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Thread: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I know for awhile now i have been saying how much I really like the Sony 16-35 zoom and many people agree its a really nice lens but it does come with a limitation first being a F4 lens and more importantly the 35mm setting does not do as well as the wide end of this zoom and from 16-28 mm this lens is really really good for a zoom lens. What I did not expect here was just how good the Loxia 35mm F2 really was. I knew it would perform better than the zoom and the reason I got it was for that plus i pick up two stops. Now lets get to the Guys generally rule on lenses the best performance and I said this for years was two stops down from wide open it hits its prime resolving power. Thats a general rule sometimes every once in a while its actually better. Here is a case even at 1 stop down it performs very well. Not its best but darn good. The zoom on the other hand may need 3 stops down, thats not great.

    Now first on the hit list as it seems to be a big concern is corner sharpness so lets attack this first than we will get into central sharpness and a surprise there.

    Now this is NOT for artistic review saying I am the best shooter on the planet, far from it these are test images of a scene i always test lenses against because it is repeatable, always there and the texture and color are awesome to test with.

    Full scene with the Loxia 35mm at F4. early morning tripod and 2 second delay all manually focused in live view with a hoodman loupe to make sure i am nailing focus. Im focused on the center like one normally would in most cases.



    No lets do the upper left crop. Bonus I get F2 and F2.8 for free until I get to the zoom. LOL





    Now here where the Loxia starts kicking in with the corners very well at F4





    as you can see the Loxia just beats it up at F4 but again the zoom is wide open and really don't match the Loxia until F8 and the Loxia is at F4

    Lets move onto 5.6 where the Loxia is pretty much not going to get much better. This is very very good here





    Now the zoom finally hits it at F8 and very good at F11





    and finally F8 on the Loxia. I did not shoot F11 as there was no point

    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Even at F11 the zoom is not matching the Loxia. Maybe defraction who knows but the Loxia is certainly a winner at F4 and actually not that bad even at 2.8. I actually call that good as we don't always go here in reality with corners on some subject matter.

    lets move on to centrally and the Loxia does some real damage to the Zoom. Now it would be nice to have the 35 F2.8 here and the new 35mm 1.4 but I owned many 35mm lenses in many different flavors, Canon, Nikon , Sigma ART, Zeiss ZE and others and this lens looks pretty darn comparable to the market and when I hit more light it really lit up well. Here Im a little diffused with the sun this early in the morning.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Okay being called out to run errands . I will get back to this later
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    To me it looks like the corners are acceptable but not great at f/2.8 but get significantly better from f/4-8.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Exactly . 2.8 you can certainly get away with sometimes for sure. F4 looks really dang good.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Oh forgot to mention all with the A7r
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    The reason I didnt keep the 16-35 was the performance in the 28-35mm range.
    In this range the 24-70 was better than 16-35 (my sample) in the corners, and the Loxia was better than the 24-70, and at 2.8 the 35/2.8FE was still a little sharper than the Loxia in the corners.

    I found the 16-35 dissappointing in the 28-35mm range.
    The difference between Loxia and 35FE in regards of corner sharpness seemed tight.
    IMO the Loxia is an excellent lens with very nice handling and very balanced IQ. Also the Bokeh is great.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    The more I see of this Sony/Loxia match-up, the closer creeps the day I have to put my VM and ZM lenses up for sale. F2 with stabilisation on the A7II and a pleasurable (unlike Nikon's green dot) manual focusing experience is making it tough to resist.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Honestly Bud, I don't see much from either that impresses me. The Loxia renders corners about like my ex Nikon 35/1.4 did and the ART would kill them all.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    This test is not done yet by the end of it my bet will swing your vote. It has a nice look very sharp centrally nice corners. Really a lens not to complain about.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Okay, I will wait more patiently LOL!
    Jack
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Honestly Bud, I don't see much from either that impresses me. The Loxia renders corners about like my ex Nikon 35/1.4 did and the ART would kill them all.
    Sorry bud but your wrong the Art 35mm does not do corners well until 5.6. I owned that lens on the Nikon and Sony system . Its a nice lens but it has very little character to it. I'm after character I said that numerous times with this Loxia. The Sigma is very nice but it is also without character . My surprise here is the Loxia is actually very sharp in the center that test is coming up. I'm still running Nancy around like driving miss Daisy today. Lol
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Jack seriously I found very few lenses in my day that at 2.8 looked pretty good at 2.8 sure 5.6 is the optimum like so many others but 2.8 is not to shabby. We are talking 1 stop down which is unusual .
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thanks Guy for the ongoing review.
    So far I get the impression my A7R is already doing quite well at the wide end with the Leica M 16-18-21/4 WATE and at 35 mm with the Leica R Vario 28-90/2.8-4.5 and even the FE 35/2.8. What did I get wrong?
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Nothing at all all very good lenses but none are F2
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Nothing at all all very good lenses but none are F2
    That's true. Thanks.
    It seems the Loxia needs to be stopped down as well for optimal performance.
    So, unless I want to shoot something other than landscapes, my lenses should be sufficient.
    Last edited by k-hawinkler; 3rd April 2015 at 14:35.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Neat comparison, thanks. I don't really see these two as substitutes, but more compliments. I guess this is good evidence that the Loxia 35 fills a role where the 16-35mm is weak.

    I'd be interested to see the Loxia 35/2 vs the Zeiss 35/2.8 since those two are probably competing for the same spot in people's bags.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Yea really if you want to get away from adapters and third party lenses we now have three choices the 35 2.8 which has a serious vignetting issue and mine had corner issues and its 2.8. Than we have the new 35 1.4 which is the most expensive and is big and heavy and they are both AF but we now have these Loxia lenses which may just fill a void for manual focus lenses designed exclusively for the FE mount which does eliminate or can eliminate some third party options. For others it fills what the 16-35 has a harder time at being the 35mm focal length and also giving you 2 stops. Now I don't want to take away from the zoom since I think its one of the best wide zooms around and at 16mm its amazing and even through the range to 28mm. I tested this against the Canon 17 TSE and 24 TSE known to be outstanding lenses and it was right there with them.

    Okay having said all that lets move on to the central zone of the lenses. A little bit a a lighting issue since I was sort of in the shade so maybe a little tough to see the Loxia at F2 but I have plenty of F2 shots in more daylight that really highlight its sharpness. Here it looks good but I have far better after this test of images.

    Here is the scene



    Okay my free 2 F stops here



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Lets move on now to the F4 images



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Now the light changed a bit but the fact remains the zoom is soft wide open. No real surprise but it is softer than what I would like to see.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    5.6 the zoom still does not jump up much. But the Loxia at 5.6 is right at its optimum if not even F4



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Here is a interesting comparison side by side lets take the Loxia at 2.8 against the zoom at F8.





    Im afraid to say it but even a 3 stop swing the Loxia still smokes it. Honestly even the Loxia wide open looks better than the zoom at F8.


    I will leave you all with that conclusion but here is my take the Loxia is very very nice but the zoom is just no match for it at 35mm.

    Now lets move forward to just the Loxia in better light and a lot at F2
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Okay lets take a overall image at F8 with both lenses at a nice distance





    Here are the focus area and crops



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I shoot this scene a lot with a ton of lenses and have to say the Loxia is really quite good here even against a lot of heavy weight lenses that have shot this scene like tech cams and MF world. Very nice showing here
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    The good news here if no one has noticed i could shoot the zoom say at 21mm and another image on the Loxia and the color looks pretty much identical. They are Zeiss designed lenses for sure.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Show some wide shots here. I purposely tried to get busy backgrounds on some of the images just to see how the booked looks in bad situations.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Now here where I am seriously impressed where a F2 shot looks like a 5.6 in the central zone.





    Now check out the crops the first one is F2 and second one says 5.6 on it



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Now the 5.6 shot is at its optimum no doubt but at F2 i am impressed how well F2 is really rendering. Yes maybe slightly less contrast but still plenty sharp with no known visible aberrations. I consider this alone a winning sign. Don't let the DOF fool you either here I am focused on that crack to the right of the bottom E letter. Sure contrast does make it look sharper and it is for sure but wide open is a different world.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Let me ask myself a question:

    So Guy how do you get the F2 image to have the same look as the 5.6 outside DOF. Same look and character lets say.

    Easy add black and clarity.

    F2 with adjustments

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    F2 and some really nice pop to this. This is out of the can folks.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Now fair warning Arizona vegetation has serious nervous bokeh. I have no idea why that is but I believe it is because of close pattern effects of the plants so do look at different parts of a scene . But Im not hiding anything. Looks a touch nervous here and I am doing this on purpose. I have more that are smoother but I'm not buying this lens for it myself. I leave that mostly to the 85 1.4 but thats me.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thanks, the Loxia looks really good. If I wasn't happy with my FE 35 or didn't have it I would have gotten the Loxia. I can't wait to see what else they release in the Loxia range.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Here it looks much nicer

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Slingers View Post
    Thanks, the Loxia looks really good. If I wasn't happy with my FE 35 or didn't have it I would have gotten the Loxia. I can't wait to see what else they release in the Loxia range.
    A lot of folks will go after the 35 2.8 because it does have AF and thats great. Im not a big fan of that lens but more important we have 3 Native lens choices in 35mm actually we have 5 with the 16-35 and 24-70. This is all good we want lots to chose from. Myself Im keeping it and going to add the 50 Loxia its working for my needs and I do like the feel of the lens.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Guy, Thanks! A lot to look at and process.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    I was ready to buy the 35mm 1.4 had the money sitting in paypal for like two weeks. I thought long and hard about these two lenses the Loxia and the 35mm 1.4 at this point I have no regrets for getting it . I saved 400 dollars and size and weight to boot. Now if the 1.4 is much much better which i tend to doubt than I will consider it. Personally I expect similar performance from F2 down its the 1.4 setting that you get plus AF but in all honesty I would NEVER shoot a commercial gig at 1.4 there is just too much risk in blowing the job. Focus is so paper thin that on a Professional level its a high risk maneuver to use it. Thats my take on it some will differ of course.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Looks pretty good and the sharpness is better than I expected on center and throughout 75-80% of the frame. I don't care too much about the edges as street photography (what I'd use this lens for primarily if I bought it) will generally have me in the f/4-8 range during the daytime in the Southern or Equatorial sun. At night, dusk, or lowlight I'd be at f/2-2.5 (assuming this moves in 1/3 stops like other Zeiss lenses) and no one would care about the extreme corners.

    My only potential hesitation (it was a concern as soon as I learned it was a Biogon design) is that the bokeh CAN get a bit nervous sometimes. I'm still on the fence about this and the more I see of the Distagon the more I lean that way honestly. This was an issue with the ZM f/2 version as well. The C-Biogon was a better all around lens (and had a lot more character than the f/2 version) but was missing the speed which as Guy said - when you need it then you need it.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Bokeh coming right up stay tuned. I did test for it both ugly and nice situations.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Now I consider this a bad situation for trying to get nice bokeh as this is very busy in the background. Now you may or may not like it but what I like is the separation from the focus point. Honestly not sure i would shoot something like this for real as I would find a better angle.









    The thing about bokeh is people have different reactions to it. If you primary goal is bokeh than look for 1.4 lenses in your glass. To me it is overused very much like a fisheye sometimes. If shooting portraits or 3/4 length shots of people just find a simple background and most lenses will handle that okay. When it gets busy back there or lots of patterns in the background than thats when the nervousness starts to show. Even here i find it pretty pleasing but I know I could shoot this scene better. I like to test ugly and see what is bad.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Here it is a little nicer as I eliminated a lot of background to more smoother areas of the background.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Some more , now I'm pretty close to subject and the closer you are the better especially when using wides.





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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Interesting at distance. Now folks I hope you know if i wanted to make these look good I can make them jump right off the screen, I'm doing nothing to these files. I don't even have clarity on just a basic sharpening setting for the whole shoot.









    At distance its pretty hard to get wide open quality with many lenses . This is pretty good and I could even make it better if I wanted too.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Pretty much ends here the samples.



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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Oops one more.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    My end of day conclusion. Very much like a Zeiss 35mm ZE which I always loved , I should I had 4 of them over the years. Its sharp wide open has better contrast wide open than a lot of other fast lenses. The correction is very minor to get to the F2.8 or F4 contrast level. I consider the corners excellent as a lot of other 35mm lens have serious field curvature. If this does its very minor. You can get away 1 stop down in corners and 2 stops is excellent. Thats pretty big stuff. Its certainly a Zeiss lens both in look and character and the mechanics are wonderful on it. Manual focusing is a breeze. i find it far more satisfying on all levels over the 35 2.8 AF version and equal or better than 35 1.4 lenses of the past.

    Not sure why there is not a lot more hoopla on it as its a damn good lens. They say the 50mm Planar is better well it should be 50mm is easy to design than 35mm lenses. i think people should seriously drop the Biogon of old attitude thats not valid in the slightest here. So get over that crap right now, its a damn good Zeiss 35mm Period is all that matters. Unless someone can prove to me the new 35mm 1.4 from Sony will eat it for breakfast Im keeping it. Now is the Sigma 35mm ART any better, sure I think at F2 it would be better centrally but not by much and this has better corners from memory is smaller lighter and no need for a adapter which sometimes would have a hard time focusing anyway on AF. I do think if you have a Sigma hanging out than it might be worth keeping it for 1.4 and AF. Its certainly cheap enough and hopefully wont break your bank account.

    Guy likes it, My thumbs up to Zeiss . Now give me a 90 F2 , 24 F2 and a 15mm 3.5 to boot and than you have one serious 5 small lens travel kit.

    Thanks for looking, Hope this made any decision help you as that certainly is the intent.
    Last edited by Guy Mancuso; 3rd April 2015 at 20:24.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    No review is complete without the RAWS to play with. You have 7 days until this expires and PLEASE only post any of the images here only. You don't want me to send my dogs after you. LOL

    have fun

    https://www.hightail.com/download/Ul...Mm11Yk85TE1UQw
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Those looks good and the bokeh actually cleans its self up a lot by f/4 it seems. Definitely an improvement over the ZM35/2. No doubt about that. I'm waiting to see the Distagon shots to decide if I want to buy this and pair with the Sigma or sell the Sigma and buy the Distagon.
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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    There's something very appealing in the overall smoothness of the Loxia rendering. In post #23 the f8 examples are both sharp, with plenty of detail but the zoom looks a little brittle in comparison. The Loxia draws beautifully to my eyes. As for the bokeh, well lets just say that having happily shot with the Voigtlander 58mm sl II, I'll take the Loxia any day!
    Thanks for your efforts here, Guy. Very useful and appreciated.

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    No review is complete without the RAWS to play with. You have 7 days until this expires and PLEASE only post any of the images here only. You don't want me to send my dogs after you. LOL

    have fun

    https://www.hightail.com/download/Ul...Mm11Yk85TE1UQw
    Thanks for taking the time to provide these testshots!
    The Loxia 2/35 definitely looks better at the very edges than the Sonnar FE 2.8/35 (at all apertures ... maybe except of f11). The Sonnar FE 2.8/35 is a bit cumbersome to focus manually, it shows quite some field curvature and the light-falloff is really heavy (leading to noisy edges when corrected in post). So I am definitely going to test the Loxia...
    Thanks again!

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    Re: Loxia 35mm VS 16-35 at 35mm test

    Thanks Guys appreciate your comments. The raws are there for you to play with and I did nothing to them here except a basic sharpening in C1. I usually would add a little clarity like 12 points and my bet would be the F2 shots would jump even more. To me its a lot like the Zeiss 35 F2 ZE and ZF.2 lenses which are rated very well. I actually think this is better. My gut feeling is Zeiss put some effort in designing this to the Sony A7 series. My only real negative is the aperture ring and focus ring are the same size and I wish the aperture ring was slightly bigger so it is easier to grab. But that's pretty minor quibble. Might throw a rubber band on the ring and see if that helps some.

    I keep looking back at images and I really like what I'm seeing. The size of it is really nice. Now I'm going after the 50mm F2 as well as soon as I sell my Mitakon. Great lens but like to have the Loxia more.

    They would clean up if they made a nice 85 or 90 since we really don't have much there to use. I seriously hope they come out with a nice 5 lens lineup like a 16,24 and a 90 . Now that would make a really nice kit to travel with.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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