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Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF

Reviews Views Date of last review
42 110,624 Sun August 12, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
98% of reviewers $266.64 8.98
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF

Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF


The 85mm F1.4 is a manual focus, fast, short telephoto lens corvering the 24x36mm full-frame format. It features internal focusing and one aspherical element,and supports all exposure modes.

It has been released in two variants with only minor differences:

  • 85mm F1.4 Aspehrical IF
  • 85mm F1.4 AS IF UMC

It is available under different brand names:

Samyang (first two photos - first version, fifth photo - second version)
Vivitar (third photo - first version)
Rokinon (fourth photo - first version)
Bower (not shown)
Pro Optic (not shown)

Samyang 85mm F1.4 AS IF UMC
©, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
Yes (A setting)
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
9 elements, 7 groups
Mount Variant
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
Min. Aperture
Min. Focus
100 cm
Max. Magnification
Filter Size
72 mm
Internal Focus
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 19 ° / 16 °
Full frame: 28 ° / 24 °
Pouch included
Lens Cap
Weather Sealing
Other Features
Diam x Length
78x73.2 mm (3.1x2.9 in.)
510 g (18 oz.)
Production Years
(in production)
$223 USD current price
User reviews

The table describes the second variant (current as of 2016). Theearlier variant was called Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF,had slightly different cosmetics,and lacked UMC coating.

Also marketed as Rokinon,Vivitar, Bower, and Pro Optic

Buy Lens: Buy the Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
In-Depth Review: Read our Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF in-depth review!
Price: $269
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

Add Review of Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF Buy the Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF
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Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2017
Location: Pretoria
Posts: 400
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Bokeh
Cons: Minimum focus distance
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-x, Pentax K200D   

I just love this lens. I bought it as a portrait lens and it excels in that role. As a general purpose lens, it is pretty good as well. There seems to be a bit of a learning curve that one has to go through in order to get the best out of it. I, for one, is happy to do that.

Manual focus can be tricky, but it goes with the territory of class of lens. Even auto focus lenses don't get it right all the time.

The plasticky lens hood gets a lot of criticism. I just left mine in the box and use a rubber one.

At present there are few alternatives for the Pentaxian looking for a wide aperture 85mm. The closest is the 77mm Limited, but it is not quite the same thing. Other than that the only other choices are to shop for a used Pentax FA*, Pentax A*, Sigma or Zeiss.

To my mind, this one is ridiculous value for money.

Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 377
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Price, Sharp, control, did I mention Sharp?
Cons: Only manual focus, mimimum focus distance of only 1 metre.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1   

It is a ten, but only due to price to ability ratio.
Let me clarify, it it was the same price as the Sigma DG, then it would drop due to the lack of AF. But it is half the price!

But on the other hand, MF from F2.8 is fine, wider you really need to be steady.

Ability though is stunning! this is one superb lens. Yes the hood is a lower grade plastic, but it is the hood. Optics are more important

Contrast, colours and sharpness are amongst the best. You could almost say it is too sharp.

Downside, it only focuses to 1 metre. I was too close a little earlier today with a studio shoot. If it was down to 1.4 feet like most Pentax lenses, it would be fine.

Overall though, it is more than bang for the buck. It is not perfect, but price to ability ratio you cannot get better. Optically it is right up there with the best.

Senior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Thach, Alabama
Posts: 169
Lens Review Date: February 28, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $349.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Did I mention Sharp? Good build
Cons: Plastic lens shade is cheap.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K10D, KX, K7   

The bag this lens comes in is way too small for the lens. I got the Vivitar series 1 version and other than the cheap weak plastic lens shade I would say Samyang knocked this one out of the park. Super nice manual lens for portraits or a walkabout. Very very nice bokeh. A little long on an ASP-C camera but I plan on using it for the K1 FF I have ordered. Should be excellent on it.

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,949
Lens Review Date: November 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Fast, Smooth Focusing, Amazing Bokeh
Cons: Won't Work in Cold Weather (Seriously!), Focuses past infinity
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

I have the 'new' model of this lens.

I absolutely love the bokeh and seperation this lens provides. Its smooth, it takes amazing photos.... and it locks up when the temps start getting towards freezing.

Edit: By "getting towards freezing", I mean anything much below 40 degrees.


I suspect the huge aperture blades have a nice bit of grease employed to help them operate, and said grease can't stand the cold. It could just be my copy, but it really is a problem when 90% of your shots are taken outdoors, and you live in the Frozen Wastes of Maine. We see near-freezing to "Sweet mercy, let it warm up to 10 today" weather around these parts from October through May. That means for 6 months out of the year the lens is relegated to 'indoor only' use.

The lens is awesome, the lens takes fantastic shots - and the lens is the first one Ive seriously considered reselling for something else.

If you live somewhere warm, I can't recommend the lens enough, but if you're an outdoor shooter who lives somewhere where you see ice and snow... move on.

If the lens didn't lock up in the cold, I'd easily give it a 10. Since I can't use it for 50% of the year, I'm docking 50% off the grade and 'not recommending it' with the caveat that if you don't need to worry about cold weather the lens should be an amazing buy.

(One other quibble - Samyangs QC blows. Both the 85mm and 35mm focus well past infinity, which can slow you down having to backtrack for infinity shots)

Here are some shots from this amazingly frustrating lens.

The Boys by Jody Roberts, on Flickr

June 1, 2015 - Duck Weather; Vassalboro, Maine by Jody Roberts, on Flickr

June 4, 2015 - King of Kings (Tyrannus tyrannus - Eastern Kingbird) by Jody Roberts, on Flickr

Earth, Air and Water; Winslow, Maine by Jody Roberts, on Flickr

Exploring by Jody Roberts, on Flickr
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Galway - Ireland
Posts: 213

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 23, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, IQ, build quality
Cons: light flare, purple fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-1, K-3   

The 85mm is THE lens for portrait in my opinion. This one has an amazing aperture, with a great image quality for a very very low price.

Heavy glass, built like a tank. It is a great quality lens. The only 'cheap' thing about it is the hood. Maybe the focus ring is a bit hard.

To focus with this lens is not that easy wide open. It is not a surprise but at 1.4 your depth of field is really tiny so beeing in focus is not easy. I used it mainly for portrait shooting in controlled conditions, I don't think it is usable in field conditions.


This lens is very sharp. The result is a bit soft at f/1.4, but starting at f/2 the sharpness is impressive. The overall image rendering is on a top level for portrait.
On FF : I am making an edit on this review to include FF feedback. On FF the sharpness is even better. At f/1.6 the results are already mindblowing. see additional pictures below.

Bokehs are great and soft. Perfect for portrait.

Not flawless wide open (purple fringing and axial), almost gone by f/2-f/2.8. It is normal for such a bokeh monster, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G is even worse...

Against the sun, there is a lot of flare. In other conditions is it correct.

Neutral ! Maybe slightly on the blue side.

Nothing to be noticed.

A little bit, still acceptable. Should be worse on FF sensor...


>85mm SMC f/1.8 Pentax
Not the same age and technology inside, but usually around the same price tag. The Pentax lens is really softer from f/1.8 to f/2.8. Starting at f/2.8 the image result is really good. The bokeh of the Pentax is slightly better but the Samyang is great too.
The Pentax has the advantage of focusing as close as 85cm while the Samyang is at 1m. It can be usefull !
Appart from this the Samyang provides cleaner results.

>85mm f/1.4G Nikon
I usually don't compare with non K mount lenses, but I tested the 85mm from Nikon during a shooting on a D3X. The Nikon has really more CA than the Samyang. The flare is maybe better controlled. Excepting the MF vs AF issue, both lenses are on the same level in my opinion.

If you love portrait, buy this lens you will really enjoy it (focus peaking and catch in focus options should help you with focusing, don't be afraid). For other applications (landscape, journalism...) it will not fit, but it is normal.
Edit : On FF, the lens field of view is natural for portraits and the lens just feels great together with the K-1. The combo delivers amazing results with great sharpness and details.

APSC (Bokeh testing) (Night shot testing)
FF (f/1.6) (f/1.8) (f/1.4)
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2009
Location: London
Posts: 204
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent value for money
Cons: focus stiffer than I would like
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-S2   

First a general comment, given the price, the build quality and performance are excellent. Now for the picky things. Weight, at 500g this is about right for this type of lens. The focus ring I did find a bit stiff, maybe the plastic engineering, not really sure, but I would have preferred that the be easier. Due to the aperture ring being recessed, made it a bit difficult to move when on the camera. The lens hood could have been petal as it has a non rotating front lens. Found the best technique for securing the lens hood on and off, was NOT to put my hand across the hood twist; this action just seemed to lock the hood in place. But to use a few fingers to grip both inside and outside of one portion of the hood and pull or push to go over the clip.

Can't say I found focusing difficult, the AF indicator showed when it was correct. Overall given the plastic engineering of the lens I was very impressed with Samyang. Taking this as example of their quality I would not hesitate to purchase another. This version of the 85mm had the A pin setting, thus allowing the use of Av and Tv modes other than M.
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2012
Posts: 198
Lens Review Date: March 20, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $185.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: It is a f/1.4 & inexpensive.
Cons: A little soft wide open.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

You buy a lens like this to generally shoot wide open or close to it. It is decent wide open (certainly good enough for portraits) and very, very sharp after f/4. There is a learning curve due to the razor thin depth of field. You can literally have only one of two eyes in focus with close-up portraits. Be sure to use live view with stationary objects when shooting wide open to ensure you are in focus. Here is an example using it for landscape (yeah, I didn't buy it for that but wanted to see what it could do).


Registered: February, 2009
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 309

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 7, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $290.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, light-weight, great MF feel
Cons: Shoddy hood and included caps
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5, ME Super   

This is a fabulous lens, not quite as sharp as I would like at f/1.4, but amazing from f/2.0 and beyond. There is one thing you need to be aware of since this is a manual-focus only lens, focusing with wide apertures (f/2.8 and larger) is very difficult - I have good eye-sight AND own a split-prism focusing screen and still struggled to get properly focused pictures. The most reliable way to get razor-sharp focus at f/1.4 is to set the camera on a tripod and focus via live-view.
However, one cannot fault the lens too much, it is difficult to focus ANY 85mm f/1.4 lens wide open, whether an auto or manual focus design. At least with the Rokinon you get to keep over $700 in your pocket.

There is some chromatic aberration visible when shooting closer to wide open, but they are easily removed in Lightroom, overall I was very happy with this lens.

I ended up selling this lens after a couple years, mainly since I got a DA* 50-135 f/2.8 to take over portrait and "bokehlicious!" duties.

Wide-open, some purple-fringing I neglected to remove around his shoulder pads.

Works on FF just fine, this is from an ME Super - MAYBE f/2.8...I don't remember.

Bokeh and sharpness displayed at f/2.

You can look through some more images I've taken with the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 here:
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2013
Location: Kansas City, KS
Posts: 1,540

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 31, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast and color, fast
Cons: Heavy, difficult to focus, CA/PF

My lens for the Single in October (2014) was the Rokinon 85/1.4. I had been wanting a lens like it since I saw the "Brenizer method" images and wanted to recreate the effect. I have the Rokinon 8/3.5 fish-eye, so I was confident in the quality of the lens. I missed the $199 sale from the online stores, but managed to find it second-hand for that price here on the forums! (My gratitude to a timely work bonus.)

My first time out with the lens the aperture lever began sticking wide open instead of stopping down with the shot... The problem seemed worse with the aperture ring set to Auto, so I used it manually, which I am very comfortable doing, but I was disappointed. I spent the first two weeks of October using the lens with a manual ring, living in constant fear of a sticky lever. Never happened. So I got bold and put the ring on the A setting and spent days switching between Av and M, enjoying adjusting the aperture in-camera with the K-30's wheels. Until the morning of the 25th, when it started sticking again. Since the 25th I've had to remove the lens and physically push the aperture lever free at least a half a dozen times, and several shots have been rendered blazing white because selected aperture may have been 5.6, but the lens stuck at 1.4. Grrr.

I will be looking into having the lens repaired or adjusted...

The lens itself feels good. Solid and heavy (I like that kind of thing). There aren't any loose bits and it doesn't feel cheap. It did come with a bayonet-mounting hood, but I didn't find myself using it. The lens is internal-focus and the front ring does not rotate; both small treats that I appreciate! The aperture ring has nice clicks, f/1.4 to 2, and then half-stops from 2 to 22. The focusing ring is well-dampened, but smooth. I might like it if it were a little tougher, then the focus that I set for my Brenizer-style shots would feel more secure. :-)

I immediately noticed that the lens has SIGNIFICANT chromatic aberrations/fringing. This is especially noticeable wide open and up through f/4, but never really went away, no matter how stopped down I went. If you cannot tolerate CA/PF, this is NOT the lens for you. Fortunately, that's not how I judge lenses, so it didnt really bother me. When it was obtrusive in an image, it was easy to edit out using Lightroom. There's no barrel distortion, not that I expected to see any, but I did notice rather disappointing vignetting. This was especially noticeable on the days I used the hood, but after that I was looking for it and couldn't stop seeing the vague shadow. For an average snap it's no big deal, but because I bought this lens to do the Brenizer style stitches, I think this is very uncool. Sharpness, color and contrast are all excellent, very satisfying. I didn't test for flare and didn't notice any.

Focusing. OMG. This is the fastest lens I have (next being the Vivitar/Promaster 50/1.7), which makes the viewfinder nice and bright, but, my god. Guys, all I have are manually focusing lenses. All of them. I can do it. I have knowledge and skill and experience... But I could not find focus at f/1.4 to save my life. I resorted to using live view (with the zoom-in feature) for every shot under f/3.5. And, when I want to do Brenizers, I wanted f/1.4. That means live view for 40-some shots. Do you know how obnoxious it is to listen to the "flip/click" "flip/click" 40-some times? Yes, I could have turned live view off, but then I wouldn't see the image and know which "patch" of the stitch I was shooting or if it overlapped sufficiently... and I couldn't turn live view off and put the camera to my eye, because the distance moved from live-viewing to view-findering would have lost the DoF.

Minimum focusing distance is a terribly disappointing three feet/one meter. One foot would have been a dream. Engineers: Let's do this.

Obviously, I'm sure my technique is lacking. I haven't perfected my skills with such a fast lens as this one... I presume time will only improve my performance and I'm nowhere near giving up the ghost on this glass, especially if/when I can resolve the issue with the aperture lever.

Here's my Flickr album of shots I have taken with this lens.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2013
Posts: 731
Lens Review Date: September 27, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $299.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Affordable Price, Great build quality, Wonderful IQ
Cons: Manual Focus, but its not that bad
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5II   

This lens really is the way to go if you are needing a 85mm lens. You can't beat the quality to price ratio. Manual focusing isn't too bad because the plane of focus is so sharp that it litterally snaps into focus when you got it right. When you get really good, you will probably be very very fast.

I wouldn't recomend this for squirmy babies or animals, just people in controled environments.


I sold this lens.....Why?
1) Focus
2)CA at 1.4
3) Yellow Color cast

I had a heck of a time getting keepers. Also, the lens is a bit soft and shows CA really easily at 1.4. I increased my Focus accuracy and decreased CA by using the lens at 1.8 - 2.8. I guess I was just mostly upset that I didn't feel I was getting the advantage of the 1.4 lens. To top it off, the lens tended to produce a yellow cast in my images. I could correct it in PP, but I hated doing it all the time. I took it out less and less so I decided to sell it off in favor of the 50-135.

Who is this lens for? - If you intend to use this lens only from time to time, or if you are on a tight budget, then you may want to give this lens a serious look. If you stop the lens down, focusing will be easier and you will get the goods.

If you have some extra cash, go with a Sigma 85, Pentax 77, Pentax 70-200, or Pentax 50-135. I think your keeper rate will be higher.

New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: July 20, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $199.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Gorgeous bokeh
Cons: I need to work to get better focus wide open, but it will definitely be worth it... from what I've seen.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-30   

I just recently bought this lens, in the Rokinon version, at a terrific price, primarily because I love smooth, creamy bokeh and had read so much about how this lens delivers at a small price compared to equivalent lenses. I've just started experimenting and know I need to work on focus, especially when the lens is wide open, but the grass in my backyard, which leaves a lot to be desired, was magically converted into a dreamy background, which is exactly what I was hoping for. I know my dog's face could have been in much better focus, but this is straight out of the camera and I'm new at this, so I look forward to improving my skill with this lens as I think it's just about perfect for what I was looking for, as a bokeh addict, at a decent price.
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp Sharp Sharp!! Price
Cons: Nothing!
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K5   

Fantastic lens! Super sharp from F2.8. Perfectly usable at F1.4.

I love it! It produces fantastic colours and it is really sharp. A great portrait lens for only 300. I sold the Pentax 70mm limited to get this. I don't regret it at all!!!
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 511
Lens Review Date: October 11, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, smooth focus, affordable, colour, bokeh, great for video
Cons: mf @ f/1.4 is difficult, obtaining correct focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

This is a great MF lens! Being new to MF, this is a very forgiving lens, as long as you don't try to hand focus at f/1.4

+ Video: With a smooth focus ring, video is VERY good on this lens
+ Fast/bright: I can shoot with this very well in low light.
+ Sharp image - this is a very sharp lens, and is very consistent across the scope of the lens
+ Affordable - even if I had to pay for it - its a very low cost lens for what it provides
+ Bokeh is very pleasant on this lens

- Manual focus at f/2 or less can be tough - even with a 100% viewfinder. I found the Live View to be helpful with the 6x zoom feature.
- Min focus = ~3' / 1m

If only I could get an 18mm f/1.8 or 35mm f/1.8 of the same quality for roughly the same price. Those lenses are at least double.
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,270

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 19, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $259.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp, fast, huge value for money, good build, very nice bokeh
Cons: Hood fiddly to attach, 1 m minimum focus distance, can purple fringe
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I got this lens for general shallow depth of field and also low light photography so I was looking for a lens that was usable wide open at f1.4.

The Bower (Samyang) 85mm delivers good sharpness images (frame center) wide open at f1.4 and so is exactly what I was looking for. Also stopped down to f5.6 it is very sharp across the frame. There is softness in the corners wide open at f1.4 but border sharpness is surprisingly good (even the contrast is Ok) - look at second f1.4 example below to see how good they are wide open. Corner sharpness comes right by f2.8 on my copy. In fact this lens wide open at f1.4 beats my (very nice) Pentax A 50 f1.4 at f2.4 - amazing!

Its not a perfect lens (none are really). If you don't like manual focus then this lens is not for you. If you are looking for a lens with close focus it is also not for you. If you need a lens that is sharp corner to corner wide open (something thats very rare for f1.4 lenses anyway) it may not be for you. Also in high contrast conditions you may see some purple fringing (sometime I can see quite a bit) - to clarify this further it appears to be bokeh fringing (fringing is in out of focus areas) but I have been able to correct it fairly easily with PP. Also I find the lens hood a bit fiddly to fit (especially if you try to reverse stow it on the lens - which is at least possible) but I'm getting used to fitting it. While talking about the hood, its better than I thought it would be after reading other reviews. Sure its not solid but its certainly perfectly functional. Lens cap could be better but its usable (except you can't fit it with hood in place).

Overall I absolutely love it and its a bargain!

Update (June 2016): Had not used it for a while (since getting a DA 70) but recently rediscovered this lens and using it a lot. It makes pretty much anything you point it at look good and find I use it mostly at f1.4. Adding a magnifying viewfinder cup to K-5 had made focusing a lot easier too. Added sample.

Some sample images:
Inactive Account

Registered: April, 2013
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: price,sharpness,build
Cons: lens cap,hood
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

hi,im new on forum...this is my first review
samyang is my newest lens and by so far im more than happy with it its nice build,sharp(even wide open) and good CF and CA handling.
lens cap is very flimsy and bad and hood is not so good so..
im using it with my k-x and im used to work with manual lenses so it is not a problem to me...
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