ESL Black Bakelite Field Binoculars

A small pair of field or racing binoculars by British company ESL. Second-hand.
Availability: 1 in stock
Stock ID: 688

What's for sale?

This is a small pair of vintage Bakelite or early plastic field or racing binoculars, by British maker ESL.

They're lightweight and an ideal size for a coat or suit pocket.

They're a simple straight-through design, which unlike prism binoculars, are more robust and easier to dismantle for cleaning.

The focusing mechanism is a knurled wheel which simply moves the ocular lenses back and forth along an extending rod. Both lenses are focussed equally; there's no separate focusing ring for one of the eyepieces.

Magnification is around x5 and they're fine for sporting events and garden bird watching.

Bakelite has become a generic term for items made of the early plastics and resins, like Lucite, Catalin, Galalith, Bakelite and urea-formaldehyde. This hasn't been tested to determine which type it is.

What condition are they in?

  • Second-hand
  • In good condition
  • The black plastic finish is good with no cracks
  • The steel fittings are a little pitted and corroded
  • The polished finish on the pistons is quite good
  • The lenses are reasonably clean and vision through them is very good

What are the measurements?

  • 6.5cm to 8.5cm length
  • 10.5cm width
  • 208 grams

If you have any questions, just send an email to

Item Attributes
Attribute nameAttribute value
PeriodMid 20th century (1930-1959)