Best Binoculars For Theatre 2018 (Reviews & Buying Guide)

best binoculars for theatre reviews

Investing in the best binoculars for theatre enables you to enhance your experience and enjoy much closer views of performers’ movements, expressions, gestures and so much more. Binoculars are commonly used for lots of outdoor activities but when it comes to indoor use, especially for theaters, operas and large halls most conventional binoculars just wouldn’t do.

You’d need something tailored to suit this specific need; you’d need a theater binocular or an opera glass.

The level of magnification of these devices offer is usually lower, the field of view and level of image stability are high owing to the relatively low power. Below are factors to give thoughts to when buying one of these fabulous devices.

Top 10 List of The Best Binoculars For Theatre

Model NameSize[email protected]Weight 
Vixen Optics Opera Glass6x16mm435 ft9.9 ounces
Nikon Yu CF Champaign
(Editor's Choice)

525 ft2.24 ounces
LaScala Iolanta Opera 3x257.4 ounces
Pentax Papilio II
(Editor's Choice)
6.5x21 mm393 ft10.4 ounces
KabukiGlasses Opera Theater4x13mm682.5 ft3.2 ounces
Uarter Opera Glasses 3x
7.41 ounces
Eschenbach club lightweight8x20 mm356 ft6.4 ounces
Carson OperaView Ultra4x10mm525 ft2.2 oz
Eschenbach la scala3x18 mm4.8 ounces
Small Compact Lightweight8x21 mm369 ft6.2 ounces

What to Look for Before Buying Best Binoculars For Theatre (Buying Guide)

  • Magnification:

Generally, binoculars for theater halls shouldn’t exceed 5x; the reason is obvious for seasoned binocular users but for our not so experienced readers, let’s explain a bit. As large as concert or theater halls can be, they are not as vast as the outdoors and getting an 8x or 10x binocular will bring the tiniest detail of the individuals very close to you but you can’t focus the entire stage.

Typically, opera glasses come as 3x binoculars. There isn’t the need for a zoom feature so that images can be viewed at their best qualities. For viewers seated at the extremes of very large halls, binoculars slightly exceeding 5x can be useful.

  •  Objective lens diameter:

The objective lens diameter is a key feature to consider when buying a binocular for theater watching. The size of these lenses is directly related to the light gathering ability and the total weight of the binocular.

Hence, the ideal device should come with objectives that allow the user to enjoy bright images in the different lighting condition of theater halls while keeping the weight of the device in check.

  • Field of view:

The field of view is the measure in meters or ft. the portion of the object or in this case the stage that you can see through the binoculars. Getting a device with a wide field of view is very important for theater lovers. Being able to observe the events unfolding on the entire stage is priceless.

The field of view of opera glasses and typical theater binoculars are usually wide due to the low magnification power of the lenses. Generally, a field of view exceeding 100 meters at 1000 meters is recommended.

  • Ergonomics and design:

Once you hold your theater binoculars in front of your eyes, you wouldn’t want to bring them down, as a matter of fact, you don’t have to. Choose a device that is sleek, ergonomically sound with a design that even complements your outfits. Opera glasses and theater binoculars in a wide variety of colors and finishes, so getting the perfect one wouldn’t stress you out.

  • Quality and price:

Every investment no matter how little is important. So, when shopping for a theater binocular, get one that is built from quality and environmentally friendly materials. Also, the prisms and lenses should feature anti-reflective coatings that improve light transmission and imaging performance.

Opera Glasses vs Theater Binoculars

Don’t let the terms confuse you; opera glasses are binoculars. They are specially designed binoculars for indoor use particularly for viewing theatrical performances, shows in halls, ballets and operas of course. Hence, each of the two terms can be used as a substitute for the other.

Galilean binoculars is another commonly used term for opera glasses and theater binoculars; this is mainly because lots of opera glasses feature the Galilean optical design.

These binoculars differ from conventional compact binoculars because they hardly exceed 5x magnification power and are inevitably compact and lightweight.

In addition, most opera glasses use roof type prisms as this system allows for a small build and the objectives are usually made to be smaller than the eyepieces to ensure that images are clear even in low light conditions or relatively dark theaters.

Now that you know what opera glasses/theater binoculars are, let’s give you a quick rundown of our top 5 best binoculars for theaters.


Reviews of the Top 5 Best Binoculars For Theatre

1. Vixen Optics Opera Glass Binocular – best opera binoculars

This Vixen Optics opera glass is one of the best compact binoculars for theaters though it slightly goes above the 5x magnification mark. It offers a 6x magnification power which makes it suitable for use even from the extremities of very large theater halls.

The 16 mm objectives allow the binoculars to capture sufficient light to provide high quality and vivid images of the performers. The optics consist of high-quality BaK-7 prisms and fully multi coated-lenses that allows you enjoy the performance of the stage actors at an astonishing level of clarity.

The linear field of view is measured 145 meters at 1000 meters, while the angular field of view is an impressive 8.3 degrees. Even when you are closer to the stage, you can still enjoy all the excellent features it offers and that’s thanks to the minimum focus distance of just 3.3 meters.
small binoculars for theatre


  • Beautiful design
  • Easy to handle
  • High performing optical components
  • Close minimum focus distance.
  • Field of view is lesser than opera glasses with lower magnification offer.


 2. Nikon Binoculars Yu 4X10D CF Champaign Gold – best compact binoculars for theater

Nikon are a big name in the optical industry and here, they’ve made one for the passionate theater goer. Nikon Binoculars Yu 4X10D CF Champaign Gold is remarkably small and fits in the pockets of your pants seamlessly.

The sleekness, high performance and ease of use have earned it praises on several theater binoculars reviews which is part of the reasons it made our list of the best opera binoculars.

The magnification power is 4x which meets the recommended specification for indoor binoculars. The objective lenses are 10 mm in diameter and let in sufficient light in most theater lighting conditions. The entire weight is 2.4 ounces (68.04g), so your arms wouldn’t tire out holding the binocular in front of your eyes for long periods.
best compact binoculars for theater


  • Extremely lightweight binoculars.
  • Good quality images.
  • Sleek and compact design.
  • Very stable images and large field of view due to the relatively low magnification power.
  • Instructions are entirely in Japanese but the device is very easy to use.


3. LaScala Optics 3×25 Iolanta Opera Glasses Platinum/Silver – best opera glasses

This LaScala 3×25 Iolnata opera glasses with are gorgeous and very handy companions for theater lovers. It comes with a handle attached which significantly increases the user’s comfort. The 3x lenses offer very stable and clear images while the 25 mm objective lenses enable the device to provide bright images even in dim lighting condition of the concert hall.

The handle is the real definition of coolness as it can be retracted and folded enabling the device to maintain its compact build. The total weight is just 204 grams while the dimensions are 4.5-inches x 2.3-inches x 1.2- inches; making this binocular one the lightest and most compact high performing opera glasses you’d ever have.

Focusing is very easy and adjustments are made using an ergonomic central wheel. Also worth mentioning is the angular field of view which is an awesome 11.2 degrees.
best opera glasses


  • Great value for money
  • Very versatile indoor binoculars
  • Lightweight and compact
  • High performance in dim lighting
  • Magnification might not be sufficient for back sitters in extremely large halls.


4. Pentax Papilio II 6.5×21 Binoculars – small binoculars for theatre

The Pentax Papilio exceed the opera glass 5x or below magnification rule but it’s such an awesome compact binocular that you wouldn’t want to stop looking through once you get to try it.

Its stand out features is the unique design and an incredible minimum focus distance of 18inches (0.46 meters) which allows even people on the front seats enjoy perfect pictures of the performers. The unique “uni-body” body design locks the two eyepieces in a single housing and synchronizes the movement of the eyepieces. Optical performance is as good as you get.

The lenses are fully multicoated and this is one of the few compact binoculars you’d find with Porro prisms. The light transmittance is very maximal and the 21 mm objectives provide bright images in all light conditions. The Pentax Papilio is highly versatile; it is more commonly used for outdoor activities like bird and butterfly viewing.
best compact binoculars for theater


  • Very versatile binocular
  • Unique ergonomic design
  • Compact and light
  • Very wide field of view (131 meters at 1000 meters)
  • Very close minimum focus distance
  • The slightly high magnification offers lesser field of view than specialized opera glasses.


5. KabukiGlasses Opera Theater Binocular 4x13mm – cheap theatre binoculars

This 4×13 opera lenses is great at what it’s built for. It is uniquely built in the shape of an eyeglass and can be comfortably worn for a hands-free binoculars viewing.

The prospect is amazing; you have a binocular which offers an impressive 4x magnification right in front of your eyes and you don’t even need to hold it up. The 13 mm objectives even though quite small, are able to gather sufficient light to enable the device provide bright images.

As you would expect it is extremely lightweight; the lightest on our list at just 92 grams. The linear field of view is a whopping 227.5 meters at 1000 meters so you get to enjoy a hands-free autofocus of the entire stage.
best opera binoculars


  • Hands-free use
  • Unique design
  • Very wide linear and angular field of view
  • Lightweight and very compact
  • The binocular lacks a diopter adjustment for correcting the differences in both eyes.


Final Verdict

Every detail matters if you really want to make the most of your visits to theaters. All you need is a binocular that will live up to its billing. Several features are vital when considering what device you should buy and we’ve discussed virtually all of them.

Our list of recommended theater binoculars features amazing binoculars and opera glasses well-suited for indoor use and personally, my pick would be the Pentax Papilio due to its efficiency and versatility; even though it’s not a typical opera glass. Just in case you didn’t find your ideal binocular on our list we hope you use the details we revealed to find yourself the best binoculars for theatre.

Best Binoculars For Theatre 2018 (Reviews & Buying Guide)
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