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Author Topic: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400  (Read 21258 times)

Robert Ardill

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Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« on: September 19, 2014, 08:47:20 am »

Hi,

I would really appreciate some advice as I'm thinking of selling my 24" HP Z3100 and replacing it with a Canon iPF6400 (without the internal disk and spectrophotometer as I can't afford these and already have an i1Pro2).  I'm not considering the Epson 7900 because I've had two Epson printers (4000 and 4800) and I can't stand the thought of fighting through print head clogs again.

I would particularly appreciate comments from anyone who has had both the Z3100 and iPF6400 (or the Z3200 & iPF6450 / iPF8400 ...).

Here are some of my questions:
- Calibration: on the Z3100 every paper needs to be calibrated. From the reviews I've read it seems that the iPF6400 only needs to be calibrated with one paper and not for every individual paper.  Is that true?  
- Calibration: Does the densitometer give good calibration, or is it really necessary to have the built-in spectro?
- Head clogging: my Z3100 has shown zero problems over six years.  Is the iPF6400 as good in this respect in your experience?
- Ink usage: how do the two printers compare?  I've found the Z3100 to be excellent in the respect.
- Paper load: is the paper load (especially sheet paper) better than the pretty poor paper load on the Z3100?
- Printer noise: the specs show the iPF6400 at about 35dB when in standby, which is pretty quiet.  As the printer will be in a small office this is important.  Is it really much quieter than the Z3100 (which has a noisy fan, even in standby)?
- Is the loss of the Gloss Enhancer a really big loss, or do the iPF6400 inks handle bronzing on gloss papers reasonably well?

The decision for me, assuming that the printers are equally good, is do I keep my really excellent Z3100 and risk not being able to get spare parts when something goes wrong? ... or do I get rid of it now and pay the $2500 or so upgrade to a new iPF6400 + set of inks?

Advice most welcome!!

Robert
« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 08:51:29 am by Robert Ardill »
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2014, 06:13:52 am »

Hi,

I've an offer on my Z3100 ... so I would REALLY appreciate your advice!!

Robert
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Czornyj

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2014, 06:41:02 am »

Unfortunatelly, I had no experience with Z3100, but FWIW:
- Yes, it's true - you only have to make one linearisation on one of supported media types, and the whole rest is updated
- The spectrodensitometer gives a good calibration, you need a spectrophotometer unit to create custom calibrations for unsupported papers, but many paper manufacturers support such calibration files.
- Same here, no clogging until the terminal clog.
- Same or even better, there are also 300ml ink carts available which is more convenient than 110ml HP carts
- Roll and sheet paper load is better than in HP, drivers and print plug-in are much more convenient
- It's absolutely noiseless in standby, and very, very quiet while printing. Nonetheless, it's also much faster than HP.
- It has resin encapsulated pigment particles with splippering enhancing substance, variable pigment particle size, and it adds green colorant to black parts, so bronzing, gloss differential and scratch resistance on glossy/satin media is in the class of it's own, way better than both HP and Epson.
    
Here are some of my questions:
- Calibration: on the Z3100 every paper needs to be calibrated. From the reviews I've read it seems that the iPF6400 only needs to be calibrated with one paper and not for every individual paper.  Is that true?  
- Calibration: Does the densitometer give good calibration, or is it really necessary to have the built-in spectro?
- Head clogging: my Z3100 has shown zero problems over six years.  Is the iPF6400 as good in this respect in your experience?
- Ink usage: how do the two printers compare?  I've found the Z3100 to be excellent in the respect.
- Paper load: is the paper load (especially sheet paper) better than the pretty poor paper load on the Z3100?
- Printer noise: the specs show the iPF6400 at about 35dB when in standby, which is pretty quiet.  As the printer will be in a small office this is important.  Is it really much quieter than the Z3100 (which has a noisy fan, even in standby)?
- Is the loss of the Gloss Enhancer a really big loss, or do the iPF6400 inks handle bronzing on gloss papers reasonably well?

The decision for me, assuming that the printers are equally good, is do I keep my really excellent Z3100 and risk not being able to get spare parts when something goes wrong? ... or do I get rid of it now and pay the $2500 or so upgrade to a new iPF6400 + set of inks?

Advice most welcome!!

Robert
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 06:43:12 am by Czornyj »
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Marcin Kałuża | [URL=http://zarzadzaniebarwa

Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 06:55:14 am »

Many thanks Marcin!
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ibarron

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 12:09:37 pm »

Hi,  I have just moved from a Z3100 to an iPF4650.  Only a couple of days so far but the initial impressions are positive.
The two papers I have tried so far (Canon Satin Photo Paper & Hahnemuhle Photo Silk Baryta) have both worked well.

So far i would say the iPF4650/Hahnemuhle Photo Silk Baryta combination is even nicer than the Z3100/Ilford GFS combination that was my favorite on the HP.

I haven't noticed much of a difference in noise between the two - they both make noticeable noises at times but neither are really loud.
The 6450 goes to sleep too quickly for me and I can't find out how to change this setting.
Too early to say if it is as clog free as the Z3100 was. (belt and formatter board died on it after 8 years ! - zero clogs !)
Same goes for ink useage.
Loading roll paper is easy (I don't use sheet).
It appears that the calibration is done per paper type (in the sense that Canon are using paper type).



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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2014, 12:33:36 pm »

Hi,  I have just moved from a Z3100 to an iPF4650.  Only a couple of days so far but the initial impressions are positive.
The two papers I have tried so far (Canon Satin Photo Paper & Hahnemuhle Photo Silk Baryta) have both worked well.

So far i would say the iPF4650/Hahnemuhle Photo Silk Baryta combination is even nicer than the Z3100/Ilford GFS combination that was my favorite on the HP.

I haven't noticed much of a difference in noise between the two - they both make noticeable noises at times but neither are really loud.
The 6450 goes to sleep too quickly for me and I can't find out how to change this setting.
Too early to say if it is as clog free as the Z3100 was. (belt and formatter board died on it after 8 years ! - zero clogs !)
Same goes for ink useage.
Loading roll paper is easy (I don't use sheet).
It appears that the calibration is done per paper type (in the sense that Canon are using paper type).


Thanks for the feedback!
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Geraldo Garcia

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2014, 01:54:54 pm »

Unfortunatelly, I had no experience with Z3100, but FWIW:
- Yes, it's true - you only have to make one linearisation on one of supported media types, and the whole rest is updated
- The spectrodensitometer gives a good calibration, you need a spectrophotometer unit to create custom calibrations for unsupported papers, but many paper manufacturers support such calibration files.
- Same here, no clogging until the terminal clog.
- Same or even better, there are also 300ml ink carts available which is more convenient than 110ml HP carts
- Roll and sheet paper load is better than in HP, drivers and print plug-in are much more convenient
- It's absolutely noiseless in standby, and very, very quiet while printing. Nonetheless, it's also much faster than HP.
- It has resin encapsulated pigment particles with splippering enhancing substance, variable pigment particle size, and it adds green colorant to black parts, so bronzing, gloss differential and scratch resistance on glossy/satin media is in the class of it's own, way better than both HP and Epson.

Marcin said almost everything I would say, but let me add this:

I have a Z3200 and a IPF8400 working side by side, so I can make direct comparisons.
When the media configuration file is produced on a printer without the spectrophotometer such configuration file will not allow paper specific calibration, the calibration for this paper will be automatically set by the printer based on the calibration performed on the standard (canon) papers. If the media configuration file was produced on o a printer coupled with the spectrophotometer it will allow paper specific calibration (even on other printers without the spectrophotometer). The second option is better and, as Marcin said, some paper manufacturers are providing such files.
The IPF8400 is absolutely silent on standby and noisier than the Z3200 while printing due to the vacuum.
The LUCIA EX inks are excellent regarding bronzing and gloss differential when compared to other inks without the use of gloss enhancer, but it still has a lot of gloss differential. I still favor the Z3200 with the gloss enhancer to print on satin/baryta papers when the image has a lot of white "255" areas.
The black and white prints of the IPF8400 are really very good and perfectly usable, but the black and whites of the "Z3XXX" are far superior to any non dedicated black and white printer.
The canons are way faster.
The canons have slightly larger gamuts on matte papers and quite larger on glossy.
In the end I can say I am very happy with the IPF8400.

Regards.
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2014, 03:41:24 pm »


When the media configuration file is produced on a printer without the spectrophotometer such configuration file will not allow paper specific calibration, the calibration for this paper will be automatically set by the printer based on the calibration performed on the standard (canon) papers. If the media configuration file was produced on o a printer coupled with the spectrophotometer it will allow paper specific calibration (even on other printers without the spectrophotometer). The second option is better and, as Marcin said, some paper manufacturers are providing such files.


Thank you very much Geraldo.  I'm not very clear about the calibration.  If I understand you, for a new paper which does not have a media configuration file, it is necessary to produce the media configuration file on a printer that DOES have a spectrophotometer.  Once there is a media configuration file, it is THEN possible to calibrate the paper roll on a printer that does NOT have a spectrophotometer.  Profiling the paper can then be done using an i1Pro, for example (or use the manufacturer profile). Correct?

The iPF configuration file sounds a bit like the HP OMS configuration file, which has things like paper type, paper thickness, ink density etc.  Is that so?

At any rate, if I understand you and Marcin correctly, the spectro option on the printer is only necessary if a media configuration file has not already been produced for the particular paper - either by the paper manufacturer or using an iPF with spectro.  And most paper manufacturers would have configuration files for these printers.

Robert
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Geraldo Garcia

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2014, 05:38:29 pm »

I'm not very clear about the calibration.  If I understand you, for a new paper which does not have a media configuration file, it is necessary to produce the media configuration file on a printer that DOES have a spectrophotometer.  Once there is a media configuration file, it is THEN possible to calibrate the paper roll on a printer that does NOT have a spectrophotometer.
Well, you can create media configuration files without the coupled spectrophotometer, I do it all the time, but you will not be able to perform paper-specific calibration/linearization on that paper, instead it will use the generic printer calibration that is set when you calibrate one of the canon standard papers (yes, you should have at least one roll of those canon papers around to be able to run the printer calibration). Usually the printer-level global calibration is enough, but (being a perfectionist) I very much prefer paper specific calibration when possible.

Quote
Profiling the paper can then be done using an i1Pro, for example (or use the manufacturer profile). Correct?
Yes, as usual.

Quote
The iPF configuration file sounds a bit like the HP OMS configuration file, which has things like paper type, paper thickness, ink density etc.  Is that so?
Almost exactly the same, the Canon's .am1 files does not contain the ICC profile embedded as the .oms file do.

Quote
At any rate, if I understand you and Marcin correctly, the spectro option on the printer is only necessary if a media configuration file has not already been produced for the particular paper - either by the paper manufacturer or using an iPF with spectro.  And most paper manufacturers would have configuration files for these printers.
That is right, except that some manufactures still provide only the ICC profile and a recommended media settings file. That way you will be able to create your own .am1 file but will not be able to perform paper specific calibrations. Canson provides media files with spectral data, Hahnemühle, on the other hand, just give you an ICC profile (and usually a bad one).
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John Hollenberg

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2014, 08:14:30 pm »

The 6450 goes to sleep too quickly for me and I can't find out how to change this setting.

Don't know if this has been changed, but here is how to do it on older iPF generations:

http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/Sleep+Mode+Time
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ibarron

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 03:58:54 am »

Thanks  :)
slightly different menu layout but sleep time is no longer set to 5 mins  ;)

-Ian
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 07:05:49 am »

Well, you can create media configuration files without the coupled spectrophotometer, I do it all the time, but you will not be able to perform paper-specific calibration/linearization on that paper, instead it will use the generic printer calibration that is set when you calibrate one of the canon standard papers (yes, you should have at least one roll of those canon papers around to be able to run the printer calibration). Usually the printer-level global calibration is enough, but (being a perfectionist) I very much prefer paper specific calibration when possible.
Yes, as usual.
Almost exactly the same, the Canon's .am1 files does not contain the ICC profile embedded as the .oms file do.
That is right, except that some manufactures still provide only the ICC profile and a recommended media settings file. That way you will be able to create your own .am1 file but will not be able to perform paper specific calibrations. Canson provides media files with spectral data, Hahnemühle, on the other hand, just give you an ICC profile (and usually a bad one).

I'm still a bit confused ... sorry!  I didn't know that spectral data was included in the .oms/.ac1 files. So I assume that with HP, when you calibrate for a paper that does not have a .oms file and you have to pick one of the standard HP papers, that the calibration process then produces the spectral data (which it can do as the printer has a spectrophotometer). So with the Canon all you can do is to do a global printer calibration based on one of the Canon papers (I guess you would need at least a gloss and a matte paper?).  On the other hand, if the .ac1 file is available, then you can calibrate for this particular paper (the calibration presumably only adjusts the ink density?).  If my understanding is correct (??) then I for one would not use a paper that did not have an accompanying .ac1 file (which would limit the choice of paper quite a lot!).  I can also quite understand why you don't like doing this.

Is there no way of producing the spectral data for the .ac1 file using an i1Pro?

Robert
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Czornyj

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2014, 07:51:25 am »

Is there no way of producing the spectral data for the .ac1 file using an i1Pro?

Unfortunatelly no, which is a shame - spectrophotometer unit is basically an i1Pro2.

Anyway it's not really necessary, you don't really have to make individual calibration for each paper to get optimal results, the differences (if any) are negligible. Water based pigment gives consistent results on similar paper types (due to small dot gain).
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Marcin Kałuża | [URL=http://zarzadzaniebarwa

Geraldo Garcia

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2014, 02:38:22 pm »

That is right, Robert.
.oms files do not need a spectral reference data as every HPZxxx has a spectrophotometer inside. As Canon IPF printers have only a densitometer (they call it multisensor/spectrodensitometer) they need the spectral data or they simply extrapolate it based on the paper type and global calibration.

Marcin is right as usual, paper specific calibration is not an absolute requirement and, to this date, I was unable to prove that it render noticeable improvements. I performed the following test:
1) Installed a Canson paper's .am1 file (with spectral data) and performed all the the usual new paper adjustments like paper advance calibration, but I did not perform the paper specific color calibration. At this point the paper is treated as a paper without the spectral data and it's calibration is extrapolated based on the global calibration.
2) I profiled the paper as I usually would and made some test prints.
3) I calibrated the paper, reprofiled after the calibration and made some new test prints.

The new profile was slightly larger but nothing really noticeable without comparing gamut volumes, the Dmax after calibration also improved by a very small margin (so small that it can be the result of read to read variations). The test prints were visually identical. That was enough to convince me that I can actually use papers without the spectral reference data. But I still prefer to have it!  :D    
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 03:50:29 pm »

A great many thanks Geraldo, Marcin and everyone! - you've really clarified things for me and I'm much happier now changing to an iPF6400.  I'm sure I'll miss the gloss enhancer and spectro ... but my printer is 7 years old at this stage and I'm getting pretty nervous that something will break and there will be no parts (I had to dump an Epson 4000 a few years ago because I couldn't get a new head for it ... which was a shame because apart from the famous Epson head clogs and consequent massive ink wastage it was a very good printer).

It's also a shame HP seem to have dropped this printer line because it really was a fantastic one.  Looks like I'm now going to be a 100% (or nearly) Canon guy :).

Robert
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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2014, 07:34:27 pm »

Hp hasn't dropped the Z3200 printers as far as I can see. These are the same parts as Z3100.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/large-format-printers/designjet-printers/z3200.html

It would be nice if anyone is going to Photo Expo in Ny if they could ask the HP guys what are their plans for the future.

As long as they are still selling these printers they have to offer inks and parts for quite a number of years by law.

john
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2014, 08:02:43 pm »

Hp hasn't dropped the Z3200 printers as far as I can see. These are the same parts as Z3100.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/large-format-printers/designjet-printers/z3200.html

It would be nice if anyone is going to Photo Expo in Ny if they could ask the HP guys what are their plans for the future.

As long as they are still selling these printers they have to offer inks and parts for quite a number of years by law.

john

Yes - it seems that the postscript version is still being made and sold.  You can see here http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA4-4150ENW.pdf that the Z3200 now comes with ps as standard.

I did a gamut comparison between the Z3200 and ipF6400 and there doesn't seem to be too much between them (Hahnemuhle profiles for Photo Glossy).  The iPF has a slightly bigger gamut volume (953000 v 904000) and better greens but the Z3200 scores on the reds. The Z3200 has a better density curve and slightly better Dmax (2.32 v 2.25).  But then these are Hahnemuhle profiles so they're probably not the greatest.

Interestingly, the Z3100 is much worse with a gamut volume of 716000, worse than the Z2100 at 748000. Strange when all of the inks are the same as the Z3200 except for the red.

Robert
« Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 08:53:31 pm by Robert Ardill »
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2014, 07:52:43 am »

Hi Guys,

I've just received my new iPF6400 (first impressions: printer seems pretty nice, software good, prints good, manual horrible). 

The printer comes with a few rolls of Canon Oce papers but no 'genuine' Canon papers as per the manual.  I've looked for media configuration files for these papers and eventually found the support website for the papers: http://mediaguide.oce.com/Results.aspx. However, the downloadable settings are .oml files, not .am1 & .icc files.

I can't find information on how to use the .oml files to configure the printer, or whether .oml files can be used to configure the printer.

Help would be much appreciated!  (BTW - I started a new topic with this question but have received no replies, so I'm hoping you are still getting notifications on this topic).

Robert
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Geraldo Garcia

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2014, 11:16:36 pm »

The printer comes with a few rolls of Canon Oce papers but no 'genuine' Canon papers as per the manual.  I've looked for media configuration files for these papers and eventually found the support website for the papers: http://mediaguide.oce.com/Results.aspx. However, the downloadable settings are .oml files, not .am1 & .icc files.
That is odd. The printer comes with a roll of heavyweight matt paper, your seller must have removed it and replaced with the OCE media. A 'genuine' Canon paper is actually needed for the printer to perform the basic calibration. I saw the .OML files on the link you provided, but that is new to me also. I would try to open one with the media configuration program to see if it works. You should really try to get one genuine canon paper at least.
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Robert Ardill

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Re: Upgrading from HPZ3100 to iPF6400
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2014, 04:10:17 am »

That is odd. The printer comes with a roll of heavyweight matt paper, your seller must have removed it and replaced with the OCE media. A 'genuine' Canon paper is actually needed for the printer to perform the basic calibration. I saw the .OML files on the link you provided, but that is new to me also. I would try to open one with the media configuration program to see if it works. You should really try to get one genuine canon paper at least.

Thanks Geraldo,

I'm going to return the papers and get some genuine Canon paper.  Can you tell me what the code of the paper I should get is?  I expected it would be a glossy paper but you say that it's a matt paper.  It does seem that the seller kept the more expensive paper and sent me some cheaper stuff.

I've messed around with the .oml files a bit and it doesn't work with the Media Configuration tool.  I saw a link for the 9xxx printers on the Oce site: they have a modified Media Configuration tool for these printers, which presumably works with their papers ... but I can't find the equivalent tool for the 6400.

Robert
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