Zeiss Terra Operatic Optics

As a gentleman of class and culture, I frequent the opera. I usually cannot afford to sit in the front. Thus I need opera glasses.

Last year I purchased a pair of Zeiss Terra ED Pocket 8x25 binoculars, intended primarily for this application. I think these are an excellent pair of compact binoculars for general purpose use.

Zeiss Terra ED Pocket 8x25

As with my camera and rando bag, I keep Peak Design Anchor attachments on the binos so that I can carry them with the Peak Design Leash or other compatible straps. Dummy corded to one of the anchors is the Swarovski CL Rainguard. These fit perfectly on the Zeiss and help protect the optics from rain and dust when they aren’t in use.

Before purchasing the Zeiss, I borrowed a pair of discontinued Swarovski Habicht 8x20B binoculars. The smaller objective lenses on these made the package slightly more compact than that of the Zeiss, but I find the experience of actually looking through both pair of binoculars similar enough as to be practically identical (even in the low-light environment of opera). The modern version of the Swarovski is the CL Pocket 8x25. When one considers how well the Zeiss compare against Swarovski and the huge price difference between them, it becomes evident how good of a deal the Zeiss are.

The Zeiss binoculars, without strap or rain guard, weigh 325 grams or about 11.5 ounces. The discontinued Swarovski model tipped my scale at about 225 grams, so the extra money does contribute to a lighter package. But the Zeiss are light and compact enough for my needs.

When carrying the binos, I usually keep the lenses spread out. This creates a wider but flatter profile, which I find tends to carry better. I usually take the bus or train to the opera, and walk the midnight streets of Babylon home. With the lenses spread, and the strap worn cross body such that the binoculars rest on my side under an arm, I can comfortable conceal the package under a fitted and fashionable jacket with minimal printing. Most people probably think about binocular dimensions in terms of how much space they will occupy in a bag, but for my application I care more about concealment-when-worn. The Zeiss work well here.

Zeiss Terra: Opera Configuration

In addition to the opera, I also frequently carry the Zeiss binos on bike rides. There are many abandoned artillery batteries and fire control stations around here that make for good spots to watch the world go by. With magnification.

Zeiss Terra: 8x Magnification

I’ve not owned a good pair of binoculars before this. Over the past year of having these I have used them much more frequently than I thought I would.