As I see it, there are two basic problems.
1) Finding a suitable fountain pen with a nib which is as responsive as a good dip nib, is extremely difficult. I have been searching for four years and the best I have found is a vintage Watermans 92 with a very flexible nib which quickly returns to normal once pressure is released. (This is known as snap-back and without this characteristic, Copperplate or Spencerian writing of any quality is impossible.)
Unfortunately, the hairlines produced on upstrokes when pressure is released, aren’t as fine as those possible with my dip nibs.
I have tried modern pens with flexible nibs and I like my Namiki Falcon but to achieve any useful degree of flex, too much pressure is required for controlled writing, in my experience.
2) To write at the necessary 55 degrees slope from the horizontal for Copperplate (52 degrees for Spencerian) for a right-hander, with a straight pen, the wrist and hand have to be twisted considerably to the right in order for the tines of the nib to point at at the slope line.
I have seen acceptable Copperplate written with a straight pen fitted with a dip nib, but only with an unconventional pen hold, with the hand turned over to the right. here This may well be an answer, but I, personally, haven't had much success with it, so far.
There are many fine examples of writing with flex-nibbed fountain pens on this forum, but to overcome the writing slope problem, they are all written too upright to be called Copperplate. The 55 degree writing slope is an essential characteristic of the style and if a slope of 55 or close to it, can’t be achieved, it’s no longer Copperpate IMO. Having said that, some of the flex-nibbed writing on FPN is very attractive in its own right, as a separate style.
This may well be a satisfactory compromise for those who are attracted to flex-nib writing and like to be able to carry the pen around with them.
My first attempts at Copperplate with a fountain pen were abysmal and it’s taken me four years to reach this limited standard of Copperplate simulation. I couldn’t quite manage the 55 degrees writing slope and this is written at a slope of 58 degrees. It’s better that it used to be, but light years away from the standard of lettering with a dip nib. Certainly, I wouldn’t have posted it here, other than to make a point.
I’m sorry that this is such a negative post, but it is a recurring theme here, and I would be very interested in the opinions of others. It may well be that another approach can produce better results. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking for the fountain pen with the magic nib!
This was written with a vintage Waterman’s 92 fountain pen filled with Aurora black ink. The x hieght is 4mm.
The quotation is from the writing of F.W.Tamblyn.
Edited by caliken, 23 August 2011 - 12:50.