Last September, I purchased a lovely Beacon 225 in the lether case for the sum of $5 at the PTO Thrift shop in Ann arbor. It was a banner day, because that is when I also bought the Olympus Trip 35 that I have enjoyed using. The Beacon sat on the shelf over the winter, until I decided to re-spool some 120 film onto 620 spools a few weeks ago. I loaded some 1997-expired Verichrome Pan - a perfect film for simple cameras such as the Beacon 225.
The Beacon 225 was made by Whitehouse Products in Brooklyn, NY, between 1950 -1958. Whitehouse Products is another of those post-WWII camera companies that lasted about a decade. The Beacon II is very similar, but it's smaller and takes 127 film. The Beacon 225, like the Beacon II, has a collapsible lens box that snaps into place when pulled away from the body. Then, the shutter will fire. The Beacon 225 takes 12 6x6 cm images on 620 roll film. The shutter speeds are Instant and Bulb, with aperture settings for sunny ("brite") (f/16?) and cloudy ("dull") (f/8?). The lens is a 70 mm coated doublet. There is a tripod thread on the bottom of the camera. The red window in the back is set in a rectangular frame. The camera is mostly black plastic of some sort, and is actually rather attractive. It collapses to a respectable size that would fit into a coat pocket.
On March 20, I shot the roll of Verichrome Pan, mostly along the beach in Muskegon, MI. The wind was really gusty, and sand was blowing all over the place. What better conditions to use a cheap camera?
I developed the Verichrome Pan in D-76 1:1 for 9 minutes. Overall, I am quite pleased with the results, and the subject matter was perfectly suited to this camera.