Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Film Photography & Darkroom discussion

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KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:00 am

I have gotten some good results from this formula and I will continue to test it. I am posting it, to share it with some of you that may like to fool around with it.

Microdol-X Substitute
Fine Grain film developer
Water, 125F/52C 750 ml
Metol 5.0 g
Sodium Sulfite (anhydrous) 70.0 g
Para Aminophenol HCI 2.0g
Sodium Metaborate 2.0 g
Cold water to make 1L

I tested two 2.25 x 3.25 shots with it and it is pretty good, but I will do more testing with it. I use it 1 : 4 @ 70 degrees. for 10 to 12 minutes. Use it and play with the density.

Thank You


KennyE
Last edited by KennyE on Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.


KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:27 am

I got my idea for the formula from Momme Andresen"s USP # 477,486, Charles J. Thatcher USP # 1,158,011 and the Darkroom Cookbook. D-23 and Rodinal are the bases for the formula, and by the simple yet photographic chemistry of both formulas.They will be able to aid and provide both formulas and developing agents with the development strings that each require.

Metol, will give the rapid development, when compared to other developers like hydroquinone or glycin, plus low to medium contrast, fine grain, and low fog, if the sodium sulfite is kept at or lower than 100 grams/per liter. But at those levels of sodium sulfite, actual development will be slow. We could use hydroquinone to speed up development time, but we will increase grain into the mix, where 35 mm film is concerned. And thou there is a small amount of sodium chloride released, it will oxidize rapidly. And there is no alkali carbonates in D-23.

Para Aminophenol HCI is also a developer of rapid action, and it provide contrast and outstanding high lights. Plus, it does not produce fog and can be used at high or low temperatures.

This is far better than hydroquinone, which does not work well in low temperatures.

We know that Para Aminophenol HCI overall qualities are exhibited when it is in the presents of a caustic hydrate alkali. We get this by using Sodium Metaborate/Balance Alkali, as shown in Harold D. Russell's USP # 1,976,299 and 1,990,800. This will provide us with a "Rodinal" type development action, using a caustic alkali and a borax weak alkali , generating sodium chloride for fine grain, and diluting the solution with water will increase sharpness of the development.

More information on alkali usage can be viewed in USP # 1,925,557. And a method of making Sodium Metaborate, can be found B&H photography site.

Thank You


KennyE

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Ornello » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:20 pm

Just use D-23. It's simpler and just as good. It's not a good idea to combine Rodinal and D-23.

http://www.kenleegallery.com/html/tech/D-23.php

You could simply use 125 grammes of Sodium Sulphite, and then you have something similar to Microdol...

Or use FX-5:

http://www.digitaltruth.com/data/fx-5.php

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:00 pm

The formula you gave is more like a hybrid of D23 and DK20 than Microdol-X.

This developer mirrors Ilford Perceptol.
http://www.film-and-darkroom-user.org.u ... ostcount=1

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Ornello » Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:52 pm

Kodak, Ilford, AGFA and other companies have spent lots of money on research, not "playing around". If you want to do something useful, look at Crawley's writings and formulas.

KennyE
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Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:23 pm

We have a small misdirection here or understanding as to what it is that I am trying to do, and what some people may assume.

I use D23, as a reference, and even thou most people think that the formula is Kodak's, it actually belong to Bogish and Hauff, the two persons that discovered Metol in 1891, and published their formula in 1893. You must remember that Eastman was selling cameras and Pyro formulas in 1893. Also, to many people's misunderstanding, Andresen, did not discover Metol, he merely reverse engineered it, a short time later.

Metol was a developer that was held close to the chest by the German companies that made it. Eastman's first attempt was called Tozol, followed by Rhodol. And that Eastman, after spending huge sums of money contacted Johnson and Mallinckrot of St. Louis, for help. And later introduced "Elon" around the 1920's.

Most companies, did not invest a great deal of money into research of developers, Kodak is a good example. If one was to look back into the photographic journals of the 1800's, you will fine many of the formulas used today, were formulated years before.

B & H web site, shows that mixing borax and sodium hydroxide as liquids, is the same as those formulas that called for 3 grams of Borax and 4 grams of caustic soda, aka balance alkali. To gives you Kodak's: DK line of developers, long before Kodak used the concept.

I was not trying to mirror "Perceptol", I was trying to substitute Metol for Eikonogen in a formula that I was reading about in a 1898 journal. Because Eikonogen turns the solution black after a few hours of usage. The inventor used Eikonogen because it was cheap and Metol was more expensive. Even thou his results were good, he wished that he had used Metol. And PentaxPete, I followed his posts for years, and he is knowledgable about alot of things. Some people could learn a few things from him. Sodium Tripolyphosphate, I will look in on that, it is a milder alkali, than caustic soda. Good show, Keith. I wanted avoid adding an additional chemical, to keep the count down. The natural formation of sodium chloride, is good because you do not have to add it and you can control the amount by the factor of ones dilution rate.

Oh, Keith, DK-20, is very tricky to play around with, because Potassium Thiocyanate, if too much or too little is used, you can lose the fine grain that you are after. So you drop the Potassium Thiocyanate, and go for acutance, by merely adding Para Aminophenol HCI, then dilute the solution, as one would a good Rodinal/Kalogen (without the alkali carbonate) solution, for acutance, knowing that you will have sodium chloride naturally in the solution, plus the added bonus of a little more contrast.

Also, forgive me for "playing around", but I thought the idea here was to explore and have fun. Share ones ideas and adventures with the forum. And I would be pleased if I could continue. Because discovery, is "wonderful".

Yes, D-23 is a good simple formula, as is Rodinal. They both have and offer..., good and bad qualities. So let's have fun with them both and see what we get. Shall we.

Thank You


KennyE

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:47 am

KennyE wrote:We have a small misdirection here or understanding as to what it is that I am trying to do, and what some people may assume.


I use D23, as a reference, and even thou most people think that the formula is Kodak's, it actually belong to Bogish and Hauff, the two persons that discovered Metol in 1891, and published their formula in 1893.
Also, to many people's misunderstanding, Andresen, did not discover Metol, he merely reverse engineered it, a short time later.

Most companies, did not invest a great deal of money into research of developers, Kodak is a good example. If one was to look back into the photographic journals of the 1800's, you will fine many of the formulas used today, were formulated years before.

B & H web site, shows that mixing borax and sodium hydroxide as liquids, is the same as those formulas that called for 3 grams of Borax and 4 grams of caustic soda, aka balance alkali. To gives you Kodak's: DK line of developers, long before Kodak used the concept.


I was not trying to mirror "Perceptol", I was trying to substitute Metol for Eikonogen in a formula that I was reading about in a 1898 journal.


And PentaxPete, I followed his posts for years, and he is knowledgable about alot of things. Some people could learn a few things from him. Sodium Tripolyphosphate, I will look in on that, it is a milder alkali, than caustic soda.

Good show, Keith. I wanted avoid adding an additional chemical, to keep the count down. The natural formation of sodium chloride, is good because you do not have to add it and you can control the amount by the factor of ones dilution rate.

Oh, Keith, DK-20, is very tricky to play around with, because Potassium Thiocyanate, if too much or too little is used, you can lose the fine grain that you are after. So you drop the Potassium Thiocyanate, and go for acutance, by merely adding Para Aminophenol HCI, then dilute the solution, as one would a good Rodinal/Kalogen (without the alkali carbonate) solution, for acutance, knowing that you will have sodium chloride naturally in the solution, plus the added bonus of a little more contrast.

Also, forgive me for "playing around", but I thought the idea here was to explore and have fun. Share ones ideas and adventures with the forum. And I would be pleased if I could continue. Because discovery, is "wonderful".

Yes, D-23 is a good simple formula, as is Rodinal. They both have and offer..., good and bad qualities. So let's have fun with them both and see what we get. Shall we.

Thank You


KennyE
Kenny, I was not trying to criticize your formula, just that it seemed to be hybrid of D-23 and DK-20 but of course without the thiocyanate. Microdol superceded DK-20 for a very good reason.

The title of your thread is "PLAYING AROUND WITH A MICRODOL-X SUBSTITUTE", hence the reason I gave the Perceptol link. Perceptol is a developer of the Microdol type and is free of borates and is simple to mix.

Your inclusion of p-aminophenol hydrochloride is interesting, but how can you be sure it is working with the Metol rather than competing with it? I feel that Metol is all that you need in a fine-grain developer of this type.

May be one day, if I can find the time, I will try your formula for myself out of curiosity. Also check out the formula for Kodak DK-76b on this site which uses just three components and is designed to provide similar results to D-76 (ID-11).

Ilford use sodium tripolyphosphate in all of their powder form developers, but sodium hexametaphosphate is a suitable alternative.

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:57 am

Another simple substitute for Microdol-X fits neatly between D-23 and D-25 and is literally D-25 with the metabisulphite halved.

In 750ml of warm water (Blood temperature) dissolve the following constituents in the order listed below.

Metol 7.5 grams
Sodium sulphite, anhydrous 100 grams
Sodium metabisulphite 7.5 grams
Water to make 1 litre of stock-solution.

Use either stock strength or diluted as much as 1+3 with water.

Use the times given on this site for Kodak Microdol-X.

KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:46 pm

I regret that I sound defensive in my writings, it is part of my long career as a researcher. You discover that you must sometimes fight for ones positions when you are engaged in research.

In many of the journals that I have reviewed, covering the years 1899 to 1904. I have come across a handful of formulas using the two developers(Metol and Para Aminophenol) together. The use of MQ developers truly came about due to cost and development times. Since German had a lock on Metol when it was first place into the market. Its cost was high, compared to Pyro, Hydroquinone, Eikonogen, and Para Aminophenol. The only developer that cost more..., was Amidol.

Today, when we see a PQ listing for a formula, we immediately think Phenidone and Hydroquinone. But in the 1890's it was Para Aminophenol and Hydroquinone. Para Aminophenol has a reduction rate of 6, while Metol has a reduction rate of 20. Ref. Handbook of Photography 1939. Para Aminophenol will not be overly competitive towards Metol. And if used in lower volume, it is superadditive.

Note: Even thou I am using the Handbook of Photography as a reference. I must say that some of the information is incorrect. The book states on page 335 that Momme Andresen discovered Amidol 1891, and I know that is incorrect, because Hauff discovered Amidol in 1890 and release it 1891, and just like Metol..., Andresen would reverse engineer it. The European Patent Office corrected that mistake and others, that gave credit to Andresen's reverse engineered discoveries. Why, because you can not discover that same item twice. Any thing that follows, must be "trademarked" protected, not patented. Cloning in not allowed. Which was the defining reason Agfa, marketed their Metol as Agfa Metol.

Speaking of Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Edwal used it in some of their past formulas, but I have never used Edwal products, nor Ilford. Even thou I have Ilford chemicals, that persons have pass on to me. I still have not used them. I have 6, 250 ml bottles of 1968 Agfa Rodinal, that I have never open, not to mention 8 pounds of Microdol-X. Plus 10 pounds of Acufine, UFG, LPG,when FedCo Stores closed its doors, and 4 pounds of Selectol. I also purchased a double sealed 50lb drum of Metol at a Detroit Industrial factory closing for $50.00, that's $1.00 per pound. I have not open it yet. I am waiting for a rainy day.

Microdol-X is one of the first developers that was I in love with in 1960, for it was by far less expensive than most fine grain developers of good quality at the time. Because like in 1959 to present, D-76..., in my view, lacked something, that would make it great.


Thank You


Kenneth Elaster

Ornello
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Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Ornello » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:06 pm

KennyE wrote:We have a small misdirection here or understanding as to what it is that I am trying to do, and what some people may assume.

I use D23, as a reference, and even thou most people think that the formula is Kodak's, it actually belong to Bogish and Hauff, the two persons that discovered Metol in 1891, and published their formula in 1893. You must remember that Eastman was selling cameras and Pyro formulas in 1893. Also, to many people's misunderstanding, Andresen, did not discover Metol, he merely reverse engineered it, a short time later.

Metol was a developer that was held close to the chest by the German companies that made it. Eastman's first attempt was called Tozol, followed by Rhodol. And that Eastman, after spending huge sums of money contacted Johnson and Mallinckrot of St. Louis, for help. And later introduced "Elon" around the 1920's.

Most companies, did not invest a great deal of money into research of developers, Kodak is a good example. If one was to look back into the photographic journals of the 1800's, you will fine many of the formulas used today, were formulated years before.

B & H web site, shows that mixing borax and sodium hydroxide as liquids, is the same as those formulas that called for 3 grams of Borax and 4 grams of caustic soda, aka balance alkali. To gives you Kodak's: DK line of developers, long before Kodak used the concept.

I was not trying to mirror "Perceptol", I was trying to substitute Metol for Eikonogen in a formula that I was reading about in a 1898 journal. Because Eikonogen turns the solution black after a few hours of usage. The inventor used Eikonogen because it was cheap and Metol was more expensive. Even thou his results were good, he wished that he had used Metol. And PentaxPete, I followed his posts for years, and he is knowledgable about alot of things. Some people could learn a few things from him. Sodium Tripolyphosphate, I will look in on that, it is a milder alkali, than caustic soda. Good show, Keith. I wanted avoid adding an additional chemical, to keep the count down. The natural formation of sodium chloride, is good because you do not have to add it and you can control the amount by the factor of ones dilution rate.

Oh, Keith, DK-20, is very tricky to play around with, because Potassium Thiocyanate, if too much or too little is used, you can lose the fine grain that you are after. So you drop the Potassium Thiocyanate, and go for acutance, by merely adding Para Aminophenol HCI, then dilute the solution, as one would a good Rodinal/Kalogen (without the alkali carbonate) solution, for acutance, knowing that you will have sodium chloride naturally in the solution, plus the added bonus of a little more contrast.

Also, forgive me for "playing around", but I thought the idea here was to explore and have fun. Share ones ideas and adventures with the forum. And I would be pleased if I could continue. Because discovery, is "wonderful".

Yes, D-23 is a good simple formula, as is Rodinal. They both have and offer..., good and bad qualities. So let's have fun with them both and see what we get. Shall we.

Thank You


KennyE

The developing agent in Rodinal requires a strong alkali and high dilution to keep under control; metol works well with a mild alkali. There is no point to mixing them. They have such wildly different characteristics that it makes them incompatible.

No, the point is not to have fun, but to achieve good results with the fewest problems. If one is going to "play around" it helps to know a few basic facts about photo chemistry.

Kodak spent enormous sums on research after the 1920s.

KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:31 am

Ornello..., Kodak did spend large sums of money on research, yet those sums were not directed at black and white research. Kodak had gotten itself into a war with Agfa/Ansco, in being the first to develop and produce cheaply, color photography. There were huge rewards to be made, for being the first and the best..., and Kodak won.

Kodak won only because, Germany could not stop the Russians from stealing their research and development of their color discoveries. When Agfa/Ansco got back into the color race, it was not a race at all, they were years behind in development and research.

But Kodak and Agfa/Ansco were so concern about their own affairs, that neither one of them saw the Japanese coming and they were both blind sided. Cheaper cost and labor, plus industrial stealing, doom the two of them.

Rodinal is a wonderful product and it does not require the large amounts of caustic soda that is used in it today or as was done in the past. Because due to the absence of refrigeration and the lack of understanding, the proper use of Para Aminophenol was unknown in the past. But you do not need large sums of caustic soda to get the best performance from Para Aminophenol. Just download a copy of Charles J. Thatcher USP # 1,158,011.

Para Aminophenol, by the way, does very well with mild alkalies and hydroquinones. There are about 30 known formulas that it is used with just sodium sulfite alone. Did you know that of all the known developers used in black and white development, that only hydroquinone is the only one that does not do well in "stand development", on its own.?

Ornello my friend, (and you are my friend) remember the speech that was made by John F. Kennedy about going to the moon. That is why man does the foolish things that we do. Because if we do not over come our problems, regardless of our strengths. We would be a very boring race. We are a race that finds fun; in over coming our challenges, large or small. Because when it is all said and done. We want to be the one to say...., "I did that".

Besides, good results are purely relative.

Thank You

KennyE

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Ornello » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:40 am

KennyE wrote:Ornello..., Kodak did spend large sums of money on research, yet those sums were not directed at black and white research. Kodak had gotten itself into a war with Agfa/Ansco, in being the first to develop and produce cheaply, color photography. There were huge rewards to be made, for being the first and the best..., and Kodak won.

Kodak won only because, Germany could not stop the Russians from stealing their research and development of their color discoveries. When Agfa/Ansco got back into the color race, it was not a race at all, they were years behind in development and research.

But Kodak and Agfa/Ansco were so concern about their own affairs, that neither one of them saw the Japanese coming and they were both blind sided. Cheaper cost and labor, plus industrial stealing, doom the two of them.

Rodinal is a wonderful product and it does not require the large amounts of caustic soda that is used in it today or as was done in the past. Because due to the absence of refrigeration and the lack of understanding, the proper use of Para Aminophenol was unknown in the past. But you do not need large sums of caustic soda to get the best performance from Para Aminophenol. Just download a copy of Charles J. Thatcher USP # 1,158,011.

Para Aminophenol, by the way, does very well with mild alkalies and hydroquinones. There are about 30 known formulas that it is used with just sodium sulfite alone. Did you know that of all the known developers used in black and white development, that only hydroquinone is the only one that does not do well in "stand development", on its own.?

Ornello my friend, (and you are my friend) remember the speech that was made by John F. Kennedy about going to the moon. That is why man does the foolish things that we do. Because if we do not over come our problems, regardless of our strengths. We would be a very boring race. We are a race that finds fun; in over coming our challenges, large or small. Because when it is all said and done. We want to be the one to say...., "I did that".

Besides, good results are purely relative.

Thank You

KennyE
Metol, Hydroquinone, and Phenidone, used in combination with just a few other chemicals (borax, sodium sulphite, sodium carbonate, potassium bromide), do a splendid job. If you look at the formulas published after WWII for film and paper developers, you will find the vast majority use these.

KennyE
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 6:49 am
Location: Waterford, Michigan USA

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby KennyE » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:29 am

Oh yes good Buddie, I am into Phenidone and Dimezone. I have purchase a 1 pound of each, so I can use it in testing. I have 200 feet of Kodak black and white test films, in 5 foot lengths. 25,64, 100 125, and 400 asa. I intend to do some fun things to those puppies.

First, destroy about 2 feet of test film, then get serious. I got to play first; but even before I can began that. I got family matters to attend to. The damn Holidays are here once again, and they are burning up my phone, with get together talk.

All year long its come over and bring food. Now its come over and bring food, presents, and money. Family, they get you every time.

I got to start shopping for presents next week and beyond. And sit back and decide how much money I will not spend or give out. Last year I got down to $2,100.00. This year I will be looking to cut that in half. I plan to give only to the younger children and not the older ones, that want Xbox, PS4, iPhones, Pods, and Pads. You know, the expensive stuff. No jewelry purchases this holiday. Even puppies run about $400.00 dollars. Yep..., no puppies.

I want to buy a piece of film making machinery next year. And that is going to be expensive. I want to make 120, 620, and 35 mm roll film at 50 asa, 100 asa, or 125 asa, plus 2.25 x 3.25 sheet film. I came across one on the internet. I have the building for it, I just need to get the money to bring it to Michigan.

Thank You


KennyE

Ornello
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:49 am

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Ornello » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:15 pm

KennyE wrote:Oh yes good Buddie, I am into Phenidone and Dimezone. I have purchase a 1 pound of each, so I can use it in testing. I have 200 feet of Kodak black and white test films, in 5 foot lengths. 25,64, 100 125, and 400 asa. I intend to do some fun things to those puppies.

First, destroy about 2 feet of test film, then get serious. I got to play first; but even before I can began that. I got family matters to attend to. The damn Holidays are here once again, and they are burning up my phone, with get together talk.

All year long its come over and bring food. Now its come over and bring food, presents, and money. Family, they get you every time.

I got to start shopping for presents next week and beyond. And sit back and decide how much money I will not spend or give out. Last year I got down to $2,100.00. This year I will be looking to cut that in half. I plan to give only to the younger children and not the older ones, that want Xbox, PS4, iPhones, Pods, and Pads. You know, the expensive stuff. No jewelry purchases this holiday. Even puppies run about $400.00 dollars. Yep..., no puppies.

I want to buy a piece of film making machinery next year. And that is going to be expensive. I want to make 120, 620, and 35 mm roll film at 50 asa, 100 asa, or 125 asa, plus 2.25 x 3.25 sheet film. I came across one on the internet. I have the building for it, I just need to get the money to bring it to Michigan.

Thank You


KennyE
Because of improvements in fast films, which have made them finer-grained, fine-grain formulas like Microdol-X have fallen out of fashion. Straight D-76 is hardly different in any case. With my technique, I am able to use high-acutance developers and achieve fine grain as well.

You are making this way too complicated. Most developers are made from only a few ingredients, varied in proportion. One can prepare developers with varying properties to suit almost any need. Just look at the Crawley FX-series of developers. I don't know if they are gathered in any place on the internet, but most of them are right here:

http://www.digitaltruth.com/data.php?doc=filmdevs
Last edited by Ornello on Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Keith Tapscott.
Posts: 506
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:58 am
Location: Plymouth, England.

Re: Playing around with a Microdol- X Substitute

Postby Keith Tapscott. » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:14 am

Ornello wrote: Because of improvements in fast films, which have made them finer-grained, fine-grain formulas like Microdol-X have fallen out of fashion.
Straight D-76 is hardly different in any case. With my technique, I am able to use high-acutance developers and achieve fine grain as well.
Foma sell a variant of D-76 called Fomadon-P.
It is actually the D-76d buffered-borax formula, but needs some what longer developing times than packaged D-76/ID-11 to reach the same contrast level.

Examples of images for the use of this developer are here.
http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Fomadon+P


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