Back to old habits…or looking foward…? Leica or Fuji? | Nicole Struppert


My opinion is, that the xPro1 is doing a very good job but the M is a bit better.

The question now is,  would I go back to Leica?

Well, a though question – I still love the Leica feeling, the way to take pictures and the Leica look of the M – but after shooting for one hour with the rangefinder, my eye problem were back. But, even if I wouldn’t have the issues with my eye, I am not sure if I would purchase the new M. With a 35 mm lens the M costs around 8000€ – 9000€.  That is a lot of money!

There was a customer at the Leica store who was asking me if the new M is worth it?

If you have the money and you love shooting with Leica YES! Instead purchasing the new M getting a used M9 or M-E – NO! The M9 is not as good as the xPro1! You get the much better package & deal with the Fujis! I will stick with Fuji! They make a brilliant job! Using the xpro1, x100 etc. is fun, it is light, fantastic lenses and the IQ is awesome and I don’t have any eye problems!

…so, what about the RAW workflow?

Last week I decided to give another try – to work just with the jpegs and change a bit my settings. But it seems that the RAW file issue is now solved!  Today Adobe released the new version of Lightroom. It includes now a correction to the demosaic algorithms for Fujifilm cameras with the X-Trans sensor. YEAH – problem solved! I just downloaded the new version and I am thrilled!  The files look awesome… I can get now the look I want and cant wait to start my editing process. My pictures are getting back their soul and that feels damn good!

So, back to old habits?

No – I am looking forward to I stick with Fuji – for two reasons: First of all they make fantastic cameras and lenses and secondly they hear what customers say! They improved the X100 after getting feedback from Pro photographers and customers and worked together with Adobe to solve the RAW Processing problem. I just purchased the new x100S and I’m very curious to find out about the faster AF and improvements!

Is Fuji the new Leica?

In my opinion, NO – Leica will always be Leica. These are 2 different camera systems and brands… Owning a Leica is much more than owning a camera or a tool to take pictures with. You’ll get a hand crafted camera with soul. It is a lifestyle and everyone who ever owned a Leica knows what I try to say.

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6 mois avec le X-Pro 1 − 3ème partie | Jean-François Vincent

Après avoir brossé un tour “technique” du Fuji X-Pro 1 dans mes 2 précédents articles, qu’en est-il de son utilisation au quotidien? Plus généralement, presqu’un an après son lancement commercial, faut-il toujours craquer pour le X-Pro 1 ou bien choisir son petit frère, le X-E1?
Sur le terrain
Rarement je n’ai pris autant plaisir à photographier qu’avec le X-Pro 1. Cette phrase doit évidemment être mise en contexte avec mon style de photographie. Comme tout hybride, le X-Pro 1 ne se prête pas à la photo d’action / sportive (focales trop courtes, réactivité insuffisante de la détection de contraste). Mais pour le photographie urbaine ou de voyage, le X-Pro 1 est une révélation, un retour aux sources par sa simplicité….

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Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R (Fujifilm) – Review | Photozone

Fujifilm keeps on rolling out interesting prime lenses for the X mount – 4 out of 5 lenses have a fixed focal length and looking at their current road-map there are two more ahead in 2013. The next building block in their lineup is the new Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R thus an ultra-wide lens equivalent to 21mm on full format format cameras. The combination of wide field-of-view and comparatively high speed comes at a price in the true sense. At 900$/EUR it is the most expensive Fujinon as of the time of this review. The Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8 EF IF, an APS-C SLR lens, costs about 25% less just to provide a reference. So we can be curious whether the difference in price also translates in high(er) quality….
The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R is a highly attractive ultra-wide lens with few shortcomings. The most important factor for an ultra-wide lens is certainly image sharpness and the Fujinon delivers here. It is bitingly sharp in the image center and good to very good in the outer image region. The very low CAs contribute to the high quality perception. Distortions are basically absent – even in RAW data – which is surprising for such a wide lens and even more so for a mirrorless one. The primary weakness of the Fujinon is the very high amount of vignetting. Most RAW converters as well as the camera (JPEGs) can (mostly) compensate this automatically though. Looking at the close focus results, the bokeh is rather typical for an ultra-wide lens – it’s rather nervous – which probably originates in the aspherical design.

The build quality of the Fujinon is very high and as such in line with the other Fujifilm offerings. It’s mostly made of metal but since Fuji tried to minimize the weight it doesn’t feel as rock solid as a Leica lens for instance. However, this is mostly a subjective impression. Objectively there’s little to complain except for the lack of weather sealing. Some users may not like the fact that it is comparatively large which is certainly true compared to a pancake lens such as the XF 18mm f/2 R. However, it is no brick either and the bigger the better in terms of potential image quality. The AF isn’t really a decisive factor for such a lens but Fuji did a good job here actually – it is both quite fast and near silent.

The pricing feels a little steep but it is fair enough in relation to the high performance. Therefore also highly recommended!
Optical Quality: 3.5 / 5
Mechanical Quality: 4 / 5
Price/Performance:  3.5 / 5

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Fuji X-Pro1 Portrait Review: Behind the scenes with Issy Ferris |
Paul Archer

Yesterday I was up before the sun to shoot a music video for a young folk singer/songwriter ‘Issy Ferris’. I serendipitously heard her song ‘My Treasure’ on youtube and knew instantly I HAD to make a music video for it. A lot of emails and production later I found myself on-set at dawn in the beautiful Warwickshire countryside ready to film and photograph this young rising star. I kept the Fuji X-Pro1 in my pocket throughout the day and recorded what was happening on my set! I hope you like the photos as much as I enjoyed the experience. Now this image has impressed me, not only because Issy is stunning and the light is beautiful but because the file is seriously impressive. This single picture has given me massive confidence in the Fuji X-Pro1. The file is of high enough quality to deliver to a client, with a size of 47.5mb processed with Capture One, its not the biggest but for a small camera it certainly is good. The sharpness in the eyes is great, recently I have been struggling with focus roaming the streets, but here with ample daylight and a bit of time its lovely and sharp and didn’t struggle to find focus. I chose not to use the Fuji for the press shots on this shoot but now I know I could with confidence should I need to. If I was doing a head shot session or some portraits the X-Pro1 would be the perfect kit, light, portable and very capable as long as you are able!! This backstage portrait was shot with a 18mm lens, I adjusted the perspective slightly in Photoshop to combat the wide angle. I can’t wait to shoot some portraits with the 35mm Fujinon lens, it’s on the shopping list! Would I swap my Canon Kit for the X-Pro1 kit?? NO….  I find the X-Pro1 to be the perfect camera to have in your kit as a backup/2nd/3rd/4th? camera or for situations you need subtlety.  There are definitely situations where the X-Pro1 is an advantage. I will be shooting my sister’s wedding in 2 weeks solely on the Fuji so keep an eye out for that post, I believe in that situation it will be the perfect camera for me to capture some magic moments. Now lets have a look at my behind the scenes images. I must comment on how professional Issy was for a 16 year old. Even running through mud barefoot on a freezing February day! ……

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Fujifilm XE1 vs Fuji XPro1 Camera | Ben Evans


English Photographer Ben Evans compares the Fuji XE1 and XPro1 cameras in Barcelona. Hand-on photography with several photographs made with the cameras during the review.

The balance is that the Fuji XE1, while lacking the hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder makes up for this with a cheaper price, upgraded EVF (electronic viewfinder), built-in flash and slightly smaller size. It was therefore the ‘winner’ in this little hands-on camera test.

Many thanks to Hiromi from for shooting this video! If you’d like to get in touch and contribute to a microphone for her so that future tutorials and reviews sound better, she’d really appreciate it!….

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Mein Weg zur X-Pro 1 | Tobias Naumann

Als kleinen Auftakt für die neue Website, möchte ich mit einem Post über meine Ausrüstung beginnen. Ich bin kein Freund von pauschalen Empfehlungen, daher werde ich meinen persönlichen Entscheidungsweg beschreiben, ich hoffe ihr könnt etwas für euch daraus ableiten.

Ich begann meinen Weg in die Fotografie mit einer digitalen Einsteiger-Spiegelreflex und ersetzte diese immer, wenn ich an seine Grenzen stieß. Dieser Weg führte über diverse Modelle, bis ich schließlich bei der Nikon D700 landete. Vollformat – Wow! Dachte ich, und diese Kamera ist auch unbestritten ganz hervorragend. Doch es begann der Siegeszug der spiegellosen Systemkameras und ich erwischte mich immer wieder, wie ich mit einem Auge die Entwicklung dieser Modelle verfolgte, war es doch immer wieder eine Quälerei die D700 + Objektive mit sich herumzutragen. Es gab aber immer etwas, dass mich davon abhielt, mich ganz auf ein solches System einzulassen. Voraussetzung für einen kompletten Umstieg war für mich vor allem, keine Kompromisse im Bezug auf die Bildqualität eingehen zu müssen.

Bei der Sony Nex-5n wagte ich dann zumindest einen Versuch als Zweitkamera. Es ist auch zweifelsohne ein wirklich gutes Gerät mit sehr guter Bildqualität, aber irgendwie ist sie mehr Computer als Kamera und die verfügbaren Objektive waren unbefriedigend, ich konnte sie als “Arbeitsgerät” nicht so recht ernst nehmen. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt kam mein Ausflug in die analoge Fotografie dazwischen, in der ich die damit verbundene Arbeitsweise zu schätzen lernte. Konzentration auf die Basics der Fotografie ist die Devise. Ich begab mich also auf die Suche nach einer Kamera, die die Vorzüge beider Welten so gut es geht in sich vereint. Naheliegend hierfür wäre wohl eine Leica M, doch die Recherche nach Preisen für Kamera und notwendigem Glas ließ diese Alternative in weite Ferne rücken. Und dann kam Fujifilm mit der X-Pro 1 auf den Markt.

Nach sorgfältiger Recherche und Probe-begrabbeln vor Ort war die Entscheidung schnell gefallen, die D700 musste gehen, die X-Pro 1 würde sie ersetzen. Dazu kamen alle 3 der zu Anfang verfügbaren Objektive, also das 18mm f/2, das 35mm f/1.4 und das 60mm f/2.4, der passende Zusatzgriff und eine Tasche, die gerade groß genug ist, alles aufzunehmen, eine Retrospective 5 Pinestone. Es gibt bereits zahlreiche Reviews und Tests im Netz, daher möchte ich mich auch hier auf meine persönlichen Pros und Kontras beschränken:

  • optimale Größe und Gewicht – portabel aber dabei nicht zu klein
  • bei Bedarf sehr gute JPGshervorragende Bildqualität und High-Iso Fähigkeiten
  • hochwertige Objektivetolles Design und Handling (Blendenring, Q-Button, etc.)
  • “Unauffälligeres” bzw. “zurückhaltenderes” Fotografieren möglich
  • Hybrid-Sucher

Aber auch die Nachteile sollen nicht unerwähnt bleiben:

  • keine Einstellung der Mindestbelichtungszeit bei Auto-ISO
  • AF-Geschwindigkeit nur begrenzt geeignet für Sport-/Actionfotografie
  • Blitzsynchronzeiten nur bei 1/160 bzw. 1/180s möglich
  • Freistellungsmöglichkeiten durch APS-C Sensor geringer als bei D700
  • RAW-Verarbeitung in LR4 noch nicht optimal ….
Google Translater (ENG):

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For years I have been on the road with mainly DSLRs. They are unequivocally magnificent tools, but not only because DSLRs are relatively compact and not very heavy, making them extremely handy and the ideal travel companion. But I decided to shop around. The array of suitable cameras is vast and the numerous reviews don’t tend to help further a decision, especially if you don’t know what you want, or even better, what you need. After intensely deliberating and appraising, I finally arrived at the following “Wish List”:

– Full Control: I began photography when there were scarcely any digital cameras. Even today I love analog photography, which is why I am a bit old fashioned. I want to determine lens opening, shutter speed and film speed myself, as well as where I lay my focus. My camera must have an operating concept which allows these four options to be quick and easy.
– Portability: The best camera doesn’t get used if it stays at home. Therefore it must not weigh more than 1kg, including equipment, and at the same time be comfortable to wear/carry.

– Picture Quality: The picture quality should at least be 1600 ISO. Because I’m not very fond of using the flash, I predominantly work with natural light. Above all I prefer to shoot at night – so that’s a must. With an appropriate lens provided, the sensor size should enable the fixture with the focus depth, whereon I put much more value in the elimination of a lowpass filter.

– OVF: For six long years I only had an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which sometimes really pissed me off. An optical viewfinder is therefore high up on my wish list.

– Feel: It may just be a quirk of mine, but I expect technical gadgets to be decently built. What the specifics are, I can’t really describe. It’s more of a subjective feeling one formulates (or not) when considering equipment, holding it in their own hands. Hard plastic, for example, seldom complies with this requirement. The device must be solidly built and sit well in the hands.

Initially my choice fell with a Leica M9. I’ve dreamt of this camera for years, but the price always made me quickly stop and think. I wanted to give the Leica a chance, so I borrowed an M9. I was excited by the Leica, in fact a lot for me. So of course there was a 9,000 Euro start up cost, with only a 35mm lens. After intense consultations with my conscience and lots of sorrow on my brow, I came next to the M9 and engaged with the mirrorless system cameras. There were a good amount of cameras on my shortlist, which is rather unusual for me to have so many, and one of them was the Fuji X-Pro1. One of the chosen models had a decided advantage: it can use a Leica lens via an adapter. That opened up the possibility to just change the camera case after five more years, which actually brought Leica gradually to the forefront of the line.

After ages of deliberation, I finally chose the Fuji X-Pro 1, a “Leica for the Poor”, if you will. This should sound anything but derogatory, as I am only referring here to the manifold humbler price of this in comparison to the M9. So I am also now such an owner of an X-Pro 1. For my needs it’s sufficient enough for a lens to come out completely, and it’s here I turn to the Fujinon 35(52)mm f l.4. Now I have a case with my lens for a total price, which I never once received for the Leica 35mmfl.4 ASPH.

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6 months with the Fuji X-Pro 1 (Part 2) | Jean-François Vincent



Google Translater (ENG)

Le Fuji X-Pro 1 a été lancé avec 3 optiques lumineuses: 18mm f2 (équivalent 28mm), 35mm f1.4 (équivalent 50mm), 60mm f2.4 macro (équivalent 90mm)… soit à peu près la triplette idéale pour les photographes amateurs de focales fixes. J’ai donc pris l’ensemble, même si côté grand angle j’aurais peut-être préféré quelque chose d’encore plus large (21mm ou 24mm), étant habitué au 17–40mm sur mon 5D. Ca tombe bien, un 14mm sortira justement en janvier, même si je tente d’éviter de faire une collection d’objectifs: on a vite fait de croire que l’on ferait mieux avec “la” focale que l’on a pas, mais c’est oublier qu’on peut déjà faire de bonnes photos avec celles que l’on a :-)

Les 3 optiques sont bien construites, entièrement en métal – aluminium je pense, et pourtant particulièrement légères, à tel point que le 18mm passerait pour un jouet… ce qu’il n’est pas! Chacune arbore une bague de mise au point et – particularité et force du système Fuji, une bague contrôlant l’ouverture de l’objectif. Cette dernière peut être placée en position A pour revenir en mode automatique. Les 2 bagues sont électroniques. Comprenez par cela qu’elles n’actionnent pas directement l’objectif. Comme indiqué dans la première partie, malgré mes appréhensions – et la déception à l’époque du X100 – la mise au point manuelle est tout à fait agréable, surtout depuis les mises à jour du firmware. Fuji est à l’écoute de ses utilisateurs, ce qui mérite d’être salué. La bague d’ouverture, discrètement cranté par tiers de valeurs, est un plaisir à utiliser. Enfin, sur les 3 objectifs, les bagues sont bien dimensionnées et tombent naturellement sous la main.

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The trinity: Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs. X-E1 vs. X100 (Part 2) – Autofocus |
Alexander Sasha Starcevic

It took a while for my second post in my comparison. The last couple of days have been busy. I’ve had the chance to shoot the three cameras at some social events here and there – running into many low-light situations. So my next point of comparison is:

I love the way all three cameras look and handle with all those external controls. And I love the excellent lenses – particularly the Fujinon 35mm 1.4. However, I am again and again frustrated by the performance of the autofocus. From my experience, there is no difference between the Fujifilm X-E1 and the X-Pro1 in terms of autofocus performance with the latest firmware on both cameras. Similar findings have been made elsewhere. Autofocus struggles in low light and with backlit subjects. I came from using manual lenses on a Sony Nex-7, so I am not a “spoiled” DLSR-user, but I somehow feel I am missing much more shots with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X-E1 than with manual focussing on the Nex-7 (using focus peaking). I had several situations where the AF (slowly) hunted and my subjects were getting impatient. Of course I am really talking low-light here – shooting around ISO 1600 to 6400 with the lens at 1.4. Quite surprisingly, my impression is that the Fujifilm X100 actually seems to struggle less with autofocus than the other cameras (comparing those with the 35mm 1.4). Maybe the reason is just that the X100 needs to move less glass, so hunting is possibly quicker. Nevertheless, I felt less frustrated with the X100 than with the other two cameras. I would be very interested hearing other peoples thoughts on this.

From the point of view of autofocus performance, I would definitely keep the X100, because the main purpose of that camera (to me) is that it can always with me. For such a camera, I don’t expect lightning fast AF performance. However, I would expect a little more from the X-Pro1 and the X-E1.

Autofocus for me is really the one reason that sometimes makes me doubt, whether switching to Fujifilm X system was really the right decision, considering that a small DSLR (e.g. Pentax K-5 II) would just give me much more reliable autofocus. Autofocus is perfectly OK if you shoot outdoors and shoot mainly static or slowly moving subjects. So for one part of my photography this is perfectly OK. However, shooting my children outside, at home or at events is currently another big part of my photography. So I would really like to own a main camera system that can cover both needs……

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 First Impressions | Rodney Boles Photography

As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, I decided to pick up a Fujifilm X-Pro1 (and 35mm f/1.4) as a Christmas present to myself. The recent price drop and lens promotion finally got it down to something I could justify (only mildly more than the Fujifilm X-E1). Took it out yesterday for several hours and then woke up ridiculously early this morning to join a photowalk with it. A good way to get used to it in somewhat realistic shooting conditions. The one thing I have yet to do is to shoot with posed subjects, where I often use off-camera flash. Hopefully will get a chance to do that soon and see how it performs.

My initial impressions of the camera, just shooting random objects around the home, were very good. I tried various ISOs and Apertures out. I tried using the OVF and the EVF. I tried using single shot, continuous and manual focusing modes. There are tons of reviews and articles going into great detail about using the camera, so I won’t repeat boring technical details. Like other reviews note, the continuous focus mode leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, I found it almost unusable on first attempt. I’ll try to research and pick up some pointers online, but I’m not optimistic in that regard.

As to Single shot mode, I found the focus to be faster than I had feared. However, sometimes in low light, even with the assist lamp, the camera struggles to lock focus. But if it can lock focus, I found it extremely reliable. Manual mode was much better than I expected. Being able to use the AE/AF Lock buttom as an AF-ON button (I’m coming from Nikon’s D700, so excuse me if the terminology is different elsewhere) to set initial focus, then being able to get a magnified view to fine tune, was very powerful and accurate. I may end up using manual focus mode a great deal. I do hope Fuji adds focus peaking like so many have asked for, as it would make it much faster.

Ergonomics in a camera is really critical, at least in my experience. My D700 is very well thought out, and I can change anything I’m likely to need to on the fly quickly. The X-Pro1 has a great many things that are as well thought out, or even better, than my Nikon. I appreciate the Aperture ring, Exposure Comp button, and Shutter Speed ring. But there are some downsides. Having ISO available by default on the Fn button is pretty good. The problem being, that then means you can’t use it for other functions. With ISO as important as shutter speed and aperture, it is a shame that, like on many cameras, it is relegated to being a second class citizen. The Quick Menu design is promising, although I don’t see some items I’d like to. I do need to explore more, though. Perhaps some of that is customizable? (doubt it). I do find that having the wheel so far from the Q mode and AE-L/AF-L buttons makes things a little odd when trying to use Q mode or Manual focusing when you have your eye to the viewfinder.

One big complaint is that the self-timer function is buried a bit too far in menus. And apparently it resets to off after awhile(?). (I need to bring a cable release next time, but still, would be nice to be able to access this in a better way when needed).

The other ergonomic complaint is with the focus points. On my Nikon, moving the focus points is always available. On the X-Pro1, I have to hit a button to activate the ability to then let me control the focal point. It really slows things down in my use.

I’m not ready to complain about some other things, because perhaps I’ll get the hang of things and it won’t impact me. But, I will at least mention that the overloading of buttons in the various view modes was a bit maddening this weekend. I was out shooting and I could not get anything to appear on the rear screen for awhile. I finally figured out that I had hit the view mode and gotten into a mode where it wasn’t active.

Anyway, on to using the camera out and about. After getting the hang of things around the house, we ventured out yesterday and my camera stayed around my neck (where I barely noticed it). We walked around downtown on a very bright day, then headed indoors to lunch. The shadow abstract shot was from downtown, with the bokeh and the older man in the bar shot were from lunch. With the bokeh shot, I had a little trouble focusing on the “tree”, but once it locked on, I was good. I framed it very loosely, so cropped a good portion out, which explains why it may look a tad noisy. Still, well controlled noise. And beautiful bokeh.

I found the older gentlemen interesting, especially with the way the laptop screen was illuminated his face. Nailing focus with autofocus proved troublesome, so I decided to try out manual focusing. It worked great in this situation, allowing me to get his face crisply in focus. Good thing he was still. If this had been, say, a performer on stage singing or playing guitar, it most likely would not have been doable.

The shot of the fence looked like a good opportunity to see how the out-of-focus areas would render in a daylight situation without all the pinpoint light bokeh of the earlier shot. I really like how creamy the bokeh is here.

I also managed to get my son to sit still how long enough for me to focus on him and snap a shot, so I could see how a person’s face and skin tone are rendered using the in-camera film simulation jpeg modes (using Pro Neg Std here). Unless I can get continuous focus working, I doubt I’m going to be getting a lot of candid pictures of my son, though, and that is unfortunate. Still, I like the skin tones.

Returning home from being out all day, we stopped a lake that we drive by near our home. We had a very nice sunset, and I probably should have switched to Velvia mode instead of sticking to my Pro Neg Standard jpeg setting. I still like the photo I got, though. I also really appreciated the horizon level on the display since I was shooting handheld.

I got up before dawn and walked along a river greenway trail for a few hours this morning. Where I’d been mainly shooting near wide open and only shooting handheld yesterday, today I was stopped down to f/11 and using a tripod for everything (as well as shooting raw). That brings up another complaint. I have to remove my tripod plate to get the battery and memory card out of the camera. That is a huge flaw.

The other guys I was shooting with had long lenses and ultra wides. I was having to work a little harder to find good shots with a normal range prime. I got a handful of shots I was happy with. Although I do think it is ironic that my favorite shot today from my $1700 setup looks like it came from my $20 Holga. Jokes aside, I was able to get some really nice, filmlike looks out of the raw files using Lightroom. I know there are a lot of complaints right now about the raw support in Lightroom, but luckily it wasn’t an issue for me with these files (Although, really, everything was pretty gray, so I converted many to b&w. We’ll see about color smearing once I shoot a model with a colorful outfit).

All in all, I’m impressed. I’m pretty sure I’ll get used to the quirks and come to really love this camera. It has only been two days, and like I said, I haven’t used strobes with it or really shot much in the way of people yet. I’m sure the sync speed slowness with frustrate me, once I do. It will be interesting to see how much, if any, this can replace my D700 for that sort of work. That isn’t why I got it, but it is the cherry on top if it works out.

Hopefully I’ll get to try that soon and report back here.

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