While at the opera, seeing a play, or taking in a ballet performance, opera glasses can give you that added edge of experience by bringing the finest details of the performer's movements and expressions right to you. Whether you find yourself in the balcony or just several rows back, these optical devices inevitably are worth the added little investment, and offer a unique charm as well as great viewing. Glasses are often available in a wide array of jewel toned, vibrant colors, with Swarovski crystal accents, or simply in the finest metals available. Binocular features including magnification, lens sizes, and field of view are optimized for best use indoors, and careful craftsmanship allows these to offer you clear, crisp images as well as an elegant shell that can be collected and worn as jewelry.
Opera glasses offer a touch of class and elegance as well as added optical performance for theaters, musicals, plays, and operas. These sets are specially made for indoor use and easy focus. While other binoculars may be used, opera glasses offer the best combination of features, and often provide a beautiful, fashionable case as well.
Choosing the right set can allow you to maximize your opera experience as you get a closer look at the performers faces, movements, and gestures.
These binoculars are one of the few optical devices that typically use Galilean optics. Galilean designs were the first used for all binoculars and scopes in the 1600's, and continue to offer an upright image that is clear and crisp at close range as in the theater. These designs use a convex objective lens with a concave eyepiece, making opera glasses compact and sleek.
IMPORTANT FEATURES FOR SEEING THE OPERA
It is recommended that magnification for glasses used in the theater or concert hall remain below 5X. This allows them to have a large viewable area, while keeping image shake to a minimum. Typically glasses are offered at 3X. Zooming features are not recommended for indoor use, as the compromise to image quality and field of view can be too great. Since the concert hall or theater is limited in size, 3X magnification is almost always sufficient.
Objective lenses should be about 21-25 mm. At this size, the lenses allow a good amount of ambient light in for viewing in lower light situations, without becoming too heavy to be easily handled. Focusing is most often fixed, meaning you need not focus at all. Where manual focus is available it is usually center focus rather than individual eye focus, so it can be handled quickly and easily with one move. With the low magnification and high field of view focusing is kept to a minimum, to maintain ease of use and keep the glasses simple and refined.
Opera glasses offer features you don't find on other binocular sets to make them much easier to use inside and within a group of people. Standard glasses are streamlined and smooth, so they can be easily held in hand. They are inevitably portable and sleek so they can be pulled out of a purse or pocket and replaced in a moment, and feel smooth and comfortable against the fingers. Many opera glasses come with a connected neck strap that is stylish and comfortable. Neck straps are often chains that match the glasses themselves, or black leather to make them gentle against the neck.
SPECIAL FEATURES MAKES THESE ELEGANT AND FUNCTIONAL TOO
Other opera glasses offer handles, making them easy to lift to eye level without keeping both hands up near your ears. The handle folds in when the glasses aren't in use, and is specially designed to balance both barrels of the glasses neatly using only the fingers of one hand. The result is a truly elegant look, more akin to jewelry, and recalling the lorgnette fashion often seen in spectacles and at masquerade parties in the past. The handle is smooth and well-crafted, complimenting the glasses themselves, and makes them quite easy to use.
Mini flashlights are available in some opera glasses, making them handy for reviewing programs even after the lights are out. These lights can be turned on and off using a small button, allowing you to discreetly take a look even in the darkest of halls.
BEAUTY AND BRILLIANCE
Perhaps most recognizable in opera glasses is the wide variety of finishes and colors available. They often use high quality, streamlined metal components to give them a high-fashion and sleek look that can be matched to your outfit. So many different options are available, and often opera glasses are collected much like jewelry. Swarovski even offers a range of binoculars with their own crystals decorating each barrel. These sets are sleek and remarkable. Some sets are even fully covered in Swarovski crystal, and offered in various colors, making them unique.
Opera glasses can be simple and demure too, making them a much more attractive option then typical binoculars with their rugged plastic armor. If crystals don't delight you, look for brushed metal finishes in silver and onyx. Gold, white, and ruby are other popular colors available.
For example, Barska offers several different opera glasses, including their 3x25 Blueline Opera Glasses. These come with a built-in flashlight, and pouch, fully coated optics, and a light weight of only 6.35 oz. In sleek gold and burgundy, they are sharp and classy, and can be purchased with a gold trim necklace.
Zhumell's Covent 3x25 Opera Binoculars Glasses are a deeper shade of garnet red and rich gold, but also feature a built-in flashlight. They come with a 25 year manufacturer's warranty and also weigh in at less than half a pound, and less than $100. They also offer their Verdi Brass opera glasses with a built-in handle, making them easy to handle and just as elegant. These come with a rotating center focus and carry pouch, and are also under $100. Zhumell's Mezzo glasses are similar, offering the lorgnette handle, center focus, and pouch as well, but are available in an onyx finish, making them sleek and ensuring they match any color you happen to wear.