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I'm frightened of tulips: they're alive and they move. Being from a non-park area of Brooklyn (Breukelen to you), I never learned to tell one flower from another. That's a red one, and that's a yellow one. That's as close as I get to an ID. So are they tulips or triffids? I'm never sure.  :(

Edited by Ed Rooney
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Hi Betty, are you using a grey card and the WB PRE setting in the D800? Have you tried ice lights to see if this gives a more consistent light caste - it tends to give a purer more consistent light. Stones tend to refract and reflect light, a black background tends to absorb much of this. Have you tried stitching multiple pics at different focal points. This will give greater depth of field and may reduce some of the reflected light distortion.

 

It's hard trying to earn a crust, isn't it!

 

Good luck

 

dov

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It must be something with the Nikon sensor,

 

Betty

 

Not necessarily, so don't give up on your D800 quite yet :)  As I and others have often said, Photoshop does not read/convert NEFs as accurately as NX2, and until Nikon let Adobe in on their secrets, it probably never will (which makes the pending demise of NX2 even more of an issue for many Nikon users).

 

dd

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I would recommend setting up camera/lens combinations. Profile the camera with each lens. Takes a moment to shoot a passport (X-rite) pic and a couple of moments to run it through LR to make the profile.

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Thank heavens, not many of this med/light shade of purple comes to me.  I think I have dealt with the problem about 3 times out of 670 images, so it's not a huge roadblock, until I begin wrestling with one of them, and it comes out on top.  My corrections, which I finally do make, are mediocre at best. 

 

I do think the passport is a good option.  I guess I should pull the trigger with Amazon and order it.  But it was amazing how well the X-T1 handled it.  Kind of wowed me.  Maybe not so much if I hadn't dealt with the Nikon shift.

 

Betty

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It must be something with the Nikon sensor, because the purple that went blue with the Nikon was shot with the same setup.

 

Take that, Nikon. :wacko:

 

Betty

 

Told you it was a sensor thing.

 

You both are trying to say that you have not profiled your camera. And that the default profile in Adobe Raw is not perfect in this case for this light and for this subject.

 

For this light: Profile your camera.

 

For this subject: learn how to use the various color sliders in Camera Raw, for the correction of the rendition of specific pigments however tiny the details. 

If you have to do this often or the client is demanding accurate color rendition: get a color viewing booth and put the original in there next to your monitor (which of course is calibrated to the same standard).

 

Welcome to the world of product photography. After you've mastered this, try copying paintings or shooting tulips for packaging.

- I was not very good at tulips ;-)

 

wim

Wim

 

Question on profiling if I may ask as i'm getting a bit confused here.

 

I use Capture One Pro exclusively for RAW development. As I understand their software has ICC profiles built in for all the cameras they support. For white balance I leave my camera at auto but I always shoot a frame using the Whi-bal card, (similar to a gray card). This then forms the colour profile and gray point for the shoot. As I move into different light I.e. indoors, shade etc I re-shoot the gray card.

 

I am indeed profiling my camera with the above actions or am I missing something?

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It must be something with the Nikon sensor, because the purple that went blue with the Nikon was shot with the same setup.

 

Take that, Nikon. :wacko:

 

Betty

Told you it was a sensor thing.

 

You both are trying to say that you have not profiled your camera. And that the default profile in Adobe Raw is not perfect in this case for this light and for this subject.

 

For this light: Profile your camera.

 

For this subject: learn how to use the various color sliders in Camera Raw, for the correction of the rendition of specific pigments however tiny the details. 

If you have to do this often or the client is demanding accurate color rendition: get a color viewing booth and put the original in there next to your monitor (which of course is calibrated to the same standard).

 

Welcome to the world of product photography. After you've mastered this, try copying paintings or shooting tulips for packaging.

- I was not very good at tulips ;-)

 

wim

Wim

 

Question on profiling if I may ask as i'm getting a bit confused here.

 

I use Capture One Pro exclusively for RAW development. As I understand their software has ICC profiles built in for all the cameras they support. For white balance I leave my camera at auto but I always shoot a frame using the Whi-bal card, (similar to a gray card). This then forms the colour profile and gray point for the shoot. As I move into different light I.e. indoors, shade etc I re-shoot the gray card.

 

I am indeed profiling my camera with the above actions or am I missing something?

 

 

 

 

 

It must be something with the Nikon sensor, because the purple that went blue with the Nikon was shot with the same setup.

 

Take that, Nikon. :wacko:

 

Betty

Told you it was a sensor thing.

 

You both are trying to say that you have not profiled your camera. And that the default profile in Adobe Raw is not perfect in this case for this light and for this subject.

 

For this light: Profile your camera.

 

For this subject: learn how to use the various color sliders in Camera Raw, for the correction of the rendition of specific pigments however tiny the details. 

If you have to do this often or the client is demanding accurate color rendition: get a color viewing booth and put the original in there next to your monitor (which of course is calibrated to the same standard).

 

Welcome to the world of product photography. After you've mastered this, try copying paintings or shooting tulips for packaging.

- I was not very good at tulips ;-)

 

wim

Wim

 

Question on profiling if I may ask as i'm getting a bit confused here.

 

I use Capture One Pro exclusively for RAW development. As I understand their software has ICC profiles built in for all the cameras they support. For white balance I leave my camera at auto but I always shoot a frame using the Whi-bal card, (similar to a gray card). This then forms the colour profile and gray point for the shoot. As I move into different light I.e. indoors, shade etc I re-shoot the gray card.

 

I am indeed profiling my camera with the above actions or am I missing something?

 

 

The Adobe article about the DNG profiler I linked to in my 1st answer is actually quite good: pdf here

 

About Capture One Pro:

It says: you can edit the ICC profile for your camera in Capture One Pro with the advanced colour editor, saving a unique profile for your own needs.

- Meaning you have to profile your camera somewhere else, and then alter the default (which they call custom) profile.

 

Photographing a gray card and then adjusting your white balance works quite a bit cruder.

The simplicity is it's main attraction. And the results are usually reasonably good.

However with digital, and the Adobe dng profiler, the procedure is almost as simple: The card is the same size; you hold it in the light; then do something with it in post. Just that doing something with it in post is marginally more work, but not more difficult. Before the (free) Adobe profiler it was a lot of work.

With film, the gray card, gave you the right balance of the temperature of the lighting, after which you were stuck with the characteristic rendition of the spectrum by the emulsion of that film. It's Spectral Responsivity. If you wanted another rendition you had to use filters or take another film. Knowing (the S.R. of) your films was an important part of the work.

Our sensor has it's Spectral Responsivity too. And it's also not perfect:

 

image014.gif

(generic one from DXO)

It's graph shows all kinds of bends and bumps. Hence the resulting colors will show all sorts of small deficiencies.

Using the gray card will space these three graphs more evenly and may even iron out some of the wrinkles.

Using many more colors in stead of just gray will iron out many more wrinkles.

 

After this we are free to choose our own artistic rendition of a scene using all those sliders in Photoshop or Capture Pro.

 

For a lot of commercial work that artistic freedom or ignorance would not be acceptable: the bride's dress has a certain color and the groom's suit has a certain color and it has to stay that way. Now imagine you sell dresses or suits: all those colors have to remain truthful to the original. The same for about every packaging; painting in a museum or auction; make-up on a model's face or on Ebay; car paint or wall paint; and indeed diamonds.

 

A lot of photographers do not need profiling or even color managment. It's all about standards. You need them to communicate and produce reliably. You don't have to go to school to learn these of course. There's the internet and before we had libraries.

Hey, there are still places on earth that you do not need to learn how to drive before you get behind the wheel: a tree will learn you how to stop just as well as a teacher, a lot quicker even ;-)

 

 

About purple jewelry:

 

It seems I (maybe we all) forgot about what diamonds or glass jewelry is doing; designed to do even: it sparkles. Why does it sparkle, because it refracts light into different colors and when you move it it flashes all those colors in front of you. When we are holding still and the stone is sitting still, like with a camera in a studio, we only see one color at a time for a certain place in that stone. That's usually acceptable if it's a small part of the stone, but it may not if it's a large part.

 

wim

 

 

edit: typo

Edited by wiskerke
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Thanks for the response Wim.

 

About Capture One Pro:

It says: you can edit the ICC profile for your camera in Capture One Pro with the advanced colour editor, saving a unique profile for your own needs.

- Meaning you have to profile your camera somewhere else, and then alter the default (which they call custom) profile.

 

They've added functions to this area of late wherein one can now select "Camera RGB Profile" which takes the temperature and white balance from that which is set in camera .

 

Lots to consider. Thank you for your time

 

Ray

Edited by ReeRay
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A very in depth explanation, much appreciated, Win.  I have about a thimbleful of your knowledge, if that.   :)  And yes, when I photograph the jewelry, sometimes a color on a few stones are completely hidden on the top facet, because of reflected light. Thankfully, the color will show on some of the other facets of the stone.  I'm used to that, and it is OK, because my client wants sparkle.  

 

The thing with the purple is, under the lights, and to my eye, I'm not seeing reflected blue, but I am seeing purple.  Then I get it on the computer and there is no purple to be found, anywhere, on any facet of the stones.  What's so strange is I've shot more purple than I realized, going back and looking at the images I've shot the past few months.  Most of them, the D800 recorded the correct color and the image was beautiful.  Then there are those 3 that gave me fits.  Funny that the last one showed the darker purple correctly, but only shifted the light purple.  It's hard for me to imagine that the sensor recorded probably 30 or so purple pieces correctly, then messed up on three. 

 

So, I understand color management and profiling the camera has to be the answer.

 

On another note, even if I found my old software NX2, I doubt it would accept the D800 and Fuji RAW files.  Doesn't the software have to be updated for new cameras?  I know with Adobe, when I've bought a new camera just released, sometimes I've had to wait for RAW support.  Hasn't Nikon quit support of NX2?

 

Betty

Edited by Betty LaRue
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Nikon Capture NX2 supports the D800, Betty. If you haven't been using NX2 for a while, you'll have to update your version. I believe they are at NX2 2.4.7 now. It should be a free update here: 

 

https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/61/session/L3RpbWUvMTQwNjU1Nzg5NC9zaWQvODF5T3ZxLWw%3D

 

My newest Nikon DSLR is the D700, but I have not been shooting with it much since getting my smaller Sonys. I still use the NX2 U-Points tool on some Sony images, but I use it halfway into my workflow . . . on a tiff: LR5>NX2>CS5. 

 

I think you are in the Adobe Cloud, Betty? Yes? You can also download LR5 and use that with your D800 images. I find Lightroom very user friendly.  But as others have said, I think your best bet for subtle color control is NX2.  

Edited by Ed Rooney
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With jewels and cut stones, I used (very long time ago) tiny mirrors to throw light in just the places I wanted. So with only 2 or 3 strobes I could light different diamonds (actually most of the time cubic zirconias). The closer you get, the more lights you need. A couple of these or these with a handful of those will do most of the trick. Add one or two small make-up mirrors and some tin foil plus black paper and you can work magic. Experiment with gels; filters or colored candy wrappers over the mirrors to create some really nice colors. It can all be done in Photoshop of course including the odd starburst. Using 3d modelling software, you wouldn't even need a camera: free diamonds here.

 

wim

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I first noticed this problem with purple taking pics of crocuses with a Nikon D200. I too think it's probably a sensor issue. As you have proved, Fuji's sensor is different. It may well be the same with many Bayer type sensors [ and Sony is the biggest manufacturer] although this is pure conjecture on my part.

 

I have moved to Fuji for most of my general stuff now and am very pleased although they have a way to go in auto focus and a comprehensive flash system [esp. FP flash] so I would not be getting rid of my Nikon stuff for the foreseeable future but neither am I going to expand my system.

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I do think the passport is a good option. 

 

Passport is quite expensive. There are a couple of cheaper options and more portable (credit card sized) versions about. See https://www.cameratrax.com/index1.php and http://www.greywhitebalancecolourcard.co.uk/. I'm unsure how the quality compares though. I'm currently trying the Cameratrax version but haven't decided if I like the results or not. Generating the profiles is straightforward, although Adobe software seems quite finicky on the grey patches and sometimes warns of a color cast. 

 

Anyone got experience of either of these versus X-Rite Passport? Amazon users seem to like the Passport device. It's possibly a case of you get what you pay for.

Edited by M.Chapman
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You do get what you pay for, although at £60 or so, I would hardly call the X-rite passport 'expensive'. It certainly lasts for years, mine hardly shows any wear on the case and it's been lugged around in a camera bag in my 'stuff' pocket all the time.

 

I've had cheaper white balance cards in the past and cheap is exactly what they were, they don't last. If you buy stuff that lasts, it's always the cheaper option in the end.

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I do think the passport is a good option. 

 

Passport is quite expensive. There are a couple of cheaper options and more portable (credit card sized) versions about. See https://www.cameratrax.com/index1.php and http://www.greywhitebalancecolourcard.co.uk/. I'm unsure how the quality compares though. I'm currently trying the Cameratrax version but haven't decided if I like the results or not. Generating the profiles is straightforward, although Adobe software seems quite finicky on the grey patches and sometimes warns of a color cast. 

 

Anyone got experience of either of these versus X-Rite Passport? Amazon users seem to like the Passport device. It's possibly a case of you get what you pay for.

 

 

Great find! The ColorChecker Mini already was expensive; the Passport doubly so. It was a matter of time before cheap alternatives came about.

The proof of course lies in the accuracy of the Munsell Chart (RGB values in pdf here; in xls spreadsheet here)

I have a couple of digital versions somewhere, however cannot find them online any more.

 

(If you should seek further knowledge: RIT)

 

wim

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There is one other factor that nobody has explicitly mentioned and that is the nature of the light source that you are using.  Daylight (and light from traditional incandescent light bulbs) contains a continuous spectrum of colours.  However, our eyes have only three types of colour sensor (i.e. red, green and blue-sensitive cones) and provided that these are stimulated in the right proportion then we don't require a continuous spectrum in order to see light as white.  Many types of lighting system (such as fluorescent tubes, LED's and low-energy bulbs) emit light at specific colours with gaps in the spectrum between them.  Our eyes can't tell the difference.  However, unless the pixels on a camera sensor have exactly the same spectral sensitivity as our eyes (which they don't) then they are going to respond very differently to this type of lighting, and you would not expect to get the same results either with different makes of camera (a particular frequency might trigger the red pixels of one camera and the green pixels of another, whereas our eyes might see it as yellow).

 

The solution is to ensure that you are using continuous-spectrum illumination, otherwise even if you go through the profiling and calibration steps already recommended you are not going to get consistent results.

 

Going back to the days of film, this is one of the reasons why different makes of film and paper required different filtration.

 

The human eye is a terrible camera, with distortions and inconsistencies in colour response and everything else.  Indeed, we only have sharp vision in the very central part of our visual fields, and that part is colour-blind to blue light.  The brain is remarkably good at taking the degraded and distorted data from our eyes and turning it into our rich visual experience.  Trying to capture that in a photograph, however, is never going to work perfectly.

 

Julian

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I do think the passport is a good option.

Passport is quite expensive. There are a couple of cheaper options and more portable (credit card sized) versions about. See https://www.cameratrax.com/index1.php and http://www.greywhitebalancecolourcard.co.uk/. I'm unsure how the quality compares though. I'm currently trying the Cameratrax version but haven't decided if I like the results or not. Generating the profiles is straightforward, although Adobe software seems quite finicky on the grey patches and sometimes warns of a color cast.

 

Anyone got experience of either of these versus X-Rite Passport? Amazon users seem to like the Passport device. It's possibly a case of you get what you pay for.

 

Great find! The ColorChecker Mini already was expensive; the Passport doubly so. It was a matter of time before cheap alternatives came about.

The proof of course lies in the accuracy of the Munsell Chart (RGB values in pdf here; in xls spreadsheet here)

 

Just been playing around with both the CameraTrax and the Greywhitebalancecolour cards. I prefer the Greywhitebalance card. It seems to produce better adjustment profiles (to my eyes) and is much more robust (it's plastic laminated, you can wipe it clean). It also seems to work with both X-Rite Passport and Adobe Profile editors (I couldn't get CameraTrax to work reliably with Adobe). If you touch the colour targets of the CameraTrax card with greasy fingers, you'd probably wreck the card.

 

A couple of possible downsides to the Greywhitebalance card...

  • Although the laminated plastic is matt finish, if the card Greywhitebalancecard is photographed "square on" with the sun / light source directly behind the camera, it's quite reflective and the colour targets will de-saturate. But if the light source is oblique it seems fine. Integrated or camera mounted flash units would probably cause problems for this card.
  • The Greywhitebalance card is clearly dot printed (like magazine print) which, depending on the spectral relationship between the pigments and different camera's RGB filter response may introduce some variability.

I can't comment on how these targets perform relative to the X-Rite Passport target. Nor can I comment on their precise accuracy. I expect the Passport is better. X-Rite know what they're doing. I use the i1 Display Pro to calibrate my monitors and have been delighted with the results.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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There is one other factor that nobody has explicitly mentioned and that is the nature of the light source that you are using.  Daylight (and light from traditional incandescent light bulbs) contains a continuous spectrum of colours.  However, our eyes have only three types of colour sensor (i.e. red, green and blue-sensitive cones) and provided that these are stimulated in the right proportion then we don't require a continuous spectrum in order to see light as white.  Many types of lighting system (such as fluorescent tubes, LED's and low-energy bulbs) emit light at specific colours with gaps in the spectrum between them.  Our eyes can't tell the difference.  However, unless the pixels on a camera sensor have exactly the same spectral sensitivity as our eyes (which they don't) then they are going to respond very differently to this type of lighting, and you would not expect to get the same results either with different makes of camera (a particular frequency might trigger the red pixels of one camera and the green pixels of another, whereas our eyes might see it as yellow).

 

The solution is to ensure that you are using continuous-spectrum illumination, otherwise even if you go through the profiling and calibration steps already recommended you are not going to get consistent results.

 

Going back to the days of film, this is one of the reasons why different makes of film and paper required different filtration.

 

The human eye is a terrible camera, with distortions and inconsistencies in colour response and everything else.  Indeed, we only have sharp vision in the very central part of our visual fields, and that part is colour-blind to blue light.  The brain is remarkably good at taking the degraded and distorted data from our eyes and turning it into our rich visual experience.  Trying to capture that in a photograph, however, is never going to work perfectly.

 

Julian

 

 

Here are the specs on the lights I use.

 

  • 4...PBL 50 watt CFL photo daylight bulbs that equal 150 true watts of tungsten light, Color temp 5100k daylight, Light output per bulb 2800 lumens, Average bulb life 10,000 hours
  • These flourescent bulbs are flicker free and designed for photographic use
  • 90% less heat the incandescent lighting, Reduces your electric cost
  • Keeps your subject from feeling like they are in a sauna, great for hard to get portraits of kids and pet, no harsh flash or heat, These lights produce natural skintones, with out any filtration. These lights pay for themselves with the savings in light bulbs, last 30 times longer than halogen bulbs
  • CAN BE USED FOR TREATMENT OF S.A.D-WINTER BLUES,NATURAL DAYLIGHT BALANCED FULL SPECTRUM PURE WHITE

The lights should not be the problem. 

The Nikon sensor is, but only on certain shades of purple, while rendering other shades of purple true.

Auto white balance might be problematic..but why does it render virtually all the other colors true?

 

Betty

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It does sound like your bulbs should be good but generaly there are large gaps in the spectrum from cfl lights. One of the really bad parts of the cfl spectrum output is the blue/purple areas there is a very narrow spike in the blue areas with lots missing on either side of it. As an cheap experiment I would go down to your local hardware store and get a few full spectrum incandescent bulbs and shoot a few comparisons shots between that and the cfls you are using.

-Philip  

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It does sound like your bulbs should be good but generaly there are large gaps in the spectrum from cfl lights. One of the really bad parts of the cfl spectrum output is the blue/purple areas there is a very narrow spike in the blue areas with lots missing on either side of it. As an cheap experiment I would go down to your local hardware store and get a few full spectrum incandescent bulbs and shoot a few comparisons shots between that and the cfls you are using.

-Philip  

 

Why not try using indirect natural light from a north facing window late morning/ early afternoon now it is summer in Northern Hemisphere. That's about as good as light gets.

 

Just as an aside bluebells were almost impossible to get right on film, tended to go purple. Then digital came along and we saw them in their true colours, well nearly!

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Yes, surely try what Martin (and I) suggested as a lighting test -- there could be a problem with the color temperature your lights are producing. Another obvious test would be to reshoot one of the color-problem stones with various light setting on your D800. I too use auto-color most of the time. 

 

Wow, Fuji to the rescue. When that little Fuji does a better job than one of the high-end Nikons . . . what does that tell us? Maybe you should shoot all those gems with Stockimo, Betty? Maybe not.  B)

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It does sound like your bulbs should be good but generaly there are large gaps in the spectrum from cfl lights. One of the really bad parts of the cfl spectrum output is the blue/purple areas there is a very narrow spike in the blue areas with lots missing on either side of it. As an cheap experiment I would go down to your local hardware store and get a few full spectrum incandescent bulbs and shoot a few comparisons shots between that and the cfls you are using.

-Philip  

 

Why not try using indirect natural light from a north facing window late morning/ early afternoon now it is summer in Northern Hemisphere. That's about as good as light gets.

 

Just as an aside bluebells were almost impossible to get right on film, tended to go purple. Then digital came along and we saw them in their true colours, well nearly!

 

This basically what I was trying to say, after all most of all the other pieces you have photographed so far have been fine. So why now you should WB, profile or whatever be the problem.

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It does sound like your bulbs should be good but generaly there are large gaps in the spectrum from cfl lights. One of the really bad parts of the cfl spectrum output is the blue/purple areas there is a very narrow spike in the blue areas with lots missing on either side of it. As an cheap experiment I would go down to your local hardware store and get a few full spectrum incandescent bulbs and shoot a few comparisons shots between that and the cfls you are using.

-Philip  

Good suggestion on the incandescent bulbs, Philip.  I take your word for it about the gaps, I wouldn't know.   I would think, though, that they'd be too hot for my softboxes.  I sure don't want a fire or to ruin the fabric of it.  I need diffuse light, to keep the reflections at a decent level and not blown out.  I'm not having any problems with the blues, though.  And out of probably 100 or more purples, only 3.

 

Ed, Martin, I did try a north window in the beginning. But the jewelry needs evenly lit, so if I put my back to the window, I blocked the light.  If I set up parallel, one side was lit better than the other side, even with a reflector.  I have a picky-picky boss.  I don't want to invite do-overs, as this involves a certain amount of crouching over and arranging the jewelry just so, which is hard on my bad spine.  Plus if I have to shoot a whole set over, my hourly is cut by half.  Not an option. :)

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