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Current Rolleiflex CLA Cost?
Old 02-04-2011   #1
ChipMcD
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Current Rolleiflex CLA Cost?

Anyone know what the range is for a Rolleiflex CLA these days? I just bought a 3.5F that is cosmetically fantastic, but the self-timer and slow shutter speeds are off. Sounds like the lube had dried and gotten crusty, so I think I'm looking at a shutter mechanism overhaul and probably transport too. I'm probably sending it to Oceanside (Harry Fleenor) for the job. Anyone here had experience with Oceanside and have an idea on what this is going to set me back?

Thanks in advance.

Chip
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Old 02-04-2011   #2
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I sent my Rolleiflex to Krimar Photo not long ago for a CLA and a shutter overhaul. Cost me $350.
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Old 02-04-2011   #3
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I sent my 2.8D to Paul Ebel a year or two ago. Cost was very reasonable and the work was very good.
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Old 02-04-2011   #4
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Krikor Maralian has one of my Rolleiflexes now.
Apparently it needs some fixing in addition to the standard CLA.
He said it'll be $350.
Figure in another $200 for a Maxwell screen if you feel you need it.

Last Summer the turnaround was 6 weeks for Paul Ebel
Harry Fleenor was 12 weeks.
It's probably best to call to get an update on their workload as things may have changed.
Krikor will have my camera for 4 days.
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Old 02-04-2011   #5
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Wow. Can't believe people pay so much for a Rolleiflex CLA. Try Mark Hansen, Paul Ebel or Essex Camera. About $125 with shipping. Camera returned in two weeks working like new.
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Old 02-04-2011   #6
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I would choose someone who specializes in the Rollei specifically, and who fully breaks down the shutter and aperture blades for proper cleaning. A specialist will have the proper optical machine to adjust the taking lens, not only for proper depth but axial alignment, too, so you will get the most out of your lens.

A Rollei specialist will have the spare parts on hand, and replace dubious springs, etc., so that your camera will work properly for a long time.
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Old 02-04-2011   #7
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I'd not pay more than $120 - these are simple and common cameras - nothing mysterious or special about them.
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Old 02-04-2011   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
I'd not pay more than $120 - these are simple and common cameras - nothing mysterious or special about them.
Can you recommend specific camera techs who will do this? Thanks on behalf of Rollei users here.
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Old 02-05-2011   #9
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I used Krikor for my first MX-EVS and it cost $350 for a CLA, although in all fairness the camera required a shutter and transport repair as well. I understand Harry Fleenor is even more expensive, but both he and Krikor are authorized Rollei techs. I sent my newest MX-EVS Xenar to a local guy here. He claims to have Rollei experience and is only charging $95 for the CLA. He is a young guy, but has an excellent local reputation. I'll let people know how it goes.

Here's his info:

Matt Fuehrer
Authorized Camera Repair
339 York Road (Rt 263)
Willow Grove, PA 19090
215-659-2905
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Old 02-05-2011   #10
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Yes I can if you email me. Some of the other users above have mentioned a few. A CLA of most camera bodies should never cost more than about $180 anywhere, and that includes shutter curtains for cameras with cloth focal plane shutters. One key is to find a local repairmen you can work with directly rather than through an intermediary like a camera shop (who often takes a cut). This also saves money on shipping charges and allows one to negotiate the cost and appropriate extent of the work.

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Can you recommend specific camera techs who will do this? Thanks on behalf of Rollei users here.
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Old 02-05-2011   #11
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I too have used Essex and Krikor. Both recommended, although for I rollei I would go with Krikor. H. Fleenor is great but takes forever since he is so popular.
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Old 02-05-2011   #12
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I just had my Baby Rollei 4x4 completely rebuilt by a former Rollei factory repairman, now living in Washington State, for $170. See the Baby Rollei 4x4 thread on the third page for pictures. Let me know if you want to contact him and i'll pass on his info.

Here's a quote from an email I received from him today during a conversation with him about my 4x4:
"I am glad you like your camera. Very few people know what is
involved to repair these complex cameras. The other Rollei
twin-lens cameras are even more complex. If they would
manufacture cameras like that today, the price would be
astronomical. I only service older Rollei twin-lens cameras!
This is what I learned at the factory, this is what I know best!"
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Old 02-05-2011   #13
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I paid $500 to Harry
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Old 02-05-2011   #14
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I paid around $150 to Paul Ebel in 2009.
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Old 02-05-2011   #15
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Thumbs up

Paul Ebel did a very fine job on my Rolleiflex E2. Very reasonable and a nice guy.
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Old 02-05-2011   #16
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Wow. People are paying a lot of money for this. I have been tempted to do it myself. I had a friend who did so and was quite successful.
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Old 02-05-2011   #17
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KARL EHLERS

Karl has worked on a couple of Rolleis for me also, and his work is superb. He is one of the Rollei "specialists," and his prices are very competitive.
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Old 02-05-2011   #18
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This is becoming a very useful thread -- not just a list of recommendations, but with details and prices as well. Please keep 'em coming. The more we can patronize the less well known camera techs, the longer they will stay in business, and that's good for everybody.
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Old 02-05-2011   #19
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I had a Baby Rolleiflex 100% new. Still had the red Rollei ribbon which had to be cut from the inside to use it. I sent it to Krikor for a CLA. I might have paid 125. Worked flawlessly needless to say.
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Old 02-10-2011   #20
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Thanks to all for the good suggestions. When I spoke with Oceanside, they said that turnaround would be 12 weeks. When I spoke to Krikor this a.m. after I sent it to him, he said it would be a couple of days, and I had a voicemail when I got back from lunch that he was done and that I would receive the camera tomorrow. It was considerably more expensive than other folks had experienced, but I basically told him to give the camera the works since it was cosmetically pristine and I wanted to have a period of no worries use, so that's on me. If the work is as good as the posters here have said, this will have been a home run. I would not have known about Krimar Photo without the posters here. If I don't post anything else in the thread, assume that Krikor did a great job.

I had one amusing facet in this process. When I shipped the camera to Krimar, the young guy at the counter, who looked to be in high school still, asked me what that strange object was. When I told him it was a camera, he said, "I kinda thought that was what it was." Tempus fugit!
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Old 02-10-2011   #21
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Krikor serviced my MX-EVS which had sat unused for 30 years and really brought it back to life
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Old 02-10-2011   #22
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I was planning on shipping my 2.8D to Fleanor for a CLA but may instead drive it over to Krimar in NJ if his turnaround time is quick. I don't think I could be without my Rollei for 12 weeks!

Thanks to all who posted for the info in this thread
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Old 02-11-2011   #23
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When I sent my Rollei 3.5F to Harry Fleenor last year, the costs were $134.00 for a shutter rebuild and $134.00 for a transport rebuild. At the same time I got a Maxwell screen upgrade and a discount for having it aligned/installed. The whole boat cost $470.00 which included insurance and shipping as the final cost.

I think there needs to be some clarity between a CLA and an overhaul. To me a CLA for $120-$150 is kinda different than a rebuild or overhaul. In a CLA are parts replaced that are worn? I doubt it. Do you expect your shutter to was totally disassembled when you sent it in for a CLA? To me a CLA is like a tune up.

BTW when other people have tried my Rollei that has been "Fleenored" the often ask, "Is there film in this camera?" because it is so smooth. And then there is the silent shutter, where I have to see if I can advance the frame to verify that the shutter was tripped.

To me there is a reason why Harry remains so busy and he was right on schedule as promised. He is simply the best, and there is no DAG factor.

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Old 02-11-2011   #24
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Quote:
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Wow. Can't believe people pay so much for a Rolleiflex CLA. Try Mark Hansen, Paul Ebel or Essex Camera. About $125 with shipping. Camera returned in two weeks working like new.
That is certainly good to know. I was going to say: $350 for a CLA?! Yikes. It's more than what I paid for my Rolleiflex (OK, six years ago).
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Old 02-11-2011   #25
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Got my 3.5F from Krimar today. Shutter, self-timer, transport and focus--all like buttah.
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Old 02-11-2011   #26
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What's with the high prices? Are they specific to Rolleiflexes, or do the "international" celeb-repairers allow themselves to charge a premium?

In my city, there's a street where pretty much all the camera-folks set up shop: From the authorized Nikon importer, through the we-stock-everything "supermarkets" and down to the rarity-dealers. The two best repairers in the country work across the street from one another; both worked together as watch-makers earlier last century, so their workmanship is top notch. I try to use both.

In any case, a Mamiya C330 was overhauled for the equivalent of 125$: The CLA included readjusting film transport, replacing the "dark-slide", cleaning a total of four (two pairs) of lenses, restoring a completely-bent filter ring and readjusting both Seiko leaf-shutters (used to hang). It now works as good as it gets - I wouldn't hesitate to give that guy a Rolleiflex.
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Old 02-11-2011   #27
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I think steep repair prices might be for Rolleis and in this country in particular. There are not a lot of repairers left. Sherry Kräuter for Leicas is less, I think. I hear that Hasselblad's in-house repair is quite expensive. There are probably independent shops that are cheaper for those, and for Rolleis for all I know.
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Old 02-11-2011   #28
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It will cost $200 here in Vancouver.
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Old 02-11-2011   #29
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I've had lots of experience with Harry Fleenor, all good, and here's his info: http://www.rolleirepairs.com/
I took 2 Rolleis in to him at Thanksgiving and at that time he was 12 weeks out. He fixed one while I waited, and I expect the other sometime this month. I don't get CLAs on Rolleis because mine seem a bit repair intensive, so I just get 'em fixed as they break down.
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Old 02-11-2011   #30
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Old 02-11-2011   #31
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It will cost $200 here in Vancouver.
Where in Vancouver? I may be looking for a focusing screen for a 2.8F

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Old 02-11-2011   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Murphy View Post
Yes I can if you email me. Some of the other users above have mentioned a few. A CLA of most camera bodies should never cost more than about $180 anywhere, and that includes shutter curtains for cameras with cloth focal plane shutters. One key is to find a local repairmen you can work with directly rather than through an intermediary like a camera shop (who often takes a cut). This also saves money on shipping charges and allows one to negotiate the cost and appropriate extent of the work.

I really don't agree with this.

I went to one of the cheaper repair shops that were supposedly reputable and they butchered my 2.8F. I ended up having to take it to Fleenor and he showed me how the other guy had screwed everything up. He even found loose and missing screws inside the camera, resulting in a lightleak.

A Rolleiflex is mechanically more complex than most people give it credit for. Just getting the focus 'sled' properly aligned in all axis is not a trivial task and there are plenty of specialized tools that you need from Rollei.

The average price for a full Leica M CLA at one of the reliable shops is between $250-360 dollars these days. But these are service technicians who worked for or were trained by Leica. They have the tools to do the job right, unlike some fly by night guy, who read the repair manual and is going to pour 3-in-1 oil in your camera.

I just send my M7 to Kindermann for service and he actually asked me who had previously worked on the camera, because he had noticed some strange things in there, that he claimed no Leica trained technician would do. Two years ago I was in London and the camera got jammed . I did not have the time to send it to Leica Germany. So, I had a local guy fix it through a Leica dealer. It was relatively cheap, but I guess I got what I payed for...

So, in my experience spending the extra money to get the job done right by a repair shop with a good reputation is more than worth it and in the long run sometimes cheaper.

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Old 02-11-2011   #33
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I really don't agree with this.

I went to one of the cheaper repair shops that were supposedly reputable and they butchered my 2.8F. I ended up having to take it to Fleenor and he showed me how the other guy had screwed everything up. He even found loose and missing screws inside the camera, resulting in a lightleak.

A Rolleiflex is mechanically more complex than most people give it credit for. Just getting the focus 'sled' properly aligned in all axis is not a trivial task and there are plenty of specialized tools that you need from Rollei.

The average price for a full Leica M CLA at one of the reliable shops is between $250-360 dollars these days. But these are service technicians who worked for or were trained by Leica. They have the tools to do the job right, unlike some fly by night guy, who read the repair manual and is going to pour 3-in-1 oil in your camera.

I just send my M7 to Kindermann for service and he actually asked me who had previously worked on the camera, because he had noticed some strange things in there, that he claimed no Leica trained technician would do. Two years ago I was in London and the camera got jammed . I did not have the time to send it to Leica Germany. So, I had a local guy fix it through a Leica dealer. It was relatively cheap, but I guess I got what I payed for...

So, in my experience spending the extra money to get the job done right by a repair shop with a good reputation is more than worth it and in the long run sometimes cheaper.
Many local repairmen have both extensive factory training from camera repair schools and from most of the existing and some defunct camera companies - not exactly amateurs. I am extremely suspicious of the self-appointed repairmen out there that "specialize" in one type of collectible camera or other. This perpetuates the "only I hold the sceptre of knowledge" attitude (coupled with outrageous prices and waiting lists for work). A narrow skill set actually indicates a lack of training.
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Old 02-12-2011   #34
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Quote:
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Many local repairmen have both extensive factory training from camera repairs schools and from most of the existing and some defunct camera companies - not exactly amateurs. I am extremely suspicious of the self-appointed repairmen out there that "specialize" in one type of collectible camera or other. This perpetuates the "only I hold the sceptre of knowledge" attitude (coupled with outrageous prices and waiting lists for work). A narrow skill set actually indicates a lack of training.
Exactly that. When someone specializes, it might be a good sign - if it's common work. But when a "regular" guy has walls of cameras that he repaired, and every local pro visited him, it's probably just as safe a bet - if not safer, in case the problem is out of the specializer's field of expertise.

Plus, I've never seen a repairman, in any field - from car-mechanics through leather-workers to plumbers, praise "the previous guy". I once took my watch to a repairman - brand new, directly from the manufacturer - and he complained that "whoever worked on it didn't know what to do". Part of their business - diss the old guy, show every flaw you could find, even if it's a factory flaw. Every plumber will discover some "major" problem that only he, as a trained professional, will see and fix for a certain price.

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Old 02-12-2011   #35
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...

In any case, a Mamiya C330 was overhauled for the equivalent of 125$: The CLA included
- readjusting film transport,
- replacing the "dark-slide",
- cleaning a total of four (two pairs) of lenses,
- restoring a completely-bent filter ring
- and readjusting both Seiko leaf-shutters (used to hang).
It now works as good as it gets - I wouldn't hesitate to give that guy a Rolleiflex.
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...Every plumber will discover some "major" problem that only he, as a trained professional, will see and fix for a certain price.
Ok, what's the USD-equivalent man-hour rate for your plumber in your country?

How many hours would the abouve CLA probably take if done properly?

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Old 02-12-2011   #36
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Ok, what's the USD-equivalent man-hour rate for your plumber in your country?

How many hours would the abouve CLA probably take if done properly?

Cheers,
Uwe
Minimum wage is around 5-6$ per hour, ye average office drone would probably earn 8-10$. Prices seem to translate well to European prices, from what I saw in my extensive European tours.

Total turnaround was 2 days, but then again, I was pretty much the only job he had on that day. He opened it up within two hours, gave me an estimate by noon, and phoned again the next evening saying I could pick it up. It may sound like a quick-and-dirty, but there wasn't much majorly wrong - he did reassemble two Seiko shutters (an aperture-blade was pretty much glued to a shutter-blade), but as an ex-watchmaker, I don't think that was much of a problem. The Mamiya is a complicated beast, but pretty straightforward and self-explanatory.
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Old 03-04-2011   #37
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I have my guys. My Leica guy is Youxin Ye. My Contax guy is Henry Scherer. My Rollei guy is Harry Fleenor. The last time I took a camera to a local repairman, he looked at my Nikon F and basically told me to get lost.
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Old 03-04-2011   #38
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This is Krimar in his shop in New Jersey. I took my Rolleicord V to him last year for a CLA and brought my M5 to take his photo.
My 'cord was in good shape so the cost was $200.
Very nice man. I spent some time talking to him about how he started repairing Rolleis.
He is Armenian and was raised in Cairo, Egypt.
He started working in a camera shop as a kid and was sent to Germany twice for training on Rolleis and Linhofs. He came to the US in the 1950's and raised his family in NJ.
His small shop is like going back in time- everything in original plastic bags with Rollei hang tags.
FYI- he told me to always travel with the camera with the bellows compressed in so the front plate cannot get knocked out of alignment.
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Last edited by el fotografo : 03-04-2011 at 19:51.
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Old 03-14-2011   #39
Jani_from_Finland
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150 euros is what my current CLA costs at my local repairmans shop for a Flex 2.8E and some 80-100 euros for a Cord K3C
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Old 03-14-2011   #40
MC JC86
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Essex Camera $140.95 a couple months ago... I've had some terrible experiences with other places that charge less. OTOH, I've had multiple Rolleiflex and other TLRs done by Essex with a 0% refusal/return rate and all looking and working beautiful. Essex is one of those places that does almost EVERYTHING from digital to really esoteric Russian cameras and everything in between. I have, however, dealt with a few places with the same MO that were just butchers plain and simple, despite people extolling their virtues simply because they could fix the squeal in an A-1.
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