metering (because they link AF to AE in the first place) but not necessarily if you understand how Pentax's evaluative metering works by default.


In other words:

In evaluative metering, if you need to select "link AF point to AE = enabled" (Canon's way) it makes sense to select also "AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" (also Canon's way so they are coherent about it).

For everything else, Pentax defaults are coherent IMHO.
01-23-2009, 08:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by johngs Quote
I'm a new K200D owner and new to DSLR
i see in the K200D manual that it is possible to link the AF point and AE during multi-segment metering.
Does anyone here do this? Is it a good idea or not?
Hi John and sorry for the hijacked thread...

To answer you question, linking AF point and AE when using multisegment metering is a bit hazardous because it could lead to some unpredictable results.

It might look better when taking picture of a dark subject (a slight overexposition often leads to a "clearer" looking picture) but it can also lead to some underexposure when the subject in focus is light or highly reflective.

Default setting for evaluative will make it more stable and less sensitive to the subject reflectance.

The best advice might be to try it and see the difference it makes when shooting dark or light subjects so that you can understand how metering works but IMO, evaluative metering is better left untouched.

For putting the emphasis on the subject, there is spot or CWA metering. Combined with the use of the AEL button, they can do pretty much everything you'd like but they require you to understand how metering works so that you can make it work for you.



Hopefully I didn't make the subject even less clear, i hope you'll find what works best for you, don't hesitate to post pictures if you have some difficulties, people on this board are generally very helpful and you will certainly get some very good advice.

01-23-2009, 09:56 AM   #14
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My final reply

QuoteOriginally posted by lol101 Quote
My position on the matter is that one should not use the AF point data for pondering AE. AF is just not relevant to AE.
Nope. It is relevant, but not absolutely (like what Pentax assumed). I think this is the last time I repeat this point and I hope you can get it.

QuoteQuote:
I know, it's the reason why I don't like it that much! I still don't understand why they make it the default (only I should say) behaviour for eveluative.
Yes, I know that you don't understand. That's why I shall explain further, for the last time.

QuoteQuote:
Errrr... sorry
No problem :-)

QuoteQuote:
What are you trying to say here? What's the difference between Pentax's option "link AF point to AE = enabled" and the Canon way of doing evaluative metering? I did side by side shooting with the K20 and the 5D and they both gave me the same results with these settings... ie more or less overexposed pics when a dark subject is in focus or more or less underexposed pictures when a light subject is selected.
My 5D seldom overexposes with EOS lenses in evaluative metering mode, are we having the same model of camera?

QuoteQuote:
Only the Pentax with "link AF point to AE = disabled" gave me a stable and as "reflectance neutral" as possible reading.
This proves nothing even in a scene the Pentax meters better than the Canon.

QuoteQuote:
Why would novice users want to lock AE and AF at the same time more than experienced ones?
Just because the way Pentax's evaluative metering was designed and how it works. I repeat it for the last time: The evaluative metering of all Pentax DSLRS is CENTRE-WEIGHTED. It is easily verified, go figure yourself within a minute!

QuoteQuote:
Say I am a novice and I want to take a picture: I point the camera at the subject, the AF (hopefully) locks on the subject, evaluative metering does its jobs at evaluating the exposure, I take the picture... at what time do I need AE to be locked?
How can you point at the subject then? How the AF locks on the subject you want? How the evaluative metering does it jobs on the subject you "lock on" for the AF?? How can it know *where* your subject is??? The evaluative metering of Pentax DSLRs *assume* the subject is in the CENTRE, so you have to use the single central AF point (if you have other method in "pointing" and "locking" any subject you intend, please tell us! by the 6th sense to communicate with the camera? ;-)). By using the single central AF point, which means that you need to *recompose*. Once recompose,the evaluative metering centre will point to something other than the subject! So, you NEED to use the AE-L. Get it???

So, as stated clearly at the very beginning in my blog post, the only case "link AF point to AE" works is user does NOT "point" to a subject himself but let the camera choose one of the 11 AF points and does NOT recompose! So, in this case, the Custom Function should be enabled. But then why not the camera should not be smarter to set this by default when the Auto multi-AF point is chosen? WHY need a redundant Custom Function? (If it is just programmed to be SMARTER!)

QuoteQuote:
Only if I use "focus/recompose" and/or some other metering modes will I need to lock AE. Fortunately, there is an AEL button for this
How CAN YOU pick up YOUR INTENDED subject for focus if you do not recompose??

QuoteQuote:
To me, the "AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" option is only useful if:
1/ you have a Canon that tinkers the evaluative metering with the AF data AND you want to focus/recompose your shot (if evaluative doesn't take into account AF data, it should be sufficiently stable to be relatively insensitive to some minor recomposing);
Re-read above, I think I have already fully answered (again and again) your questions, which I do believe arise from some serious mis-concepts of your goodself.

QuoteQuote:
2/ you want to use the center AF point and do an "all in one " focus + spot metering on your subject (with the appropriate +/- EV comp already dialed in according to which "zone" you want to put your subject): that's what I use it for most of the time.
Nope. As I mentioned in previous post in this thread. The only meaning of disable the "AE locked upon AF locked" CF is you want (close to) *real-time* light metering, NOT the supposed case you mentioned above. Enabling this CF has NO CONFLICTS on the function of AE-Lock - try it yourself. So, what's the problem?

QuoteQuote:
"AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" makes sense relatively to the way Canon defines evaluative metering (because they link AF to AE in the first place) but not necessarily if you understand how Pentax's evaluative metering works by default.
I understand too well the way of Pentax's evaluative metering is working. It has some inherent and preliminary logical problem and is outdated. So, I made my suggestions!

Finally two more questions for you to digest:

1. Nikon evaluative meter also read the colours in 1005 segment in the frame, in addition to the AF data of the 51-point (or less) AF used. Do these additional info cause more errors to the *evaluation*? (according to your point, taking AF data into account is bad and cause troubles - I agree this applies, BUT ONLY to the evaluative meter of Pentax DSLRS, I experienced that very well before, if the CF is enabled!)

2. Pentax evaluative meter does take an important AF data into account, at least for the subject distance, so as to guess the type of the scene. You can find this is confirmed via Pentax official information sources!

QuoteQuote:
In evaluative metering, if you need to select "link AF point to AE = enabled" (Canon's way) it makes sense to select also "AE lock when AF is locked = enabled" (also Canon's way so they are coherent about it).

For everything else, Pentax defaults are coherent IMHO.
I simply give up this time, I won't respond further even if you still don't get it! Sorry but I have no other choice!
01-23-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Nope. It is relevant, but not absolutely (like what Pentax assumed). I think this is the last time I repeat this point and I hope you can get it.


I simply give up this time, I won't respond further even if you still don't get it! Sorry but I have no other choice!
The problem is not that I don't get it, the problem is that I don't agree with you.

Don't think too highly of yourself.

:ugh:
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