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Bower14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon
 
4.1

(based on 29 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

88%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (13)
  • Strong construction (13)
  • Easily interchangeable (11)
  • Consistent output (9)
  • Lightweight (8)

Cons

  • Heavy (6)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (23)
  • Night photography (17)
  • Low light (7)
  • Video (4)
  • Sports/action (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (13), Photo enthusiast (11)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (26)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Value

Being my first Full Manual lens, i was a bit apprehensive about getting sharp images.however, with a bit of trial & error, it was relatively easy to master focus on this...Read complete review

Being my first Full Manual lens, i was a bit apprehensive about getting sharp images.however, with a bit of trial & error, it was relatively easy to master focus on this lens. I find myself shooting mostly in daylight and around F11 for the best results. sometimes in aperture priority or full manual.As many reviews online state, the focus ring is a bit off so don't trust the markings on the lens for the distance of the subject on which you're focusing. It is not 100% accurate. more like 90-95%. instead i use live view+zoom or focus with the view finder.Aside from that, you may find that exposure is more challenging. this is my first lens wider than the kit 18mm-55. At a 21mm equivalent on Full frame, My DX D5000 has a bit of trouble metering with so much of the sky in the frame. you will find yourself shooting by instinct and ignoring the metering all together. Same for the AF chip--it is not necessary and is often wrong. Just use trial/error and intuition. not as hard as it sounds coming from a first timer. it is refreshing to be able to depart from your camera's electronics and JUST SHOOT.overall, this lens is a great value, it achieves incredible sharpness (even in the corners) on DX format and is a real pleasure to use.Interior shots may always meter as too dark and exterior shots may always meter as too bright. simply use your instinct and depend a bit on your camera's LCD for proper exposure.I strongly recommend it, especially if you don't already have an UWA lens. another benefit is that this lens is compatible with FX bodies and will be even more useful once i upgrade.Don't listen to ken rockwell's review on this one.Great buy for the money. I got it at B & H on a special. it's built like a tank. one last thing i hadn't considered: the lens cap is so large that it can't be carried comfortably in a pant pocket. you may need to lug a bag around for this one. especially since the front element is round and exposed and one couldn't reasonably produce a whole shoot from just this one lens. you'll probably tire after a while and need a bit more range. This lens is no good for portraits unless you're looking to distort your subject and exaggerate the size of their extremities near the edge of the frame.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

After Two Defective Lenses I Gave Up

At the time of this review the Bower model is a bit cheaper than the Rokinon and considerably cheaper than the Samyang. Despite the "Optimized for APS-C" statement they are supposedly...Read complete review

At the time of this review the Bower model is a bit cheaper than the Rokinon and considerably cheaper than the Samyang. Despite the "Optimized for APS-C" statement they are supposedly identical to the Samyang/Rokinon models in every way (except for the name plate). Which, in theory, makes the Bower model a very attractive offer.

However, both the Bower lenses I purchased were defective. The first had a problem with inconsistent focus across the frame. When the left and center was in focus the right was blurry. Likewise, if I brought the right side into focus then the left was blurry.

The effect was dramatic enough to just barely be visible in the viewfinder and quite noticeable on the LCD display. B&H was super cool about the return and I immediately got another, crossing my fingers that it would be better.

But the second was even worse than the first. In addition to a similar focus problem, only more exaggerated, the lens also had dust or grime inside that was noticeable in the downloaded pictures.

It may well be that I just got unlucky and happened to catch two products that slipped through quality control. But it is my sneaking suspicion that that might be the purpose of the less expensive Bower line: a means of selling products that don't meet the quality control standards of the Samyang/Rokinon name. I would even hazard that it is the reason for the APS-C optimization statement, as the cropped field of view would make the uneven focus problem considerably less noticeable.

Just a theory. But this time I'm going to try a Samyang.

Reviewed by 29 customers

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3.0

Good, but not great.

By Tim

from Broomfield, CO

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easily Interchangeable

Cons

  • Blurry Focus
  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Landscape/Scenery
  • Night Photography
  • Sports/Action
  • Weddings/Events

Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

The lens is good with minimal distortion for such a wide angle lens. However I couldn't get over how soft the right 1/4 of the frame was so I returned it. Luckily the B&H return policy is very easy and fast. The softness of the lens got better when it was stopped down below f8 or so, but it was still very noticable. Why have a fast lens if you can't use it even close to wide open.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Extraordinary Glass

By Big Rox

from Toronto, Canada

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    Super sharp from f4. Manual focus but depth of field such that one can literally "set and forget". I set the lens at f5.6 on my Nikon D800e and get great, sharp images. Any distortion can be corrected automatically in ACR/Lightroom and the like.
    Naysayers who disdain anything but original equipment are talking out of their hats. Price is so attractive and optics so good, I can buy five of these lenses over time and break even compared to OEM lenses.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    Excellent

    By Raj

    from New York

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Tough To Attach

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Night Photography

    Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

    Amazing lens for landscape.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    For the price you can't go wrong

    By World's A Stage

    from Colorado

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        I use this lens for landscape shots. I wasn't sure if I would really like shooting with a 14mm lens for the shots I want and I didn't want to drop a lot of money on something I'm not sure about.
        After reading other reviews I bought this one and I couldn't be happier. This lens produces very sharp photos and as up to now I haven't had any problems with sun flair or anything else.
        Is a little tight fitting when putting on my camera but not a problem long as you are not in a rush to change lenses.
        For the cost and the quality of photos this produces vs. the $$$$ of some other brand lenses this size it is worth serious consideration.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent value for such sharp lens

        By Ruifo

        from Mexico City

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Big Front Element
        • No Filter Support

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Photography
        • Sports/Action
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        An excellent cost-benefit for an ultra-wide angle lens. The Bower 14mm f/2.8 ED IF AS UMC red ring is the newer version of this lens, that is the same of the Samyang and Rokinon variants as well (just with different branding). I've been using it mainly on FX (D810), and ocasionally on DX (D5200). Works really well on both. The manual focus ring is solid and very smooth, with a huge travel distance, what makes the manual focus very precise and not so hard at all. When used with a 'Nikon DK-17M 1.2x Magnifying Eyepiece', the manual focus becomes even better. Don't fear it. At f/2.8, it can still produce an interesting bokeh, despite the ultra-wide angle. At f/5.6-8 everything will tend to be sharp. It's a great lens for 'storytelling' images, where you need to register not only the main subject, but also the surrounding environment and context. You can do very creative shots (like portraits), and interetsing landscapes as well. But this lens really shine at night, for night sky and astrophotography in general, like milkyway shots. Coma aberration is very very well controled, and it produces beautiful stars at the night sky, all across the frame, even when wide open. It's a solid and sturdy lens, mainly built of metal with strong plastic and rubber components. Looks very durable. Image is really sharp across the frame; there is some barrel distortion at the center. I'm happy with the image quality output so far. Good lens, with great value and cost-benefit.

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        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Love it

        By Lori

        from Church Hill

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        A very good lens for the money. Extremely sharp. I am using it on my Nikon 800E . Focusing is smooth and effortless. The auto confirm chip works well. I don't think that I would be as happy without it. I am very impressed with the solid build and physical quality of this lens.

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Good quality

        By Frank

        from California

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Durable
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy
        • Tough To Attach

        Best Uses

        • Night Photography

        Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

        Got this lens for night sky photography, which is excellent.
        It would not be good for architectural photography,because of distortion.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Lens works Great

        By JB

        from Oakland, Ca

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery

          Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

          I have been using this lens to shoot landscapes. So far it has been really easy to use and the quality of the images has been great. The price is a major plus. I was skeptical at first, but after shooting with it, I am recommending this lens to anyone looking to get a good quality wide angle lens at a really reasonable price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great Value

          By Ramblinman

          from midwest cornfields

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Astro-photography
          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Lightweight
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

            While I rarely shoot ultra-wide angle (I've owned the Canon 17-40mm and the Nikon 16-35mm) there are times when I want to, such as astro-photography. Note: This review is for using ultra wide lenses on full frame bodies.

            The Bower 14mm 2.8 worked well on my Nikon D700 for shooting the stars. The manual focus is a bit of a pain but for night photography, auto-focus can be of no use anyway. As for the sharpness, I am pleased.

            If you're looking for an affordable ultra wide lens to shoot the stars, night photography, landscapes, city-scapes, and artistic interiors and portraiture, this lens makes good sense.

            For the price of renting the expensive alternatives (a few times), you can own this lens. It meets my wants/needs quite well and doesn't break the bank. Did I mention that it is very sharp. Very little (or no) coma, chromatic aberration, and no abnormal distortion is nice too.

            4 stars due to manual focus....but we already know that.

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            • No

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            1.0

            Bad copy

            By John

            from Tallahassee, FL

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Price

            Cons

            • Blurry Focus
            • Decentering
            • Quality control

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

            I've used multiple copies of this lens for Nikon and Canon in the past with excellent results. When you have a good copy, it is easily one of the highest-resolving ultra-wide angle lenses, especially in this price range where the Bower (Samyang) stands alone. However, one of the recurring problems with this lens is manufacturing quality control, especially with de-centered/tilted elements skewing the plane of focus. The Bower copy I received for Nikon had this problem where one side was sharp, but the other side was hazy/defocused all the way down to f/11, rendering it unusable.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Best Bang for the Buck

            By SolarBump

            from Mission Viejo, CA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Lightweight
            • Quality
            • Rugged

            Cons

            • Lens hood

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography

            Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

            Amazing sharpness and great manual focusing. This lens seems to just keep everything you look at in focus! Also is cheaper than any of the sister brand lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            1.0

            After Two Defective Lenses I Gave Up

            By Nik

            from Albuquerque, NM

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Blurry Focus

              Best Uses

                Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                At the time of this review the Bower model is a bit cheaper than the Rokinon and considerably cheaper than the Samyang. Despite the "Optimized for APS-C" statement they are supposedly identical to the Samyang/Rokinon models in every way (except for the name plate). Which, in theory, makes the Bower model a very attractive offer.

                However, both the Bower lenses I purchased were defective. The first had a problem with inconsistent focus across the frame. When the left and center was in focus the right was blurry. Likewise, if I brought the right side into focus then the left was blurry.

                The effect was dramatic enough to just barely be visible in the viewfinder and quite noticeable on the LCD display. B&H was super cool about the return and I immediately got another, crossing my fingers that it would be better.

                But the second was even worse than the first. In addition to a similar focus problem, only more exaggerated, the lens also had dust or grime inside that was noticeable in the downloaded pictures.

                It may well be that I just got unlucky and happened to catch two products that slipped through quality control. But it is my sneaking suspicion that that might be the purpose of the less expensive Bower line: a means of selling products that don't meet the quality control standards of the Samyang/Rokinon name. I would even hazard that it is the reason for the APS-C optimization statement, as the cropped field of view would make the uneven focus problem considerably less noticeable.

                Just a theory. But this time I'm going to try a Samyang.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                3.0

                Tough fit

                By Ernesto

                from Michigan

                Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                Like everything about this lens BUT it is such a tight fit on my camera body (nikon d80) I literally have to twist it with great force when mounting and removing. I guess I will have to send it back for exchange as much as I hate to. I did shoot a few images and they looked great.

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                5.0

                Excellent of landscape

                By JS

                from Potomac

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Easily Interchangeable
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery

                  Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                  Excellent for landscape.

                  For architecture, like other extreme wide-angles, it needs correction for complex "W" shapped (moustache) distortion correction. Easy: after NEF processing I export to jpg, then I use PTLens.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Great budget friendly UWA

                  By ninadmw

                  from State college, PA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Inexpensive
                  • Rugged

                  Cons

                  • Distorsion
                  • Manual only

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Landscapes
                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                  Ultrawide for FX format for relatively less money. Get AE/focus confirm version for Nikon. Its worth the extra money. Decent image quality for an ultrawide. Nowhere as marvelous as 85mm 1.4 that the company offers. But still better than other options in the price range.Good build quality. Wish the hood was removable and had ability to add filters. Heavy distortion for a rectilinear lens. Make sure to get lens profiles from net.Worth the money. Will keep it till I can afford Tokina 16 28. BnH is great as always with shipping and support.Thanks.

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                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Good Wide Angle Cheap

                  By dj_elite

                  from new hampshire

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Nice Bokeh
                  • Rugged
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • First Copy Was Soft
                  • First Copy Was Too Soft
                  • Heavy
                  • Slow Focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

                  Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                  Got my first copy and it was a little soft on the left side and in the middle. I heard these were really sharp lenses and there are soft copies out there. I sent it back for another copy. Im hoping the new one is sharper. Even though it wasnt as sharp as it should be it was a nice lens. Very nicley made. I would recommend, just test you have a sharp copy. BH is good and will exchange for a copy and pay shipping.

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                  • No

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                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Picky, crusty old pro is impressed

                  By SLODave

                  from San Luis Obispo, California USA

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Low Chromatic Aberation
                  • SHARP SHARP SHARP
                  • Smooth focusing
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to focus

                  Best Uses

                  • Astrophotography
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography
                  • Video

                  Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                  I'm a longtime (read: old) part time pro. Despite some of the rave reviews, I didn't expect much from this lens, thinking that the other reviewers' standards weren't as high as mine. I am really picky when it comes to image quality because I often have to deliver 40x60 inch prints.Boy, was I wrong. I've tested this lens meticulously as various distances and apertures on my Nikon D600 full frame camera. Wide open at f2.8 it's sharper than my Nikon 16-35mm at f4 and has much less chromatic aberration, especially on the borders and corners. It stays noticeably sharper through f8. (that's a good lens that costs $[$]!) Compared to most super-wides, at f4-f8 the Bower is phenomenally sharp.(Some people that have been disappointed may be expecting this lens to be as sharp as a real good 50mm lens; that's an unreasonable expectation for a super wide. Or they gotten a bad copy. But it is very close.)It does have major distortion, (not usually a problem for landscapes) but there are third party profiles available for Lightroom that make that mostly a non-issue even for architecture. (I've tweaked the profile I downloaded.)The construction is good with very smooth focusing and a well machined mount.All-in-all, this is the buy of the century.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • Yes

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                  5.0

                  Great Lens

                  By Justin

                  from Texas

                  About Me Casual Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Easily Interchangeable
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Photography

                  Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                  I've used this lens for multiple landscape shots and it has done nothing but exceed my expectations. The pictures are crystal clear and turn out amazing.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  4.0

                  Great for the price

                  By JK

                  from Chicago, IL

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Night Photography
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                      Very sharp center of the image, but unfortunately far corners are soft with slight vigneting.For the price is the best extra wide lens you can ever get though.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Competative Lens for the Price

                      By gab

                      from Albuquerque, NM

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good bang for the buck

                      Cons

                      • Distortion Issues Maybe

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Photography

                      Comments about Bower 14mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide-Angle Lens with Focus Confirm Chip for Nikon:

                      The lens seems to be a good value for the price. The build quality is adequate but not stellar, that said, I can drop several of these on concrete for the price of a 16-35.

                      Image quality is surprisingly good. Good sharpness and color. The distortion is kind of funky but so far have been able to control it in post, for most types of photos. If you need real straight lines...not so good. It is pretty easy to manually focus the lens.

                      Bought the lens for night/Milky Way shots but haven't had the opportunity to do that yet. From initial use I think it will be fine for that purpose.

                      All said, I would buy the lens again. It's one you may have to learn to use but it has a lot of potential.

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                      • No

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