Kenko Pliant 3x25 Slim opera glasses review

Do these clamshell-style pop-up plastic opera glasses from Japan rise to the viewing occasion?

Kenko Pliant 3x25 Slim
(Image: © Gavin Stoker / Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

This is an affordable pop-up/ foldable 3x viewer to enable us to get a better impression of the action unfolding on stage – though in fairness it works better if you already have decent seats rather than are viewing the stage from way up in the gods. Operation is a little stiff for our liking and the build is distinctly plastic and almost toy-like. However the device is better than the alternative of having nothing at all, and for the pocket money asking price, might just tempt an impulse purchase if we’re heading out to the theatre, opera or concert in the near future.


  • +

    Slimmer than a pack of playing cards ensures it slips easily into pocket or purse

  • +

    Pocket money price can’t be faulted

  • +

    3x magnification brings the action closer


  • -

    While better than nothing, 3x magnification feels a little underpowered

  • -

    Plastic-y looks and design

  • -

    Button to activate the pop-up mechanism is very stiff to operate

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Reminding us of the kind of kids’ storybook viewer into which slot circular wheels of film frames, this similar retro feel device likewise features two eyepieces, and indeed two lenses. Where it differs is via its neat clamshell-like design that flattens everything down for easy, pocket friendly transportation. Indeed, when shut, the Kenko Pliant 3x25 Slim opera glasses sport a depth that is slimmer than a pack of playing cards. Thanks to its silver, albeit plastic-y finish, the Japanese made device for a pocket money price most closely resembles a business card holder. So if we’re seeking an obtrusive viewing aid for a night at the opera, or even pantomime, this is it.

While it looks the part from a practical perspective and is priced very favourably too, how does it measure up in practice?

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Gavin Stoker

Gavin has over 30 years’ experience of writing about photography and television. He is currently the editor of British Photographic Industry News, and previously served as editor of Which Digital Camera and deputy editor of Total Digital Photography

He has also written for a wide range of publications including T3, BBC Focus, Empire, NME, Radio Times, MacWorld, Computer Active, What Digital Camera and the Rough Guide books.

With his wealth of knowledge, Gavin is well placed to recognize great camera deals and recommend the best products in Digital Camera World’s buying guides. He also writes on a number of specialist subjects including binoculars and monoculars, spotting scopes, microscopes, trail cameras, action cameras, body cameras, filters and cameras straps.