• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

best pocket/compact binoculars for opera & shows? (3 Viewers)

iseegeorgesstar

Well-known member
United States
Hello,

I recently came across a 20+ year old zeiss 8x20b pocket binocular. And the person who owned them was telling me their story of how they were received/recommended from a person working in an opera house. And while I've never used pocket bins at a show (as I don't really attend them). I couldn't help but comment that I think 8x magnification and whatever the fov is were respectively too much and too narrow for such an endeavor.

And I was reminded of a pocket bin I saw recently online that seemed likely more up to the task -- never tried it -- such as the Eschenbach 4x18


And so, my question to the community is what's a good pocket bin for opera and shows? Is it context dependent such as where you're sitting or is there more a universally accepted standard for what's used?

Regarding the zeiss 8x20b I liked how dimuitive they are. They're at least 1/3rd the width of the nikon 8x20 hgl. The eyecups on the zeiss seemed good enough (not restricting), the nikons are good as well. I found the zeiss rather dim though but I only tried them indoors. Also the focusing felt "sloppy" or slow. Not sure how to describe it. They could come to focus fine but watching them come to focus they seemed slightly weaker or slower to do so. As if modern bino's come to focus with more snap or strength.

Happy to hear any and all thoughts about this post.
 
I have tried a quality 8x20 and 7x35 for theatre and ballet and I have to say that the latter was so much more enjoyable to use. 8x20 was fine but just not bright enough. Some people would never consider using a full size binocular in a theatre, but I'm just shameless like that. I have never tried proper opera glasses as I don't have any.
 
I think a large exit pupil really is an advantage here. Was the 7x35 wide angle? If so it even more contributed to the advantage compared to the 8x20.
 
I have tried a quality 8x20 and 7x35 for theatre and ballet and I have to say that the latter was so much more enjoyable to use. 8x20 was fine but just not bright enough. Some people would never consider using a full size binocular in a theatre, but I'm just shameless like that. I have never tried proper opera glasses as I don't have any.
I think a Zeiss 8X56 Dialyt would fit the bill for the opera, LOL.
 
I've used my old Ultravid 8x20's at concerts, and now I'm back again with an 8x20 Ultra... I'd have no hesitation doing it again.
But I only use it for sporadic viewing..... not constant.... and it's always been plenty bright enough.
 
I think a large exit pupil really is an advantage here. Was the 7x35 wide angle? If so it even more contributed to the advantage compared to the 8x20.
That was the Retrovid, the opposite of wide angle. I didn't really feel embarrassed tbh, first of all because nobody cared, second of all because red dot increases your prestige :D

Note on the wide angle - it would have been really beneficial, because with Retrovid it was always a compromise between looking at the whole scene and having a detailed look at the principal dancers.

Need to test the Zeiss 8x56 next time ;)
 
2x54? But maybe I'd just take my Mautner Sport or my old "Perl" opera glass. The 2x54 is definitely the widest and I used it for last year's new year's eve fireworks which was fantastic.
Vixen makes a 2.1x42 binocular for astronomy use:
 
Vixen makes a 2.1x42 binocular for astronomy use:
I'm aware of that. But it's not as wide as the 2x54 and 100€ more expensive.
I might still get one of them however. They are currently on sale from a German shop for 300€ :).
 
I'm aware of that. But it's not as wide as the 2x54 and 100€ more expensive.
I might still get one of them however. They are currently on sale from a German shop for 300€ :).
You might be able to get them for slightly less through a Japanese vendor but I'm not sure about the warranty viability.
 
You might be able to get them for slightly less through a Japanese vendor but I'm not sure about the warranty viability.
Probably. It's been a while since I ordered stuff overseas however. And you always have to add 19% tax on top when ordering in Japan. I think that doesn't apply in the USA. AFAIK they have a free-trade agreement with Japan for certain products.
I'm still pondering it but I read a post from Holger in a German forum (jülich-bonn) where he wrote that the Orion 2x54 outperforms the Vixen. Still tempted simply for the fact that they are made in Japan.
 
Probably. It's been a while since I ordered stuff overseas however. And you always have to add 19% tax on top when ordering in Japan. I think that doesn't apply in the USA. AFAIK they have a free-trade agreement with Japan for certain products.
I'm still pondering it but I read a post from Holger in a German forum (jülich-bonn) where he wrote that the Orion 2x54 outperforms the Vixen. Still tempted simply for the fact that they are made in Japan.
I think the Vixen are made in China.
 
Probably. It's been a while since I ordered stuff overseas however. And you always have to add 19% tax on top when ordering in Japan. I think that doesn't apply in the USA. AFAIK they have a free-trade agreement with Japan for certain products.
I'm still pondering it but I read a post from Holger in a German forum (jülich-bonn) where he wrote that the Orion 2x54 outperforms the Vixen. Still tempted simply for the fact that they are made in Japan.
I didn't realize how spoiled I was with the tax-free costs. That explains why it's all so cheap for US buyers.

Frankly, everywhere online I see constellation binoculars discussed people always say they have both orion and the vixen and prefer the orion with the vixen being a close second. I'm personally curious to try a pair myself and was thinking I would try the vixens due to their supposed contrast. But everyone's internet comments has me thinking twice. Even Pinac seemed to prefer the former to the latter.


Supposedly the orion's are decent for cloudwatching. Though I suspect nothing can trump my habicht in that activity.
 
I think the Vixen are made in China.
The instrument has "Made in Saitama" written on it, which is a town in Japan. Of course we don't know if all parts are made in Japan or not. It's a rather tricky thing to find out what the actual legal requirements are. I only know that for example on Seiko watches, "Made in Japan" doesn't mean a lot. While on a Casio the simple "Japan" (without "Made in") on the back means that they are actually made there.
But from what it looks like, the Vixen is made in Japan.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top