ESL Black Bakelite Field Binoculars

A small pair of field or racing binoculars by British company ESL. Second-hand.

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 questions or would like more detailed pictures, just send us an email to

Mid 20th century (1930-1959)
Stock ID:
1 in stock
This is currently reserved, but you can still request it in case it becomes available. Just click 'Request' and we will let you know. There will be no obligation to buy it.

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