10 Best Binoculars Under $200 – {2023’s Editors Choice}

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Last Updated: Dec 7, 2023 @ 8:10 am

Birding or Hunting isn’t exactly an inexpensive sport, but there are actually some quite respectable best binoculars available for under $200. While even the best binoculars under 200 may be slightly bulkier or less sharp than more expensive models like the Vortex Viper HD, you’ll likely be hard-pressed to find any noticeable performance differences.

In other words, if you’re looking for durable binoculars that can take a beating and do it all in the deepest of woods or the widest of prairies, $200 is more than enough to get you an excellent pair of hunting and/or birding optics.

Update: We are updating the list of the best binoculars under $200 to ensure that our recommendations continue to reflect the most current and relevant options available to our readers.

Binocular technology and market offerings are constantly evolving, with new models and improvements being introduced regularly.

By updating our list, we aim to provide our readers with the latest and most accurate information about affordable binoculars that offer excellent performance and value.

best binoculars under 200 dollar

So again, Recently After putting over 50 different Birding and hunting binoculars to the test, I’ve managed to discover Ten best inexpensive binoculars yet highly effective for hunting or bird watching. Any cash-strapped hunter or birder would be proud to wear.

If you Are in a Hurry And Want to Skip the Details, I have compiled the Quick List Below For the Best Binoculars Under 200 Dollars

Comparison of Best Binoculars Under $200

Model

Weight

Image & Check Price

FOV ft@1000yds

Exit Pupil
(mm)

Eye Relief

Prism Type

Binoculars Guru editors choice

22.2 oz

393ft

5.25

17.8 mm

SMART Bak-4 Prism

33.9 oz

199 ft @ 10x

for 10x : 5 mm


For 22x: 2.3 mm


8.6 mm @ 10x

Porro Prism

23.1 oz

426 ft

5.2

17 mm

Roof Prism

Binoculars Guru editors choice

Apprx.

23.5 oz

325 ft for 10x

393.7 ft for 8x

4.2

15 mm for 10x

17 mm for 8x

Roof prism

23.5 oz


340 ft

4.2

18 mm

Roof Prism

22.7 oz

324 ft

4.2

15.55

Roof prism

36 oz


342 ft

5.0

17 mm

Porro Prism

22 oz

305 ft

4.2

N/A

Roof prism

24 oz

332 ft

4.2

16 mm

Roof prism

23.5

341 ft

4.2

15.5 mm

Roof prism

Special Attention : In case, If you are not on a tight budget then check out these 

Best Binoculars Under 200

We Bincoulars guru Team categorized binoculars under differnt section for the sake of budget conscious people. Explore which are the, Best Binoculars Under $1000, Best Binoculars Under 500 , Best Binos Under 300 and a lower range of best binoculars under 100 of 2020's market.

Also we have enlisted 4 best rangefinder binoculars for hunting which are awesome too to use and will worth your money if you are a professional hunter. There a range of people who want to get best binoculars for the money if you are in that category then it advisible to check that review too.

What to Look for When Buying Binoculars for Under $200

When on the hunt for the best hunting binoculars under 200 dollars, it’s important to take note of the overall construction and design of each binocular as well as the features they have to offer.

For instance,

  • is the binocular waterproof and fog proof?
  • Is it durable and well-made?
What to look for when choosing binoculars under 200

These are just a few of the questions hunters should ask themselves when searching for the best binoculars under $200. The five budget-friendly hunting binoculars below hit the mark in each of these categories.

I will discuss each crucial factor to look for in detail after, I give my list of recommendations for the best binoculars under $200


Best Binoculars Under 200 Reviews


1. Nikon 8252 ACULON A211 10-22x50 Zoom Binocular Review

I recently got to test the Nikon 8252 ACULON binocular and boy is it an optical masterpiece. For starters, the binocular has an attractive matte black finish and has rubber cover that makes it easy to grip. Contrary to my expectations, this Nikon binocular is not bulky, on the contrary weighing 3.06 pounds, it is quite lightweight.

This came as a surprise since it comes with a large 50 mm objective lens and a variable magnification of 10X to 22X. As its name suggests, zooming in on the action is super easy thanks to the binocular's zoom adjustment knob that turns effortlessly.

And despite its budget level price tag, this binocular boasts of fully multi-coated lenses crafted from high-quality eco glass. I was amazed at how sharp and clear images appear regardless of the magnification level.

Bottom line, this is a great piece of optical hardware designed for long range viewing.

[amazon box="B00B9Z24J0"]

This is another fantastic binoculars under $200 price point which I have heavily tested.

Nature DX 8x42 binoculars provide a sharp and clear image, with the ability to discern small details, making them great for beginner birders. 

The clarity of the main subject is particularly noteworthy, ensuring you won't miss any crucial identification traits of small birds.

Sometimes I noticed that the image quality gets slightly blurrier towards the edges compared to more expensive models like The Nikon Monarch's 8x42, the Nature DX still delivers a satisfying birding experience. 

In terms of brightness, it performs well in bright light conditions, although it may not match the performance of higher-end models in low-light situations.

Weighing only 22.2 ounces, these binoculars are lightweight and comfortable to hold, but they lack some ergonomic features found in pricier models. Obviously you cant expect an open bridge design like Swarovski in budget binoculars like these.

One amazing feature of these bins is the relatively wide field of view of 392ft which is best in class, making it suitable for observing distant landscapes and small birds. 

Again, The smooth focus knob and easy-to-adjust eyecups enhance the user experience, although the diopter adjustment can be a bit stiff.

Also, With a close focus range of 7.8 feet,you will be comfortable to observe objects at a close distance. However, I wont say this is the best close focus distance relative to other models.

[amazon box="B00KV718JE"]

2. Bushnell Legend L-Series 10x42mm Binoculars Review

The Bushnell Legend 10X42mm Binocular is another awesome binocular from a leading optics manufacturer. A member of the Legend L-Series, this binocular has featured more akin to high-end binoculars. In addition, it weighs only 2.2 pounds, meaning it is easy to carry around.

Unlike the Nikon above, this has a fixed magnification of 10X and a 42 mm objective lens. Of worth noting is that the prisms on this binocular are designed using high-quality Bak4 glass. This is the same glass used in making prisms for high-end optics such as Carl Zeiss binoculars.

And it gets better, this binocular is 100% waterproof and fog proof and can thus withstand harsh weather conditions. Due to its fixed magnification, this Legend L Bushnell is best suited for bird watching.

[amazon box="B00T9N2M0K"]

3. Nikon Prostaff 7s 16003 Binocular Roof Prism Review

Nikon, a well-established and famous company, is known best for its outstanding optics. In my 9 Top picks of best binoculars under 200, my third pick is; Nikon Prostaff 7s.

The reasons behind to choose this bino; it provides crystal clear, and sharp images without any doubt in this price range. The robust and rubberized design of Nikon Prostaff 7s makes it rugged. It is waterproof and fog proof which enhances the flexibility of use it in any situation especially for the hunters and birders. Even for African safari expeditions this binocular is one of the best choice.

Nikon Prostaff 7s optics have multilayer prism coating with phase correction technology. This feature helps to transmit the maximum amount of light so that you can see the object more clearly in the relatively dark area.

To prevent from the moisture getting inside and to keep it safe from the fungus and it sealed with an o-ring. It is Also filled with nitrogen to deny fog from building up.

One of the best parts I love most in this bino is it's easy to use and works great even if you wear glasses.

[amazon box="B00LDYHZGY"]

4. Vanguard Spirit XF Review

A close relative to the revered and more expensive Spirit ED binoculars, the Vanguard Spirit XF binos are also one of the best hunting binoculars under 200 being made today.

Aside from featuring standard glass, as opposed to the “enhanced definition” glass used on the Spirit ED, the Spirit XF also features an open bridge construction, which many hunters actually prefer over the center column design of the Spirit ED.

Despite its use of standard glass, the Spirit XFs live up to Vanguard’s reputation for creating super sharp optics with excellent clarity. In fact, while testing them out on a recent excursion, I was able to zoom in on a herd of elk and count their points from two crests away!

The Spirit XF binoculars are also quite nimble and easy to use. With a quality harness, I’m sure you’ll appreciate these affordable Vanguard binos as much as I do.

[amazon box="B0082D6RL8"]

5. Nikon 7245 Action 10x50 EX Extreme ATB Review

With a name like "Extreme All-Terran Binocular", a lot is to be expected from the Nikon 7245 Action binocular. Fortunately, this binocular does live up to its name. Equipped with a large 50 mm objective lens coupled by a fixed 10X magnification, this binocular is a delight to use.

Nikon did not leave anything to chance in the design of this binocular's optics. In this regard, the manufacturer uses high-index Bak-4 glass with multi layers of reflective coating.

Therefore, do not expect to get any glare with the Nikon Action. For unrivaled comfort, the Nikon Action offers an impressive 17.2 inches of eye relief. In keeping true to its all-terrain tag, this binocular is both waterproof and fog proof and has a tough rubber covering.

[amazon box="B0001HKIK4"]

6. Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker 8x42 Binoculars Review

To many of us, Celestron is that company that makes astronomy binocular. And while this is true, Celestron has a great line of terrestrial binoculars, one of which is the Celestron 71404 TrailSeeker.

With an 8X magnification and a 42 mm objective lens, the TrailSeeker is a great binocular for the money. In fact, it has been rated as one of the best binoculars under 200.

A lightweight housing crafted from a magnesium alloy protects the inside of the binocular. On the other hand, high-quality Bak-4 roof prisms guarantee an incredible image quality.

And that's not all; the binocular has fully multi-coated optics for increased light transmission and image brightness. The 42 mm objective lens and 8X magnification combine to give a great and wide field of view.

[amazon box="B00B73JNKW"]

7. Leupold BX-1 McKenzie Green Ring Binoculars Review

For hunters in search of the streamlined feel and high performance of a roof prism binocular without paying an arm and a leg, the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie is a solid choice. You get a rugged and reliable waterproof design, fully multi-coated lenses, and BAK-4 prisms for razor sharp clarity virtually anywhere.

The BX-1s also provide smooth focusing for easy targeting, armor coating, and handy twist eyecups that make them using them a piece of cake. They’re also water and fog proof, which is honestly unexpected given their surprisingly low price point.

No other hunting binos in their price range offers BAK-4 prisms, fully multi-coated lenses, and such great design, making the Leupold BX-1 McKenzie one of the best binoculars under 200 on the market today.

[amazon box="B078XGHN4T"]

8. Vortex Optics Crossfire 10x42  Review

Like other Vortex Optics hunting binoculars, the vortex crossfire provides first-class build quality typically found on binoculars costing much, much more.

The incredibly user-friendly vortex crossfire binoculars have twist up eye cups, a locking diopter, and an easy-to-use center focus wheel, providing users with the highest level of adjustability at the lowest possible price. With rubberized grips, an armored chassis, and nitrogen-purged tubes for a 100 percent waterproof and fog proof design as well, these binos are without a doubt one of the best binoculars under 200 dollars being made today.

[amazon box="B00B9Z24J0"]

9. Bushnell Excursion HD Roof Prism Binocular


Out of the 7 million Americans who hunt each year, I bet at least half of them own Bushnell products. The brand is simply known for putting out quality stuff, and the Bushnell Excursion HD binoculars are no different.

Providing the largest field of view in its class, the Bushnell Excursion HD allows you to sharply see and track game up to 341 feet away. Combined with its multi-coated lenses, top-end Bak-4 roof prisms, and premium phase coatings, the Bushnell Excursion HD binoculars offer similar performance to binoculars costing three times as much.

This alone makes the Excursion HDs one of the best binoculars for hunting under 200. However, when you also factor in its compact design and smooth center focus wheel, these binoculars are a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. Simply put, if you’re looking for the best binoculars under 200 dollars, I would suggest getting your paws on these Bushnell binos today!


Factors To Choose The Best Binoculars Under $200

Magnification & Objective Lens Size

Magnification (e.g., 8x):

This number represents how many times closer the viewed object will appear than it would to the naked eye. For example, with 8x magnification, objects will appear eight times closer. 

Lower Magnification (e.g., 8x or lower): These binoculars offer a wider field of view, making them excellent for activities where you need to observe a broad area, like birdwatching, sports events, or general outdoor use. They also tend to be more stable and have a steadier image because they're less affected by hand tremors.

Higher Magnification (e.g., 10x or higher): Binoculars with higher magnification are useful for observing objects that are farther away. They're great for activities like wildlife spotting, stargazing, or situations where you need to get a closer look at distant subjects. However, higher magnification can make the image appear shakier due to hand movement.

Objective Lens Size (e.g., 42mm):

The objective lens is the larger lens at the front of the binoculars. Its size influences two critical aspects:

Light-Gathering Capability: A larger objective lens allows more light to enter the binoculars. This is particularly valuable in low-light conditions, such as at dawn, dusk, or when observing in cloudy weather. Binoculars with larger objective lenses can provide brighter images, allowing you to see more detail.

Size and Weight: While larger objective lenses enhance light-gathering, they also make the binoculars heavier and bulkier. Smaller objective lenses, such as 32mm or 42mm, offer a good compromise between portability and light-gathering capacity. In the sub-$200 range, 42mm objective lenses are common as they strike a balance between performance and manageability.

For versatile use, a popular choice is 8x42 binoculars. This configuration offers 8x magnification, suitable for a wide range of activities, from birdwatching to sports events.

The 42mm objective lenses provide a decent amount of light-gathering capability, ensuring good performance in various lighting conditions.

Here's a table with the magnification and objective lens size for the mentioned binocular models:

Binocular ModelMagnificationObjective Lens Size (mm)
Nikon 10-22x50 Binoculars10-22x50mm
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x428x42mm
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42/8x4210x (10x42), 8x (8x42)42mm
Bushnell Legend L 10x4210x42mm
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x4210x42mm
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x5012x50mm
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x428x42mm
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x428x42mm
Nikon Action Extreme 10x5010x50mm
Celestron Trailseeker 8x428x42mm

Lens Quality and Coatings

 

Investing in binoculars with good glass quality and fully multi-coated lenses leads to images that are not only clearer, sharper, and more vibrant but also more resilient to glare and versatile in different lighting conditions. 

Check for ED or HD glass. Usually they are better than normal glass. Also look for phase corrected and dielectric coated prisms.

However, it's important to note that glass technologies lack standardized industry specifications. 

Consequently, one brand might deliver superior performance compared to another, even when using the same glass components or marketing terms related to their glass products.

When you're looking for binoculars under $200, prioritizing these factors ensures a better viewing experience across a range of activities and environments.

Here's a table with information on the prisms and lens coatings for the mentioned binocular models:

Binocular ModelPrismLens Coating
Nikon 10-22x50 BinocularsBaK4 Porro style prismsMulticoated eco glass lenses
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42Bak-4 (Phase Coated)Fully Multi-Coated
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42/8x42Bak-4 phase-correcting roof prismsFully multi-coated lenses
Bushnell Legend L 10x42BAK4 Phase coated Roof PrismsFully Multicoated ED Glass
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42Bak-4 Phase-Correction Coated Roof PrismsFully multicoated Eco-glass lenses
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x50Phase-coated BaK-4 Roof PrismsFully multi-coated lens
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x42BaK-4 Roof Prisms, PC-3 Prism CoatingsFully multi-coated lens
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x42Bak4 phase-coated prismsFully multi-coated lenses
Nikon Action Extreme 10x50BaK4 high index prismsMulti-coated lenses
Celestron Trailseeker 8x42BaK-4 Roof Prisms with Phase and Dielectric CoatingsFully multi-coated ED glass

Wide Field Of View- A Game Changer!

A wider field of view in binoculars means you can see more of your surroundings at once.

This is especially advantageous for birdwatching and outdoor activities as it offers a broader and more encompassing perspective, helping you capture more details and enjoy a more immersive viewing experience.

In the above comparison, I found the celestron nature DX 8x42 and trailseeker 8x42 with the widest field of view. Both are an awesome package for birdwatching experience in under $200 budget.

Binocular ModelField of View (ft @ 1,000 yards)
Nikon 10-22x50 Binoculars199ft @ 10X
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42393ft
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42325ft
Bushnell Legend L 10x42340ft
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42324ft
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie305ft
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x42341ft
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x42332ft
Nikon Action Extreme 10x50342ft
Celestron Trailseeker 8x42426ft

Close Focus Distance

Enter your Binoculars with a shorter close focus distance are advantageous when you want to observe smaller objects, like butterflies, dragonflies or nearby birds. 

They allow you to get up close and appreciate fine details with clarity.

This is particularly beneficial for wildlife enthusiasts, birdwatchers, and anyone interested in studying objects at close range.


Here's a table with the close focus distance (measured in feet) for the mentioned binocular models:

Binocular ModelClose Focus Distance (ft)
Nikon 10-22x50 Binoculars49.2ft @ 10x
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x426.5ft
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42/8x426ft (10x42), 8ft (8x42)
Bushnell Legend L 10x428ft
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x4213.1ft
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x508.2ft
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x426.5ft
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x426.8ft
Nikon Action Extreme 10x5023ft
Celestron Trailseeker 8x426.5ft

Waterproof and Fogproof:

Opt for binoculars that are both waterproof and fogproof. This ensures that your binoculars can withstand outdoor conditions, even in wet or humid environments.

This is a common sense, however, in excitement, some times we forget the basic necessary thing to look for, as of course $200 price range is not cheap. You can expect a decent fogproof and waterproof binocular in that price range.

In my list of the best binoculars under $200 all are waterproof and fogproof.

Eye Relief

When selecting binoculars, especially for eyeglass wearers, it's essential to prioritize those with sufficient eye relief, typically 15mm or more. 

This ensures comfortable and convenient viewing, reduces eye strain, and guarantees that you can enjoy a clear, unobstructed image while keeping your glasses on.

Binocular ModelEye Relief (mm)
Nikon 10-22x50 Binoculars8.6mm @ 10X
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x4217.8mm
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x4215mm (10x42), 17mm (8x42)
Bushnell Legend L 10x4218mm
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x4215.5mm
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x5017mm
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x4219.5mm
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x4220mm
Nikon Action Extreme 10x5017.2mm
Celestron Trailseeker 8x4217mm

Durability

The overall construction of the binoculars plays a significant role in durability.

High-quality materials, such as strong metal or durable polycarbonates, contribute to the ability of the binoculars to withstand wear and tear.

The moving parts, such as the focus wheel or hinge, should be robust and well-engineered to withstand continuous use over time.

Reinforced and precisely machined parts reduce the risk of mechanical failure.

Weight and Size

Lighter and more compact binoculars are excellent for portability and convenience, while larger and heavier models offer better stability and often superior image quality, especially at higher magnifications.

Selecting the right weight and size ensures that your binoculars align with your specific activities and comfort during use.

Binocular ModelWeight (oz)Size (L x W x H)
Nikon 10-22x50 Binoculars33.98.58 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x4222.25.59 x 5.04 x 2.2 inches
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x4223.58.7 x 7.17 x 4.49 inches
Bushnell Legend L 10x4223.55.5 x 7.25 x 6.25 inches
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x4222.76.5 x 5.1 x 2.2 inches
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie226.5 inch Length
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x4223.56 x 3.5 x 7 inches
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x42245.91 x 5.12 x 1.65 inches
Nikon Action Extreme 10x50369.5 x 8.4 x 4.6 inches
Celestron Trailseeker 8x4223.15 x 1.8 x 4.9 inches

Low Light Performance

Assess the binoculars' performance in low-light conditions. Better low-light performance means you can use them at dawn, dusk, or under overcast skies without losing image quality.

Warranty

The most reliable warranties typically come from well-known brands like Nikon and Vortex. It's important to have a solid warranty because, although binoculars can encounter issues, a good warranty ensures you can continue using them without incurring additional expenses.

The best warranties are characterized by three key features: they are unlimited, transferable, and don't require a receipt. These features offer the utmost convenience and peace of mind for the customer.

Regrettably, in the under-$200 price range, most warranties tend to be limited to the product's lifetime, non-transferable, and necessitate retaining your original proof of purchase. It's worth noting that some warranties might also require you to register your binoculars within a specified timeframe.

Binocular ModelWarranty
Nikon 10-22x50 BinocularsLimited Lifetime Warranty
Celestron Nature DX ED 8x42Limited Lifetime Warranty
Vortex Crossfire HD 10x42/8x42VIP Warranty
Bushnell Legend L 10x42Limited Lifetime Warranty (Transferable)
Nikon Prostaff 7s 10x42Limited Lifetime Warranty
Leupold BX-1 McKenzie 12x50Lifetime Guarantee
Bushnell Excursion HD 8x42Limited Lifetime Warranty
Vanguard Spirit XF 8x42Lifetime Warranty
Nikon Action Extreme 10x50Limited Lifetime Warranty
Celestron Trailseeker 8x42Limited Lifetime Warranty

Final Verdict

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a quality pair of hunting or bird watching binoculars. For under $200, you can hunt confidently knowing you have the power of premium optics on your side.

I’ve tested dozens of different birding and hunting binoculars over the years, but the models above are by far the best. If you’re looking for the best hunting binoculars under 200 or all terrain binoculars under 200, you can't go wrong with any of these awesome options. Now comes the hard part of choosing which one!




Smith
 

"Smith is an outdoor enthusiast and Just loves everything about binoculars. Since his childhood he has been a fan of optical gadgets & going into the Jungle with his uncle was his favorite pastime. Besides, He loves watching & studying birds & animals. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and New Jersey Resident. He loves to review binoculars and related optical Instruments and loves testing each one of them." When he is not fiddling with one of his binoculars, you can find him playing his favorite sport Pickleball."

  • John Smith says:

    Excellent buying guide and reviews.

    • BinocularsGuru says:

      Thanks john. Stay tuned with us!

    • Migdalia Cacy says:

      When you are looking to purchase binoculars, you need to consider how often you will be using them. If you are just going to be bringing the binoculars around with you to use at certain times, then you do not need to worry about cleaning them as much.

    • Corazon Scarsella says:

      You can reach out and touch objects that are far away and even view objects that are far away when you have a good pair of binoculars. But if you need to zoom in on a close object, say to grab an eel, then you would be better off using the smaller, tenx models.

  • Shiela says:

    Thank you, I’ve recently been searching for info
    approximately this subject for ages and yours is the best I have came upon till now.
    However, what in regards to the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the source?

  • Alex says:

    Very helpful, I found exactly what I’ve been looking for!!!

  • Outdoor Dude says:

    Hi guys, thanks for the work you out in on this but you should really consider developing a mobile friendly site. The layout makes it all but unusable on a mobile device.

  • Elen Rose says:

    Thanks for coming up with top 5 and explaining each in details. This has been great help for people like me who do not know much about binoculars and would like to get best deal out of their $.I want a good bino for sambar hunting i was looking at Monarch 5 8×42 as my price range is between $400 to $500. After reading your recommendations i am seriously thinking about Avalon 10×42 PRO HD Binoculars. How do you rate them against monarch 3 and 5 ? can you also give us some more info on Avalon including made in etc ?

  • Lily Gul says:

    Found this article piece quite interesting. Love the phrase: “Fact is, you can’t shoot what you can’t see.” – this couldn’t be more true! I’ve wondered if I can use the Bushnell Legend series mentioned here for bird watching? I know about the Celestron Granite, it has good specs. Any suggestions? Many thanks!

  • Richard says:

    Thank you so much for giving us so many options to buy. I have a total budget of $300. But after your guide of $200 binos, I am convinced to buy binoculars under $200. Thank you again for saving my extra $100

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