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Leica M-E Typ 240 vs S2

The Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Leica S2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in June 2019 and September 2008. The M-E Typ 240 is a rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, while the S2 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a full frame (M-E Typ 240) and a medium format (S2) sensor. The M-E Typ 240 has a resolution of 23.7 megapixels, whereas the S2 provides 37.5 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Leica M-E Typ 240 versus Leica S2
Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
Leica M mount lenses Leica S mount lenses
23.7 MP, Full Frame Sensor 37.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor
1080/25p Video no Video
ISO 200-6,400 ISO 80-1,250
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 920k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 1.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
139 x 80 x 42 mm, 680 g 160 x 120 x 80 mm, 1410 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Leica M-E (Typ 240) and the Leica S2? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Leica S2 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Leica S2
Compare M-E Typ 240 versus S2 top
Comparison M-E Typ 240 or S2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Leica S2 is considerably larger (73 percent) than the Leica M-E Typ 240. Moreover, the S2 is substantially heavier (107 percent) than the M-E Typ 240. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Jun 2019 3,999 i
2.
 
Leica S2 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1410 g .. Y Sep 2008 22,995i
3.
 
Leica M10-R 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jul 2020 8,295 i
4.
 
Leica Q2 130 mm 80 mm 92 mm 718 g 370 Y Mar 2019 4,995 i
5.
 
Leica S3 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2018 18,995 i
6.
 
Leica M10-P 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Aug 2018 7,995 i
7.
 
Leica M10 139 mm 80 mm 39 mm 660 g 210 Y Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Nov 2015 5,195i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 16,900i
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2014 24,490i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 139 mm 80 mm 42 mm 680 g .. Y Sep 2012 6,950i
13.
 
Leica S Typ 006 160 mm 120 mm 80 mm 1260 g .. Y Sep 2012 21,950i
14.
 
Leica S1 339 mm 214 mm 119 mm 2500 g .. n Aug 1996 21,490i
15.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999i
16.
 
Sony A9 II 129 mm 96 mm 76 mm 678 g 690 Y Oct 2019 4,499 i
17.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The M-E Typ 240 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the S2, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Leica M-E Typ 240 features a full frame sensor and the Leica S2 a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the S2 is 58 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.8. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Leica M-E Typ 240 and Leica S2 sensor measures

With 37.5MP, the S2 offers a higher resolution than the M-E Typ 240 (23.7MP), but the S2 has marginally smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.00μm versus 6.01μm for the M-E Typ 240). Yet, the M-E Typ 240 is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 9 months) than the S2, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the S2 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Leica S2 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the S2 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 37.5 x 25 inches or 95.3 x 63.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 25 x 16.7 inches or 63.5 x 42.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Leica M-E Typ 240 are 29.8 x 19.9 inches or 75.6 x 50.5 cm for good quality, 23.8 x 15.9 inches or 60.5 x 40.4 cm for very good quality, and 19.8 x 13.3 inches or 50.4 x 33.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Leica M-E (Typ 240) has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Leica S2 are ISO 80 to ISO 1250 (no boost).

M-E Typ 240 versus S2 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p........
2.
 
Leica S2 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
3.
 
Leica M10-R Full Frame 40.9 7864 5200none........
4.
 
Leica Q2 Full Frame 46.7 8368 55844K/30p26.413.5249196
5.
 
Leica S3 Medium Format 64.0 9800 65334K/24p........
6.
 
Leica M10-P Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none........
7.
 
Leica M10 Full Frame 23.8 5952 3992none24.413.2213386
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262 Full Frame 23.7 5952 3976none........
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none........
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format 37.5 7500 50004K/24p........
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240 Full Frame 23.7 5952 39761080/25p24.013.3186084
13.
 
Leica S Typ 006 Medium Format 37.5 7500 5000none23.912.282476
14.
 
Leica S1 Medium Format 26.4 5140 5140none........
15.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
16.
 
Sony A9 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.0343493
17.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The M-E Typ 240 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the S2 does not. The highest resolution format that the M-E Typ 240 can use is 1080/25p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The M-E Typ 240 and the S2 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the M-E Typ 240 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the S2 (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the S2 has a higher magnification (0.86x vs 0.68x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Leica M-E Typ 240 and Leica S2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
2.
 
Leica S2optical Y 3.0 460 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
3.
 
Leica M10-Roptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 4.5 n n
4.
 
Leica Q23680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 20.0 n Y
5.
 
Leica S3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
6.
 
Leica M10-Poptical n 3.0 1037 fixed Y 1/4000s 5.0 n n
7.
 
Leica M10optical n 3.0 1037 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 n n
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 n n
13.
 
Leica S Typ 006optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/4000s 1.5 n n
14.
 
Leica S1optical n none none none n .. 0.01 n n
15.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y
16.
 
Sony A9 II3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
17.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y

One feature that is present on the S2, but is missing on the M-E Typ 240 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The M-E Typ 240 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the S2 uses Compact Flash or SDHC cards. The S2 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the M-E Typ 240 only has one slot. The M-E Typ 240 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the S2 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Leica M-E (Typ 240) and Leica S2 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240Ymono----2.0---
2.
 
Leica S2Y----mini2.0---
3.
 
Leica M10-RY------Y--
4.
 
Leica Q2Ystereomono----Y-Y
5.
 
Leica S3YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
6.
 
Leica M10-PY------Y--
7.
 
Leica M10Y------Y--
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262Y-----2.0---
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
11.
 
Leica S Typ 007YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
12.
 
Leica M Typ 240Ystereomono---2.0---
13.
 
Leica S Typ 006Y----mini2.0---
14.
 
Leica S1----------
15.
 
Nikon Z6YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
16.
 
Sony A9 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY
17.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYY

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Leica S2 (unlike the M-E Typ 240) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The M-E Typ 240 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Leica. In contrast, the S2 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the S2 was succeeded by the Leica S Typ 006. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Leica website.

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Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Leica M-E Typ 240 and the Leica S2? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Advantages of the Leica M-E (Typ 240):

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/25p movies.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (920k vs 460k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (139x80mm vs 160x120mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 730g or 52 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years and 9 months of technical progress since the S2 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Leica S2:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (37.5 vs 23.7MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.86x vs 0.68x).
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2008).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M-E Typ 240 emerges as the winner of the contest (10 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

M-E Typ 240 10:07 S2

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M-E Typ 240 or the S2 perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica M-E Typ 240.......... Jun 2019 3,999 i
2.
 
Leica S2.......... Sep 2008 22,995i
3.
 
Leica M10-R4.5/5......4/5 Jul 2020 8,295 i
4.
 
Leica Q2....84/1004.5/54/5 Mar 2019 4,995 i
5.
 
Leica S3.......... Sep 2018 18,995 i
6.
 
Leica M10-P........4/5 Aug 2018 7,995 i
7.
 
Leica M104.5/5....4/54.5/5 Jan 2017 6,595 i
8.
 
Leica M Typ 262.......... Nov 2015 5,195i
9.
 
Leica Q Typ 1165/5..80/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
10.
 
Leica S-E Typ 006.......... Sep 2014 16,900i
11.
 
Leica S Typ 0074/5........ Sep 2014 24,490i
12.
 
Leica M Typ 2404/5....4/5.. Sep 2012 6,950i
13.
 
Leica S Typ 006.......... Sep 2012 21,950i
14.
 
Leica S1.......... Aug 1996 21,490i
15.
 
Nikon Z65/5....4.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999i
16.
 
Sony A9 II....90/1005/55/5 Oct 2019 4,499 i
17.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +89/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Leica M-E Typ 240:
Check Amazon price
Leica S2:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Leica M-E Typ 240 vs Leica S2

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    Camera Type Rangefinder camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Leica M mount lenses Leica S mount lenses
    Launch Date June 2019 September 2008
    Launch Price USD 3,999 USD 22,995
    Sensor Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.8 x 23.9 mm 45.0 x 30.0 mm
    Sensor Area 855.62 mm2 1350 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43 mm 54.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 0.8x
    Sensor Resolution 23.7 Megapixels 37.5 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5952 x 3976 pixels 7500 x 5000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 6.01 μm 6.00 μm
    Pixel Density 2.77 MP/cm2 2.78 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/25p Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 1,250 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 6,400 ISO no Enhancement
    Screen Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 96%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x 0.86x
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 920k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    Focus System Manual Focus Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 1.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or SDHC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash no PC Sync PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Leica M-E Typ 240 Leica S2
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BP-SCL2 BP-PRO1
    Body Dimensions 139 x 80 x 42 mm
    (5.5 x 3.1 x 1.7 in)
    160 x 120 x 80 mm
    (6.3 x 4.7 x 3.1 in)
    Camera Weight 680 g (24.0 oz) 1410 g (49.7 oz)

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