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Binoculars etc for opera, theater viewing

mikeway2000

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I couldn't think of a better place for the question, and I figure no harm in throwing it out there. I'm an opera fan living in NYC on a rather limited budget, so I frequent Met's Family Circle. I decided to get myself a nice set of binoculars to enhance my viewing experience (won't be watching birds or anything like that since I'm an indoorsy type). I was about to shell out $100 on a compact 6.5x Pentax binoculars, but then I read somewhere that opera glasses are usually 3x-5x. I can't seem to find decent binoculars less than 5x. Has anyone used 6.5x or above for theater-viewing, and would you recommend it?
 

Hans

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I use these compact Leica binoculars, which are far better than regular opera glasses:

http://us.leica-camera.com/nature_ob...ltravid_20_bl/

They are great for the opera and the theatre, and I have also found them to be an excellent way of looking at frescoes in Italy. They are more expensive than the Pentax you were considering, but also *much* nicer.
 

mikeway2000

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That's some serious binoculars! I'm not ready to drop $700 for the sole purpose of theater-going, but what I gather from your recommendation seems to be that it's fine to use a higher-powered binoculars for opera and theater. I'm asking this because I had read that with higher-powered binoculars, your field of view may not cover the whole stage and your hands will have to be super steady.
 

chorse123

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Go to B&H. I have a small pair--maybe Nikon, I can't remember--which were at most $25. They did a good job steering me to the pair I picked. They work perfectly fine from where I sit in the family circle, row D or something like that.
 

Dmax

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The rule of thumb is, the greater the magnification the smaller the filed of view, though the greater the number after the "x" in binocular specifications, the greater the field o view, when compared to other binos at the same magnification. I don't believe most higher end optic manufacturers make a model dedicated theater patrons. I think anything up to 10x magnification is a good choice for hand holding. I've used my Zeiss 10x25 at the theater for a few minutes at a time. I guess, if you plan to look through the binoculars during the whole performance you may wish to go with a 7x or 8x magnification.
 

SField

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Originally Posted by mikeway2000
I couldn't think of a better place for the question, and I figure no harm in throwing it out there. I'm an opera fan living in NYC on a rather limited budget, so I frequent Met's Family Circle. I decided to get myself a nice set of binoculars to enhance my viewing experience (won't be watching birds or anything like that since I'm an indoorsy type). I was about to shell out $100 on a compact 6.5x Pentax binoculars, but then I read somewhere that opera glasses are usually 3x-5x. I can't seem to find decent binoculars less than 5x. Has anyone used 6.5x or above for theater-viewing, and would you recommend it?

Bless you, really. It is people like you who will keep high culture alive in America.
 

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