May 1st, 2009 by blogger

Binoculars for theater and opera provide spectators close-up view of the show, especially when the seating area is not optimum. These optical devices make their users feel as though they are seated on the front row while enjoying a play or an opera.

To enjoy and appreciate your viewing experience in the theater or opera, don’t forget to bring your theater binoculars. If you don’t have one, then you might be missing something important when you go to the shows. Opera glasses enable you to see every essential detail in a play—the facial expressions of the actors, the elaborate designs of the costumes, and the props on the stage. Because opera glasses offer a wide field of view, you can see the stage as a whole regardless of where you are seated.

When it comes to optical performance, no model or brand of opera glasses is considerably superior in image contrast than the others. Theater and opera binoculars are not actually designed to show sharp images after all, regardless of how well the lenses are refined. Still, there are binoculars that have better features than the others. And it is worth your time checking each feature when buying this kind of binoculars.


For theatrical performances, musicals, ballets, and operas, the maximum magnification should be 5X. This provides less power and light for the best results. Magnification that is less than 5X shows a broad view while minimizing image instability. Magnification of 3X is sufficient for a pleasant viewing experience. Invest in a pair of theater or opera binoculars with wide angle feature that enables focus on the actors’ subtle gestures on stage.


When it comes to focusing, you have two theater/opera binocular options: no focus and center focus. The latter is a better feature for people who have poor eyesight and need optical correction. Center focus binocular models have finer focusing than no focus ones. But if you prefer to use a program light for reading discreetly in dim light, then the no focus opera glass can provide exactly that.

As for lens diameter, the best binoculars for theaters measure about 21 to 25mm. This size range permits a sufficient amount of light for viewing in dim light conditions without being too heavy to handle.

Strap or Chain Is Nice

Typical opera glasses are smooth and streamlined so that they are easy on the hands. These binoculars are sleek and can be easily taken from a pocket or purse. For more comfort and convenience, it’s best to get an opera glass that comes with neck strap, which is either a chain or black leather.


Unlike other types of binoculars, opera glasses and theatrical binoculars offer elegant styling for their users. These binoculars are available in different materials, designs, and colors. Some binoculars for theater and opera purposes come with a handle, more commonly known in its elegant term lorgnette. This handle was originally meant to lessen fatigue while a spectator was using the binoculars. Its length can be adjusted and can be folded when not in use. So aside from the useful functions of opera glasses, you get to enjoy being fashionable and classy among the theater crowd.


You do not have to be a prominent person like Lincoln or be a regular opera spectator in order to get the best opera glasses around. You just need to know the best features to look for when buying one to ensure your ultimate viewing experience in the theaters.

Binocular History and Trivia

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was using opera glasses at Ford’s theater when he was assassinated in 1865?

Here’s another trivia: theater binoculars and opera glasses date back to the 16th century when opera was starting to flourish in Europe. Made in the 1730s, the first opera glasses were monocular glasses. The structure of these opera glasses followed that of Galileo’s telescope, and they were adorned with gems, ivory, enamel, decorations, and paintings.

Fast forward to the present: modern opera glasses still use the design of the Galilean telescope that started more than 400 years ago. This has never changed despite the many improvements that opera glasses have undergone over the years. Binoculars for opera have retained their simplicity, making them different from the complicated systems of traditional binoculars.

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