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Thursday, 27 September 2018


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Don't do it.

No interest in any of the new releases, but the possibility of snapping up a really great DSLR or lens[es] at a relative bargain price around the year-end holidays has me contemplating whether to take a second (and third?) job. I jest, but only a little.

It's all leaving me smug at the moment. I've had FF and had the shoulder ache from it. FFM just means thinner bodies - just the same weight I suspect.

On the other hand I am eyeing up a new mft 12-35 f2.8 zoom.

For the believers-in-aperture-equivalence fantasists, the "equivalent" f/stop of the 110mm f/2 lens would be 1.79, or 1.8.

...Hep me Law. I've got GAS, and my wallet isn't big enough to offer any relief!...

Why, Mike? What happened to "FX is excessive for your needs and M43 is perfect?" :-)

I no longer believe I can improve my pictures by spending money on new cameras. Right now I'm in the middle of a very significant aerial photo project, which is technical rather than artistic. It's the only time since I bought my first serious digital cameras that the choice of equipment I use actually makes a real difference in results (50 mp definitely better than 20). And as I said, it's not an artistic project. Incremental improvements in digital cameras don't interest me now; I'll buy my next camera when/if my 6D or X100T die or are lost. Or maybe I'll just shoot my D40s more; they still make the best color I've seen from digital. Six megapixels forever!

Gonna get that new Fujifilm super full frame, almost medium format rangefinder supreme soon as my grant $$$ comes in. Guess I should add I'm still waiting for the grant money that was going to fund my Plaubel Makina Wide...

"Ow ow ow! Hep me Law. I've got GAS, and my wallet isn't big enough to offer any relief! Ow ow ow OW! "

I got round that problem by collecting, wait for it... 10MP cameras. Most at least 10 years old and therefore cheap!

Of the collection so far, none are FF, my favorites being an APSC Sony A200, a four-thirds Olympus e-500 and a Nikon-1 V1.

FF doesn't appeal, I don't need it. Mind you, I don't need most of the cameras, whatever format, that I own. :-)

Of course a GFX 50R only makes rational sense for 0.5% of photographers. On the other hand, happiness generally does not come from rational choices, but more often from choices, decisions or non-choices, non-decisions that look downright silly to anyone else. And what do we live for, if not to pursue happiness? I'm not saying that buying stuff makes happy. But indulging oneself is among the niceties of life.

Me, I did exactly that when I bought an X-T2. My X-T1 is plenty enough for me, I have not found anything in the last 4 years, including this September, that would tempt me to switch systems. I never needed an X-T2, but when the rebate in August was announced, I was at my dealer the following morning. And I love it to bits. I will never regret that money, ever.

Now, regarding the GFX 50R, I'm afraid it would work like the D800 for you. It is big and doesn't have IBIS. Did that cure your GAS? :)

I've already decided FF sensors are the sweet-spot for my serious photography (long-exposures at base ISO), but now I find myself thinking that a GFX 50R with a 50/f3.5 lens might be the perfect replacement for my aging Sony RX1 as my everyday, walkaround camera.

Sure, it's a bit larger and heavier and doesn't have a built-in flash (which is why I've ruled out upgrading to an RX1RII), but I'll bet its (presumably) superior image quality more than compensates for those negative aspects of its design.

Funny, I was just thinking about this camera and you. It's what I wished had been available when I got my 645Z in 2014. It's on my radar.

This is a great camera for you (and me), but you (and I) don't need it for a while. The prices will go down, and you can wait. But this has the potential to be the ultimate "have it with you" camera. Since you live in the Finger Lakes, you should have a waxed Barbour or the Filson or Orvis (got one, very good!) equivalent. It's got big pockets, and with that 50mm lens (and maybe the 63...)it will be pocketable, just like those Fuji folders or 645zi's of yore.

For your special landscape grabs---and you live in a special landscape area---this camera would be great, and I think you know it would give a shooting experience you'd enjoy.

So, buy the coat first ;-}

GAS isn't rational; GAS just is.

To help you with your problem, though, look for a Fuji-sponsored review which shows a guy taking pictures with the new rangefinder-shaped camera -- it looks like he's holding a lunchbox in front of his face. Mostly solved the problem for me. And the really great 110mm? Costs $2250. Solved the problem the rest of the way.

I'll just get my XE-1 out of the cupboard and pretend it's medium format. It looks the same...

I thought I was going to escape FFM GAS for a year with the disappointing (to me) Canon and Nikon announcements. I was going to be happy with my m43 for another year.

I was wrong. The PanaLeicaSigma is a real threat to my financial well being. I know Panasonic cameras and lenses, and like them a lot. I like Sigma lenses, and I've always wished Sigma would release a m43 body so that I could shoot with their wonderful sensors without having to bother with a whole new lens collection.

Now I'm dreaming of a future with a S1 "fast shooter" paired to a Sigma "slow shooter" and my mind reels with possibilities as my wallet and back console each other over what this kit would cost in dollars and back aches.

I actually just "downgraded" from my EM5-II to an EM-1 (Mark 1), and am consolidating down to a "Mike Johnston-approved" 2-lens kit (Nesting a prime within a zoom range). In this case, it's the superlative 12-100 pro with the diminutive 25mm 1.8. Fast, capable, weather sealed, beautiful colours, and with decent resolution for most of my final output destinations.

Sometimes I miss the cleaner files and better high ISO of my previous APS-C systems, but honestly, my m4/3 system provides me with the best "shooting envelope" for the bulk of my needs.

*However*, I picked up an inexpensive adapter to use a screw-mount 55mm 1.8 Super Takumar I received as a thank-you gift for giving away a spare stereo receiver.

Unlike the M. Zuiko lenses, it isn't impressively sharp wide open. But between 2.8-11 it's pretty incredible for a 60-year old design, with a smooth lower contrast rendering that I think we've lost in the age of aspherical elements.

Part of me really wants to grab a cheap second-hand A7 or A7II to use this lens with its original field of view.

That would be my GAS compromise to achieve a "bigger format" look. I would love to get the GFX 50R, but not if it means having to sell my current system to fund it.

The 50R is certainly cool and I’d love to try (rent) one, but for the average Joe it seems to have all the sales potential of a 1956 Highway HiFi. The Highway HiFi was also expensive for its day ($200) and the initial bragging rights over spinning a 90 minute record at 16.66 RPM’s while doing 70MPH in your Chrysler were probably worth it...for a while.

The crazy prices of these cool new products make them easy to dismiss. Their price is the baking soda solution to my GAS.

I had to laugh - inspired by your post, I took a quick look at the price on wexphotovideo.com.

Under the medium format category they have:

GFX 50r @ £4k
GFX 50s @ £6k
Hasselblad H6D-400c MS @ £43.5k

I guess that is what everyone is really getting excited about Fuji.

Mike, an easy way to get a flavor of the GFX50R and that sweet little pancake is just to rent one for a coupla three days or so. See if you like it....or just rent it when you want to do work with a MF camera. Shoot with it, enjoy the wonders of medium format and those gorgeous MF lenses, and most importantly...make prints.

@Dennis: IBIS is available and works really well on the Fujifilm X-H1 (which produces extraordinarily high image quality, BTW) Its not on available the X-T series because it would require the body being bigger than customers want for the X-T series.

And regarding M4/3:
There is a really good review on the Panasonic G9 and M4/3 today by Ted Forbes at his YT channel (https://youtu.be/ggBhMbNF8LY).

Most significantly, is the comment by none other than Brooks Jensen, founder of LensWork.

Jensen extended the discussion put forward by Ted in a meaningful and insightful way by focusing on what is important for using a camera system in the real world, rather than falling into the "intellectual tar pit" of discussing statistically significant, but practically meaningless, small points of engineering specification. Well worth watching and reading Brooks' comment.

I wouldn't say I'm smug, just indifferent. Even if I had the money to buy any of these new toys, which I do not, I would prefer to spend it on travel, or perhaps a new lens or two for the equipment I already own. None of this newly introduced stuff will make any real difference in the quality of my photographs or, even more important, solve any of the problems I care about. For example, I'd love to be able to transfer a JPEG from my camera directly to someone else's smartphone with just the press of a button. That's a lot more useful to me than a $5K+ f/1.4 zoom and a 50MP sensor.

You're right Mike, GAS will get us in the end. Arm problems caused me to move to Fuji and the lighter weight. Honestly, my current cameras do everything I need to do. But, the hype almost pulled me back into FF. I still have my Nikon glass and put in a preorder for the Z7. Fortunately, I got a dose of sense and just canceled the order. But, damn, that new GFX is calling me with its siren song. The arm is better and, damn...............

After seeing the GFX50R and how big it is, if I have money to burn, I will get the Hasselblad X1D.

Meanwhile, I will make do with the big 6x6 negatives from the older Hasselblads ;-)

Take a deep breath and repeat the following......

Must have IBIS. Must have IBIS. Must have IBIS.

I had GAS, so I bought a Miata (2010 PRHT) and now I’m happy again with my Oly E-30. Remember non-micro 4/3?

My take is , lots of exciting stuff on offer but with Past as teacher,
(and Roger Cicala's advice ringing in my ears) It is probably not the wisest move to buy one of the first generation cameras. If they get used in the wild for a while, issues will turn up, and manufacturers will 'improve' generation two.
And if they are smart, they'll take a page from Sony's Playbook and iterate faster. That is something they are not used to.
I would except Fujifilm here because the S has proven itself and the R is a second generation camera. They also have lenses in place.

I would also point out with all these cameras on offer, undoubtedly a fair number will be sold, which may result in a used camera oversupply and thus some bargains.

Stop wearing two hats. Put the money you save from halving your millinery expenses into your new GFX 50R and its mandatory lenses.

The only camera I am lusting after is the Panasonic GH5. It will be the perfect big brother to my Panasonic G85. Video is where most of my interests are these days and Panasonic has it dialled in better than anyone else. Sure the new PLS FF offering would probably leave me a babbling idiot once I used it and would make me consider selling parts of my body to afford it. Thankfully I am Taurus Scot so that combination gives me ample will power to avoid GAS. I hope .......

I hear you Mike. I've been lucky enough to use the Hasselblad HD3-III, the Pentax 645D and 645Z, and the Fuji GFX 50s (sadly, not lucky enough to own them).

And really, I love the Fuji 24m APSC sensor, and my very next camera is going to be a MFT Panasonic, because I'm starting to do video and they're so good in 4k, but those medium format (or close to it) sensors produce the most beautiful images I've seen in digital.

I now I don't need it, and can't afford it, but the thought of wandering around with that new Fuji and get back to my IMac to see those gorgeous files makes me smile.

I am not feeling any GAS, but more like Gear Anxiety. My Oly system does just what I want it to do, and I feel no need for the high-priced full-frame (and bigger!) gear being trotted out. I am, however, worried about the future of m4/3; how long will Oly stay the course with the format now that Panasonic's probably going to be putting a lot of their energy elsewhere? I will want to replace my aging E-M10 at some point (I was kinda holding out for a Pen F II or the like), and now I'm worried that there won't be anything to buy in a couple of years. I'm sure that if Oly does drop out, I can buy whatever amounts to the last m4/3 camera and roll with it for the better part of a decade, but it still feels uncomfortable.

[You're not a morose type, you're not a depressive character...



My public, professional hat says to keep the Barnack camera, and dump the other 7 film and digital cameras. My personal, quirkily independent hat says to dump all my cameras, including my IIIa—and to never use the camera on the 512GB iPhone XS I have on order.

My personal, quirkily independent hat is winning, and the XS will only be used to record sound ...and a small amount of video.

I find it sometimes hard to separate the cool analytical from the emotional feeling about gear; my Sony is currently the best camera for my needs, but I honestly can't say if it's the best for someone else since I haven't used every competing camera. I still feel strongly about certain features and design, but that may be more about personal working style rather than any universal truth and thus making analytical recommendations becomes hard.

Now that said, Zeiss announced the ZX1 one today and if the Ricoh GRIII looked tempting, the ZX1 looks groundbreaking and very stylish too. That one's a strong case for GAS...

Come over to the dark side (fuji) Mike, you won't regret it. :-)

Go get D850 instead you be better off all around!

I think I just read (maybe on this blog) that the number of people who make prints is still steadily decreasing. It must be the case then that these high mpix large sensor cameras are mostly not being used to their full capabilities. This reminds me a lot of the current high-end car market. Car reviewers are the only people who ever drive them at speed, most buyers just sit in them at red lights.

I have no attraction to the huge Fuji, or smaller ones, after a brief flirtation with an X-E1 a few years ago. But I'm a bit worried by the temptation that's just come about with seeing the news of the Zeiss ZX1!

(Note from the announcement video that the 'Z' was very distinctly pronounced zed, and not zee.)

I've had GAS all my photographic life. Even in the film era, I watched for the latest and greatest. I'm now, after many wasted dollars and hours, firmly in the Sony full frame camp and rationally I could not be happier. I have lenses from 16-400, all of superb quality and so many megapixels I can almost choke on them. I shouldn't even want the new Batis 40, but I do. I shouldn't want the new not yet released Fuji GFX 100, but I do. I've never been as good as any of my cameras with the possible exception of the Argus C3, but then I was young, immature and not a very good photographer. At least I print, not as large as I'd like but my efforts do end up on paper. I totally fail to understand photographers who want high quality gear and then use it to post on the web. When I post to Facebook, no one can tell if I used my iPhone 6 (yes I have a very old iPhone) or my Sony A7RIII!

I have nearly all the cameras I have ever purchased, along with some that my mother and father left me. Most of them are film based and a few have missing parts or broken mechanisms. So that makes me a collector.
I actively shoot with my Pentax K-3II and have my K20D and K10D quietly sitting on the shelf. I have found I do not need FF (the use of FF nomenclature makes me gag since it is really 135 format) for the images that I take. I would have to purchase 500mm lenses to get the field of view I use on my APS-C cameras.
If I had the money (retired now with the boss questioning everything I buy) I would probably not change systems because to change my camera bodies plus lenses would be the same as getting a brand new car. The car we have is ten years old. The obsession with "new" gear is a little crazy to my mind, I ran through the menu on my K-3II and found a few things I did not know it would do. If you change gear like you change cloths, how do get to the point of being comfortable enough to shoot without wondering what button does what?

I'm not seeing an immediate threat to my wallet in anything released at Photokina this year. I currently use three very capable systems (Sony APS-C mirrorless, Sony FF mirrorless, and Nikon FF DSLR) that need more photographic skill from me rather than an upgrade, so the plan is to work on the skill part.

What worries me is the threat that will ensue in a few years when all these new announcements become mature products and systems. It might be a good idea to start saving now. GAS in around 2020 is going to be mighty painful.

I just saw the announcement for that new Zeiss FFM and that looks really nice! I sometimes wonder what a FFM camera would look like if Steve Jobs made it - and that is the first one that sort of hits it.

john gillooly

The Zeiss ZX1 shot an arrow in my heart, even though I wish it had an APS-C sensor, 50mm-e f/2, and IBIS.

I also have GAS over the Moment Anamorphic lens and iPhone XS. A viable, single-shot digital panoramic camera option? Momentous!

I agree with Paul De Zan above, none of the announcements will change my photography for the better. I have a fair bit of top end Sony gear and a Pen F and several excellent m4/3 lenses. Despite all my quality gear my favourite camera is now a Sony rx100 v6 because carrying it doesn’t become uncomfortably unpleasant no matter how many miles I walk.
The camera that intrigues me the most is the one not mentioned often and at that briefly; the Zeiss ZX1. Its a new generation of thinking about how a camera means. It contains a built in 526gb drive, connects directly to USB C portable hard drives, has a 4” lcd with built in Lightroom CC integrated in the OS, a zeiss custom designed sensor to match its f2 35mm lens and it makes Leica cameras look busy. And it’s small and light so one can carry it around stress free. Kind of a next generation Sony rx1. https://zx1.zeiss.com

re: size of the GFX50R: (approx.) 160mmx97mmx67mm

Size of the Hasselblad V: 90mmx93mmx77m+60mm (back)

So in terms of volume, both cameras are pretty much the same size.

I like, nay even love my Pen F and the most exciting thing about the new announcements for my GAS is that I may be able to pick up An all black body cheaply. That said, if you succumb to the GFX, and later decide to repent and sell I’m willing to make an offer... The camera inspires in me all the same lust I’ve never managed to shed for the Mamiya RF medium format cameras.

And I for one certainly don't need this.. Damn

I own a goodly number of cameras in u4/3 and Nikon form. I have Nikons' ranging from a brace of D70s's to a D810. However, the last camera that I bought a few months ago was a Nikon D700. No camera has made me smile so much. When I now go 'walk-about' I take this body with a 35mm f2 and an 85mm f1.8 and come back with some wonderful images. It is all I need. I think that I have found my Nirvana !. Finding this combo sooner would have saved me a lot of money.

I went to the coast. Several days in a hotel along with food expenses (I did eat well)took care of any GAS funds. However I did come home with some very nice images.

I am right now undergoing such a moment of intense personal growth with my photography that I feel a new camera would just slow me down. The heavenly sweetspot between tones and and emotions is what I seek with my pictures. New cameras and more lenses would just be a technological obstacle in my quest.

I was going to say this yesterday... I am happily shooting Pentax APSC cameras. My K-S1 has a lovely 20mp sensor and is just above your maximum weight... It has a big pentaprism so that justifies it. Still one of the smallest DSLRs ever released. My wife loves her K-50 and even my K10D still sees a lot of love...
The lenses are small and sharp for the most part, everything is pretty affordable... As long as Pentax is in business and even years after it stops making DSLRs, I think I'll be happy with that system. I'll probably be the last to buy into mirrorless...

The eternal battle from time immemorial...Need versus Want.

My current struggle is not with what I need to photograph, but what it is I need to photograph.

I am with you on this one Mike. That new Fuji is like a beautiful lady sitting across the room - just can't help looking. But, I have a friend who takes better pictures than me and what does she use? A smartphone that's what. So with that in mind, my old knees playing up and an empty wallet I will treat the 50r like that beautiful lady and admit that I have no chance.

As for the fallacy that you need massive megapixels for prints, I have twenty plus inch prints hanging on walls that were made from X-t2 files. In fact I have excellent prints from six megapixel cameras (admittedly not the sort that rely on ultafine resolution).

I'm the exact opposite with regards to "walk-around lens" vs. portrait lens. My MFT Olympus 45/1.8 is absolutely bright enough. I've recently done group portraits with it and I got backgrounds as blurry as I could wish for. For head and shoulder shots f/1.8 makes for a DoF thinner than needed.

Now, my 20mm f/1.7 is sometimes used for portrait duty (of course I'm standing further back, the subject won't fill the frame or it might be a full body portrait) and that thing will usually just eke out enough of a background blur at f/2. Here I could really use a faster lens.

I look at alternatives, from buying a brighter lens (none of them are 20mm, so never completely right and they're pretty much always more expensive than I'm really willing to pay for a lens I don't use that much) to buying a cheap older full frame DSLR and a suitable lens. Even if some variations of that would be cheap I wouldn't have face focus like my MFT kit gives me and most options wouldn't give me stabilization either, which is a nice thing to have.

Also, who needs an entirely different camera to fumble with those few times there's actually a human in front of the lens? No, it just leaves me stone cold.

Now, when Fuji introduces a new generation GFX 50R, with IBIS, I could imagine waiting a few years until they're reasonably priced used and put that 50mm lens on it. Of course it won't be a "bokeh monster" at f/3.5, but it's still medium format.

In no particular order, my interest:

- new Zeiss FF fixed lens camera with 35mm f2 lens.

- new Zeiss Batis 40 f2 lens.

But, I have succumbed to a very nice XPRO2 with 23mm lens, so there you go...

The best remedy against GAS is loving your present camera; realizing that sensor technology makes no more big strides, neither does lens design, so the real photographic benefit of new gear can be no more than marginal. And isn't it strange that the industry is moving towards bigger sensors when technology enables us to get the same quality from ever smaller sensors, making even smartphone cameras viable options ? Could it be just to get the same turnover by less units sold ?

I went back to film. GAS problem solved.

The only announced offering from Photokina that stirred even a slight interest in me was the Ricoh GRIII. And even that camera doesn't make me excited enough to stand in line screaming, "Take my money, please!" But I've always been something of a cautious consumer of photographic products.

I can measure my use of camera brands in decades. It's not really brand loyalty, it's more the inertia of being comfortable with a familiar design theme. There were a few branches into other brands during these years but I've always stuck to main and a secondary systems. First came Nikon with the F and F2 models. Used them for about 20 years with a brief branching out to Leica. Next came Canon EOS film that evolved to EOS digital, again a brand in use for around 20 years and, again, I used Leicas as a secondary camera. But I also branched out to Olympus, both the original 4/3 format and also the later Micro 4/3 format. I'm coming up on completing my third year using Fuji so I suppose I've got around 17 more years to go with that system. Given my age and the rate my parts keep wearing out, Fuji may be my last.

I'll never quite understand why people love big cameras so much, especially with digital bodies.

Make the sensor bigger in a digital camera and everything else about the equipment scales up as the area or volume ... except the thing you think you are paying for: "image quality" whatever that is. That really doesn't scale that much at all.

The size of the thing matters much less than the competency with which the hardware and supporting software is built ... so you want people who have experience building and tuning that stuff in large volumes.

So if you don't think you need FF, you need "slightly bigger than FF, but from a much smaller manufacturer" even less.

Of course, the sad part is with everyone concentrating on the FF parts, the smaller stuff is going to start losing ground even faster than before ... but luckily it's already good enough so that does not matter.

As industry shaking as this Photokina has been, I'm left feeling very anti-gassy. I'm really content with my Nikon D800 kit and want to spend more time getting to know my 8x10 camera. Money saved on GAS will go nicely towards trips where I can use what I've got.

By the bye, the GFX 50R doesn't have IBIS. If you were to get it, you wouldn't be happy with it. Spend some time with the Panasonic and enjoy it for the reasons that you enumerated. Just my humble opinion.

Lots of this equipment intrigues me but none kicks the GAS button.

I used to find lots of new equipment to buy, mostly lenses but also a few new cameras occasionally.

Suddenly a few years back I began to realize that I really couldn't even effectively use my Leica M3 yet, and this is not new or hot by any stretch of the imagination.

I still spend too much money but now it goes to film and paper, not much for new equipment. Digital is terrific and I love it but I am still too tied up in learning what my pictures should really look like so how am I expected to use digital effectively?

Ah well, onwards and forwards...(or is that backwards?)

I’m with SFmurph; several years ago, small high end cameras seemed in sight. Sigh.

“Unfortunately, GAS is not rational. We all know that.”

We are all programmed. Partly by our genes, partly by our experiences. Our objects of desire are already latent in our brains. Neuroscientists recently proved that the right brain makes decisions before the left brain rationalizes them. So in fact there is no free will. Only empty wallets.

Some might drool when seeing the Zenit M or the new Panasonic full frames for the first time. I have to kill my GAS for the GFX 50R with my left half: Bigger than I hoped, too much money, don’t really need it, needs expensive lenses as well, people will think I’m nuts with this huge thing around my neck, my wife will kill me slowly in the most painful way by mixing my fried rice with ground bamboo… Ah, that one works!

As a long-time fan of Leica glass on larger Panasonic bodies, I have to admit the L-mount announcement got my attention, and no doubt had at least an indirect influence on my long-term purchasing plans.

By which I mean, after years of planning to do so, I finally pulled the trigger on a "like new in box" R9.

As you say, GAS is not rational.

Mike, you see, you have a problem :-). You blog about photo gear so it is only natural for you to have/want/need/should to buy/rent/spend money on the new gear so you can pass your educated/first hand opinion on it.

I don't have such a problem. Indeed, GAS is there as there are great many new cameras and lenses being announced and one would want to give disadvantage (pun intended) of that.

Presently, I decided I needed a new camera strap and so I bought into Peak Design system. I filed it as a birthday present to oneself, which was a very good excuse.

Having said that, I am very much satisfied with Oly EM-1 (mark 1, or no mark) and Oly 12-40/2.8 lens. It turns out to be my most used lens among those I have and recently I have an A3 canvas print made which was perfectly good in all possible terms.

I admit I did try Sony A7.3 but the results with CZ Biogon 25/2.8 were not too good in the extreme corners and thus I said to myself that spending 5 digits figure in my local currency on such a thing would be pointless, although I was very much impressed with the tonal edits I could apply to the files. Either one of these new cameras will be proven to work fine with this lens (via respective adapters) or I will keep shooting with Ricoh GXR-M which is yet another ancient by modern measure piece of kit that I love dearly - it just works and it takes great pictures within its domain, so to say.

So, GAS is strong with this one, but it is getting weaker and thereout lies the true light :-).

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