GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
LancashireLisa Junior Member • Posts: 37
GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Hello

I posted the following on the equipment forum & someone suggest I post it here too. People have been really helpful so far, so thank you!

I have a Lumix GX9 with kit 12-60 & a Lumix 25mm 1.7.

I take mainly landscapes, city scapes & architecture. People seem to like what I do as I've sold a few prints. I would also like to start taking more portraits & continue taking landscapes. Many of the landscapes I enjoy taking are early in the morning at sunrise or sunset/late afternoon in Autumn & Winter.

At work I use a trusty Canon 650d to take photos of people & events. I work in a school so I'm busy.

I considered buying a Nocticron 42.5 for my Lumix to take more portraits (although after reading people's advice on the other forum the Lumix 42.5 or 35-100 may fulfil my needs).

I like the Lumix GX9 as I am regularly on my bike/walk but I find it loses details in the shadows, which is frustrating. Then I thought why not buy a better landscape lens for it. Then I thought why not update my whole home system & upgrade to full frame to capture more detailed landscapes.

The full frame systems I am particularly interested in & could possibly stretch to financially or save for would be

Sony A7RII

Canon 5dmiii

& then I would like good lenses for landscape & portrait.

I received lots of helpful answers on the other forum & wanted to find out about -

Great lenses for landscapes (shooting in low light) for the GX9.

Great lenses for portraits for the GX9.

Or if you think it may be better investing in FF ?

Many thanks to you all!  Lisa

Canon EOS 6D Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D / EOS Kiss X6i) Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix G 42.5mm F1.7
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softmarmotte
softmarmotte Veteran Member • Posts: 3,615
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
2

Lenses are more important than cameras... You have such a wide choice of Oly and Pana / Leica lenses. IMHO I think you will find your answers there rather than in buying a new system

Exposure bracketing more than covers 'deficiencies' in shadow/highlight situations, often without a tripod, although I find my Oly EM1 ii has better IBIS and can capture brackets better handheld than the GX9 (though they have the same sensor)

I have been doing a lot of research on real life photos and have yet to see any huge improvements of, say Sony AR7s over mft for landscapes, in most situations

You will probably be bombarded by theoretical improvements of 35mm over mft but look online at real pics before making up your mind what best suits you

How about posting some pics of where you think the GX9 is failing ?

LancashireLisa wrote:

Hello

I posted the following on the equipment forum & someone suggest I post it here too. People have been really helpful so far, so thank you!

I have a Lumix GX9 with kit 12-60 & a Lumix 25mm 1.7.

I take mainly landscapes, city scapes & architecture. People seem to like what I do as I've sold a few prints. I would also like to start taking more portraits & continue taking landscapes. Many of the landscapes I enjoy taking are early in the morning at sunrise or sunset/late afternoon in Autumn & Winter.

At work I use a trusty Canon 650d to take photos of people & events. I work in a school so I'm busy.

I considered buying a Nocticron 42.5 for my Lumix to take more portraits (although after reading people's advice on the other forum the Lumix 42.5 or 35-100 may fulfil my needs).

I like the Lumix GX9 as I am regularly on my bike/walk but I find it loses details in the shadows, which is frustrating. Then I thought why not buy a better landscape lens for it. Then I thought why not update my whole home system & upgrade to full frame to capture more detailed landscapes.

The full frame systems I am particularly interested in & could possibly stretch to financially or save for would be

Sony A7RII

Canon 5dmiii

& then I would like good lenses for landscape & portrait.

I received lots of helpful answers on the other forum & wanted to find out about -

Great lenses for landscapes (shooting in low light) for the GX9.

Great lenses for portraits for the GX9.

Or if you think it may be better investing in FF ?

Many thanks to you all! Lisa

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anyone is welcome to do anything they want with my images except sell them for profit
https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/

 softmarmotte's gear list:softmarmotte's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +12 more
rashid7
rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,356
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
1

for what you do Lisa, I would suggest the S5

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Keep it fun!

OP LancashireLisa Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Thanks Rashid, will take a look at the S5.

OP LancashireLisa Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Thanks for responding so quickly.

Would you recommend some lenses to look at?

If I don't go to FF I'm considering the Panasonic12-35 & 35-100 as from what I can gather they would be better for landscapes than the 12-60 & the 35-100 could do portraits too. Possibly also the 42.5 for portraits & a 15mm or 17mm for landscapes (do you think?)

Since first posting I've had a couple of people ask if I do weddings. I haven't in the past but it's something I'd like to do, knowing I have the right kit!

Thank you kindly.

uniball Senior Member • Posts: 2,675
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
2

If your focus is to sell prints, recognize your audience is paying you for composition and post processing. The vast majority of them don’t agonize over a loss of sharpness in the corners. They don’t even see it. As in your camera system is largely irrelevant. 
Look around at what other photographers used to capture the prints they’re selling. You may be surprised at how basic their cameras are. In my urban south Florida area, I see small sensored, fixed lens digitals, and film (often Leica) easily making up about half of what I consider the better photography. Prices are up to $1,000 direct from the photographer.

OP LancashireLisa Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Thank you. That's a really good perspective & one I'm going to bear in mind.

When I first started out I didn't care for systems & lenses, I was just out taking photos all the time!

Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 4,693
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
1

The Nocticron is an extremely nice lens, if big for a m4/3 lens. I don't think you can do better in the m4/3 system for portraits, or low light.

Personally, I added a Fuji GFX system to my GX9, when I want the ultimate in image quality, and dynamic range, and i don't care about portability. I've got a GFX50R, and the Fuji 100/2 to do the same thing as the Nocticron. The 110 is an amazingly good lens, and makes the Nocticron look weak. I also have the 30/3.5, and 50/3.5, which are also very, very good lenses, and works for most things I want to do with it. This may be out of your price range, given the cameras you're looking at.

The GX9 does a pretty good job of shooting in low light, given it's IBIS is very effective. But if I'm shooting landscapes in low light, I've got the camera on a tripod. Are you sure a tripod wouldn't do more good than a different system?

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Fujifilm GFX 50R Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 +9 more
OP LancashireLisa Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes

Hi Barry

Thanks for your message. The GFX50R looks a spectacular camera but it is out of my price range at the moment.

Perhaps, like someone has suggested, I need to post some photos so people can take a look. As you say a tripod may help.

I've taken some terrific photos with my current set up but in certain circumstances I feel a little frustrated. For example, I was invited to an exhibition launch where it wouldn't have been ideal to take a tripod. I attended with my camera, the light wasn't low but it wasn't the best - I was taking some photos & the chap next to me was snapping away on the latest iPhone. On the small screens his images looked lighter & brighter. Granted I wasn't comparing them at home on my PC. Perhaps a faster lens with a larger aperture would've worked better than my kit 12-60.

Anyway thank you, when I'm next on my PC I will share some images.

Much appreciated, Lisa

windmillgolfer
windmillgolfer Forum Pro • Posts: 17,316
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
1

You may have read this thread, but just in case https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3940900

I probably read it before I bought the 42.5mm f1.7, which is certainly good enough for me - glued most of the time to my GM1 for touch focus’n’shoot shots of my granddaughter. Examples here https://www.flickr.com/photos/dieselgolfer/albums/72157690660973971

Wilkinson’s still have another LUMIX day in Preston, 17th Jul, I think. You might be able to try both 42.5 lenses - there’s nothing to beat handling potential purchases.

 windmillgolfer's gear list:windmillgolfer's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS40 (TZ60) Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7 +10 more
Barry Twycross Veteran Member • Posts: 4,693
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
2

LancashireLisa wrote:

I've taken some terrific photos with my current set up but in certain circumstances I feel a little frustrated. For example, I was invited to an exhibition launch where it wouldn't have been ideal to take a tripod. I attended with my camera, the light wasn't low but it wasn't the best - I was taking some photos & the chap next to me was snapping away on the latest iPhone. On the small screens his images looked lighter & brighter. Granted I wasn't comparing them at home on my PC. Perhaps a faster lens with a larger aperture would've worked better than my kit 12-60.

That may be more to do with processing than the camera itself. The GX9 sensor is almost 10x the size of the average iPhone sensor, so has the advantage of 10 times more light to play with right off the bat.

The iPhone is probably doing a lot more processing in the device itself, you can do the equivalent processing to your photos on your PC. Are you shooting raw? If not, you can get a lot more information out of a raw file than a jpeg, at the cost of more work in post processing.

Brightness is a lot more about processing than light gathering, you just have to turn up the brightness slider, wherever that maybe. I find the GX9's "i.Dynamic" very useful in "turning up the brightness" if that's an issue. In post processing i use Affinity Photo's Tone Mapping, it has the equivalent "turn up the brightness" slider with "Tone Compression". Also just about anything looks good on a phone screen, being so small.

Also the phone might be stacking shots in the phone. You can do the same thing in post processing, by taking a burst of shots and stacking them in post processing (Affinity Photo can do that). The GX9 can also do that in camera with the "Handheld Night Shot" scene mode.

For low light, I rely on the Nocticron and 20/1.7. I've got usable shots with the Nocticron from what looked like total darkness (about 0EV).

I still use my kit zoom (12-32) for 12mm shots most of the time, as I have it with me, and being stabilized and short is usually good enough for whatever lighting conditions I find. If I really want wide angle low light, I have the PL 12/1.4, but I hardly ever have that with me (it's also a bit chunky for m4/3).

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Fujifilm GFX 50R Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Fujifilm GF 110mm F2 +9 more
G1Houston Veteran Member • Posts: 3,075
If system size/weight/cost are not important to you, then ...
1

LancashireLisa wrote:

Great lenses for portraits for the GX9.

Or if you think it may be better investing in FF ?

then invest in FF, never look back.

However, to improve the GX9 experience, instead of the kit lens, the new Olympus 12-45/4 is outstanding.  To improve shadow performance, you want to shoot at as low an ISO as possible so wide aperture lens can help.  Alternatively you can always master the use of flash.

 G1Houston's gear list:G1Houston's gear list
Nikon D7100 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Nikon 85mm F1.8G +5 more
jalywol
jalywol Forum Pro • Posts: 11,179
Panasonic S5
3

LancashireLisa wrote:

Hello

I posted the following on the equipment forum & someone suggest I post it here too. People have been really helpful so far, so thank you!

I have a Lumix GX9 with kit 12-60 & a Lumix 25mm 1.7.

I take mainly landscapes, city scapes & architecture. People seem to like what I do as I've sold a few prints. I would also like to start taking more portraits & continue taking landscapes. Many of the landscapes I enjoy taking are early in the morning at sunrise or sunset/late afternoon in Autumn & Winter.

There are a lot of lenses in between the 12-60 and 25mm f 1.7 in the M43 format that will definitely give you a leg up on what you are trying to do.

HOWEVER.

Since you are working in low light situations and have problems recovering shadow information and need more DR and higher ISO options, I am going to suggest you consider FF.

Those are exactly the kind of shooting parameters that larger sensors are better suited for than M43.

I have been an M43 user for 10 years. I have had a boatload of M43 cameras and lenses. I currently have a GX8, GX9, and a GM5, and a bunch of assorted lenses, most of which are the higher end ones.

For what I shoot a lot of, nature, architecture, in good light, M43 is very good. Where it falls down is in lower light, and when I want to work with DOF effects. So I have dabbled in FF a few times over the past 5 or 6 years. I had the first gen Sony A7, and a Canon RP. In terms of the amount of information to recover in the files, DR, noise, high ISO behavior,etc, those FFs were significantly better than M43 when used in lower light situations. BUT. The Sony color science was (and, even with improvements in later generations) AWFUL. The RP was a nice camera, but I just never warmed to it. So, both of them went away, and I have been back in M43 for a bit.

However, I recently added a Panasonic S5 FF in. THAT is a horse of a different color. It has the lower noise, higher DR, great high ISO performance that I missed in M43 format, AND really wonderful native color rendition. In other words, if you like the output of the GX9 in terms of color and native white balance behavior, the S5 will make you a whole lot happier than going with a Sony (or even a Canon). It also shares much of the UI with the M43 Panasonics, so adjusting to using it is super simple if you are coming from an M43 from them.

I rarely rave about camera bodies, but this is the first FF I have had that really is a joy to use, and would be a great option for your usage purposes.

Good luck!

-J

Fairlane Regular Member • Posts: 458
Re: Panasonic S5

jalywol wrote:

LancashireLisa wrote:

Hello

I posted the following on the equipment forum & someone suggest I post it here too. People have been really helpful so far, so thank you!

I have a Lumix GX9 with kit 12-60 & a Lumix 25mm 1.7.

I take mainly landscapes, city scapes & architecture. People seem to like what I do as I've sold a few prints. I would also like to start taking more portraits & continue taking landscapes. Many of the landscapes I enjoy taking are early in the morning at sunrise or sunset/late afternoon in Autumn & Winter.

There are a lot of lenses in between the 12-60 and 25mm f 1.7 in the M43 format that will definitely give you a leg up on what you are trying to do.

HOWEVER.

Since you are working in low light situations and have problems recovering shadow information and need more DR and higher ISO options, I am going to suggest you consider FF.

Those are exactly the kind of shooting parameters that larger sensors are better suited for than M43.

I have been an M43 user for 10 years. I have had a boatload of M43 cameras and lenses. I currently have a GX8, GX9, and a GM5, and a bunch of assorted lenses, most of which are the higher end ones.

For what I shoot a lot of, nature, architecture, in good light, M43 is very good. Where it falls down is in lower light, and when I want to work with DOF effects. So I have dabbled in FF a few times over the past 5 or 6 years. I had the first gen Sony A7, and a Canon RP. In terms of the amount of information to recover in the files, DR, noise, high ISO behavior,etc, those FFs were significantly better than M43 when used in lower light situations. BUT. The Sony color science was (and, even with improvements in later generations) AWFUL. The RP was a nice camera, but I just never warmed to it. So, both of them went away, and I have been back in M43 for a bit.

However, I recently added a Panasonic S5 FF in. THAT is a horse of a different color. It has the lower noise, higher DR, great high ISO performance that I missed in M43 format, AND really wonderful native color rendition. In other words, if you like the output of the GX9 in terms of color and native white balance behavior, the S5 will make you a whole lot happier than going with a Sony (or even a Canon). It also shares much of the UI with the M43 Panasonics, so adjusting to using it is super simple if you are coming from an M43 from them.

I rarely rave about camera bodies, but this is the first FF I have had that really is a joy to use, and would be a great option for your usage purposes.

Good luck!

-J

What he said ⬆️

The S5 is stellar!

 Fairlane's gear list:Fairlane's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5 Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN Panasonic Lumix S 20-60mm F3.5-5.6 Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG GN Sigma 105mm F2.8 DG DN Macro
shinndigg Veteran Member • Posts: 4,478
Just to be clear, m43rds...
6

...is perfectly capable of doing what you want, including your GX9. You don't NEED FF to do portrait photography. The most important part is you.

That being said, the 42.5, be it Panasonic or Noc would do the trick. Also consider the Sigma 56mm 1.4.

Here's an example from my ancient EM 1 mkI and a cheap TTArtisan 50mm 1.2

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shinndigg
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 shinndigg's gear list:shinndigg's gear list
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Pete_W
Pete_W Senior Member • Posts: 1,723
Re: Panasonic S5 - lenses?

jalywol wrote:

However, I recently added a Panasonic S5 FF in. THAT is a horse of a different color. It has the lower noise, higher DR, great high ISO performance that I missed in M43 format, AND really wonderful native color rendition. In other words, if you like the output of the GX9 in terms of color and native white balance behavior, the S5 will make you a whole lot happier than going with a Sony (or even a Canon). It also shares much of the UI with the M43 Panasonics, so adjusting to using it is super simple if you are coming from an M43 from them.

I rarely rave about camera bodies, but this is the first FF I have had that really is a joy to use, and would be a great option for your usage purposes.

Hi Janet,

I am interested in the S5 and am curious which lense (or lenses) you are using with yours.

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Pete

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thelightwriter Contributing Member • Posts: 599
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes

If I was going to go full frame it would probably Canon or Panasonic. Canon because I can get a 6D or 6D Mark II for cheap on the used market.

Panasonic because I'm already familiar with their MFT cameras. It'd depend on how much I can spend and how far I'd want to go into a full frame system.

I prefer my Olympus cameras for low light and night time photography over my GX85 the predecessor to the GX9. I haven't used a GX9 so I don't know how it compares to the GX85 but I like how my E-M10 III and E-M1 II handle low light noise better than how the GX85 does. My GX85 low light noise looks harsher.

I use my Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 pro for landscapes and portraits. Its one of my favorite lenses and the best MFT zoom lens I ever used.

If you have a near enough camera store that rents gear that might help or if it doesn't you could take your GX9 to the store with a friend and test the lenses? And also take a spare memory card and try out some full frame options?

I've done this a few times while shopping for lenses and most of the shops around here have always been happy to let me try before I buy.

 thelightwriter's gear list:thelightwriter's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +9 more
maggiemole Senior Member • Posts: 1,808
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
1

LancashireLisa wrote:

Hi Barry

Thanks for your message. The GFX50R looks a spectacular camera but it is out of my price range at the moment.

Perhaps, like someone has suggested, I need to post some photos so people can take a look. As you say a tripod may help.

I've taken some terrific photos with my current set up but in certain circumstances I feel a little frustrated. For example, I was invited to an exhibition launch where it wouldn't have been ideal to take a tripod. I attended with my camera, the light wasn't low but it wasn't the best - I was taking some photos & the chap next to me was snapping away on the latest iPhone. On the small screens his images looked lighter & brighter. Granted I wasn't comparing them at home on my PC. Perhaps a faster lens with a larger aperture would've worked better than my kit 12-60.

Anyway thank you, when I'm next on my PC I will share some images.

Much appreciated, Lisa

A fast lens is primarily about depth of field rather than light gathering. If you’re not getting enough light at the most open aperture, try slowing your shutter speed . It’s a lot cheaper than an f2.8 lens.

 maggiemole's gear list:maggiemole's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 Fisheye Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +4 more
softmarmotte
softmarmotte Veteran Member • Posts: 3,615
Re: GX9 - portraits & landscapes
1

LancashireLisa wrote:

Thanks for responding so quickly.

Would you recommend some lenses to look at?

If I don't go to FF I'm considering the Panasonic12-35 & 35-100 as from what I can gather they would be better for landscapes than the 12-60 & the 35-100 could do portraits too. Possibly also the 42.5 for portraits & a 15mm or 17mm for landscapes (do you think?)

Since first posting I've had a couple of people ask if I do weddings. I haven't in the past but it's something I'd like to do, knowing I have the right kit!

Thank you kindly.

Lens wise my favourites are :

Pana Leica 12-60 - the rendering and colours is gorgeous

For the rest it's Oly - 17, 25, 45 and 75 1.8s. All spot on

All round walking lens oly 14-150 ii

25mm https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/51277413925/in/datetaken-public/

14-150 https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/51273525280/in/datetaken/

12-60 https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/51264791690/in/datetaken/

kit 12-32 (which is practically invisible https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/51248402876/in/datetaken/

45mm https://www.flickr.com/photos/softmarmotte/51238289989/in/datetaken/

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 softmarmotte's gear list:softmarmotte's gear list
Sony RX100 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R +12 more
rashid7
rashid7 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,356
Re: Panasonic S5 - lenses?
1

Pete_W wrote:

jalywol wrote:

However, I recently added a Panasonic S5 FF in. THAT is a horse of a different color. It has the lower noise, higher DR, great high ISO performance that I missed in M43 format, AND really wonderful native color rendition. In other words, if you like the output of the GX9 in terms of color and native white balance behavior, the S5 will make you a whole lot happier than going with a Sony (or even a Canon). It also shares much of the UI with the M43 Panasonics, so adjusting to using it is super simple if you are coming from an M43 from them.

I rarely rave about camera bodies, but this is the first FF I have had that really is a joy to use, and would be a great option for your usage purposes.

Hi Janet,

I am interested in the S5 and am curious which lense (or lenses) you are using with yours.

Hi Pete, i'd be glad to give you my input.

Canon lenses do well Using MC21 adapter from Sigma.  I've got the nifty 50, original 70-200f4, and a canon-mount Tamron 35f1.4, all of which do accurate eye-AF.  AF is not fast, but not rediculously slow either.  Acceptable!

My best travel lens is the kit 20-60.

My favorite lenses, in addition to the Tamron, are Sigmas:  35 & 65 f2 lenses are beauties, the smaller 35 being most versatile.  The 100-400, though i don't use it much, is excellent.  My 14-24f2.8 dg dn is truly a wonder!  All 4 of these lenses are native to L-mount, designed for mirrorless, and plenty quick to focus.

I also have an above-average manual Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye; =excellent sharpness.  My only disappointment so far has been Laowa 14f4.  Also a manual Sam 14f2.8, which i returned.

I am looking forward to testing a Lumix 50f1.8 and the Sigma 105f2.8 macro Art(!) , both of which get stellar reviews.

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Keep it fun!

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