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Namiki Falcon First Impressions


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#1 XP100

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:11

Time to add a new one to the collection.

After seeing some videos of it on the Internet, I became interested in the Namiki Falcon, an interesting pen in that it is one of the few modern-day "flex" pens currently being made. That, plus its distinctive nib design, really caught my attention. So, after looking around and trying some out in person, I now have in my possession a Falcon.

The one I got is black resin with gold trim (I think that's the only colour you get for the resin, but I could be wrong). Mine is a broad, labelled "SB" (soft-broad). All Falcons are 14k gold, as far as I know. It comes with a Pilot/Namiki cartridge and a CON-50 converter; the metal version is compatible with the much larger CON-70, while the resin (half the price, mind you) is not.

Writing with Montblanc Mystery Black on a Rhodia dot pad, it writes amazingly smooth. It lays a wet line without pressure, and almost writes like an oblique nib (wider on downstrokes than with horizontal strokes, but not by much) even before flexing the nib. This could be attributed to the nature of the nib. The un-flexed line for the broad is about the same as a Lamy medium nib, for comparison.

When flexing the nib, the line spreads to about twice its original width with some pressure. However, this requires quite a bit of pressure to maintain. This is why many people don't categorize this pen as a true flex pen, but more like a halfway point between semiflex and true flex. Namiki's "soft" label is appropriate in this regard.

Getting back to ink, though, you may want to use a more saturated ink than the Mystery Black I ran it up with. Stop writing for even a second (timed), and the ink will skip for a moment when you resume. I'll need to try this out with a more saturated ink later, but it's fine for now.

The pen is perfect for my hands while posted (my hands aren't too large; from middle-finger tip to wrist, it's the length of the pen posted), and it balances well. However, it is also absurdly light, weighing about the same as my Sailor 1911m. If you want the nib in a heavier package, the metal version could be up your best bet.

In closing, this is an awesome pen. However, if buying in person, expect to shell out about $250 for the resin version, and almost twice that for the metal. Online options price it around $170, but you (obviously) don't get to try before you buy, so keep that in mind.

As for you guys, what's your opinion on the Namiki Falcon?

EDIT: By the way, AFAIK, both version are compatible with the CON-20 converter, which holds more ink than a CON-50 but less than a cartridge. For finer nibs, this won't be an issue, but the broader nibs (like mine) may suck up a lot of ink, so keep that in mind.

Edited by XP100, 04 January 2012 - 22:22.

Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#2 MarkAL

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:14

I have a Falcon with a fine point and I love it. I'm a terrible writer, so my writing is almost unreadable with this pen, but it's so much fun to write with. Enjoy your in good health!

#3 XP100

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:20

I have a Falcon with a fine point and I love it. I'm a terrible writer, so my writing is almost unreadable with this pen, but it's so much fun to write with. Enjoy your in good health!

Thanks. I heard that the fine nib has a lot more line variation than the broad, but I found it a bit too fine for me. Also, my writing is straight-up schizophrenic in how sloppy it is. That doesn't excuse me, or anyone, from enjoying writing, though.
Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:36

It is not a flex pen...it is a pen with a springy nib.

Nail/manifold, stiff regular flex, regular flex, springy, semi-flex, maxi-semi-flex/'flexi'.

(These are the 'flex' nibs).......easy full flex/super flex, wet noodle and weak kneed wet noodle.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 04 January 2012 - 22:36.

Due to Mauricio's improved definition of Super-flex, I no longer use the term Easy Full Flex.

 

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing with a touch of flair. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For bit more of that get a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex. Both spread tines 3X.  Those are not "Flex" nibs. 

 

Odd, how many who should know better, compares Japanese F (which equals EF), with Western F, with out a second thought, but do not compare Japanese B with Western B.

 

Wider than Normal does not exist. Wider than Japanese does. Every company has it's very own standard + slop/tolerance. Developed from the users of it's pens only; not the users of other companies pens. The size you grind a nib to, is your standard only. Paper and ink matter to nib width. Thank god for 1/2 sizes or it would be boring.


#5 XP100

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:51

It is not a flex pen...it is a pen with a springy nib.

Nail/manifold, stiff regular flex, regular flex, springy, semi-flex, maxi-semi-flex/'flexi'.

(These are the 'flex' nibs).......easy full flex/super flex, wet noodle and weak kneed wet noodle.

I am aware that the Falcon is not a true flex pen. I have a Parker Arrow that is truly flexible, and I am aware that Noodler's also makes flex pens on the cheap. However, the pen still has some flex, much more than my springy Pilot VP 18k.
Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#6 mcg1355

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 22:55

I have a soft fine resin falcon and it is quite amazing. The nib has softened up a good deal since it came out of the box, so that's something for you to look forward to as well. It's softer than my noodler's flex pen now but I can't push it as wide.

-Nick

#7 XP100

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 23:11

I have a soft fine resin falcon and it is quite amazing. The nib has softened up a good deal since it came out of the box, so that's something for you to look forward to as well. It's softer than my noodler's flex pen now but I can't push it as wide.

-Nick

Interesting. How long have you had it for?
Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#8 Lloyd

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 23:28

It is not a flex pen...it is a pen with a springy nib.

Nail/manifold, stiff regular flex, regular flex, springy, semi-flex, maxi-semi-flex/'flexi'.

(These are the 'flex' nibs).......easy full flex/super flex, wet noodle and weak kneed wet noodle.


Got news for ya, BoBo. Not all Namiki Falcons are the same. My first one, a SF, was barely springy. It would spread but only with a lot of force. My current one, a SM, is beyond semi-flex. It easily speads from Asian M to >Western BB and back without railroading. I have tried enough pens, both of my own as well as at pen shows, to know.

Edited by Lloyd, 05 January 2012 - 03:20.

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#9 ehemem

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:02

I have 2 resin Falcons, 1 fine and 1 medium, bought sometime in the 90s from the original batch when they came in black, blue and brownish red. I have black and blue. I liked them, but they were just too light for me and the resin wasn't holding up to use, so I put them away.

I bid on a metal Elabo/Falcon medium and won the bidding (to my surprise!) and I am glad I did. I like the extra weight of the pen, and the finish has held up really well with use. Plus which it takes the con 70.

I think that the resin Falcons are being produced in colors other than black again. At least I have seen some on Engeika's site.

Edited by ehemem, 05 January 2012 - 06:39.


#10 ChuckClark

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 01:11

All I can say is that of the 200+ pens I have, my Falcon is one of my favorites.
I have the black and gold. I would have several more but I never buy pens in silver. They have some beautiful colors available but my gold snobbery keeps me from buying any.
I love the one I have so much that I recommend it to newbies...wish I got a commission.
And I love it so much that I never even thought of trying the black and gold with anything than the fine nib I have. Now I need to try it with oher nibs.Posted Image
Thanks for feeding the addiction. Posted Image

Edited by ChuckClark, 05 January 2012 - 01:12.


#11 mcg1355

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 02:54


I have a soft fine resin falcon and it is quite amazing. The nib has softened up a good deal since it came out of the box, so that's something for you to look forward to as well. It's softer than my noodler's flex pen now but I can't push it as wide.

-Nick

Interesting. How long have you had it for?

I got it last June and used it a bunch for drawing over the summer. Then when I went back to college I used it for writing a lot more. The drawing seemed to soften it up much more than writing did. I assume that's because I was flexing it more. I guess it could also be because the pen was new and breaking in during that period.

I've heard mixed results for falcon nibs getting softer. Some say yes and some say no but most people seem to note some sort of change over time.

-Nick

#12 XP100

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:55



I have a soft fine resin falcon and it is quite amazing. The nib has softened up a good deal since it came out of the box, so that's something for you to look forward to as well. It's softer than my noodler's flex pen now but I can't push it as wide.

-Nick

Interesting. How long have you had it for?

I got it last June and used it a bunch for drawing over the summer. Then when I went back to college I used it for writing a lot more. The drawing seemed to soften it up much more than writing did. I assume that's because I was flexing it more. I guess it could also be because the pen was new and breaking in during that period.

I've heard mixed results for falcon nibs getting softer. Some say yes and some say no but most people seem to note some sort of change over time.

-Nick

I'll keep that it mind. Thanks.

On another note, I found that out of my (limited) collection of inks, the Lamy T52 Black works the best for the pen. It's a bit dryer, and it doesn't skip upon starting to write. Inks like this one are probably best-suited for the SB nib.
Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#13 Don Zardeone

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 14:49

I have one.
My normal writing pressure is between 12-28 grammes. (weight of the pen itself usually)
Flexing with it requires me to go to 200g. I went to 300g but saw no difference.

Flexing at around 200-240g consistently makes my wrist hurt. It's a great normal writer and great for the occasional flex, but IMHO, requires too much pressure to keep flexing with.

I tested on a diet kitchen scale.
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#14 leod

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 14:55

I have one.
My normal writing pressure is between 12-28 grammes. (weight of the pen itself usually)
Flexing with it requires me to go to 200g. I went to 300g but saw no difference.

Flexing at around 200-240g consistently makes my wrist hurt. It's a great normal writer and great for the occasional flex, but IMHO, requires too much pressure to keep flexing with.

I tested on a diet kitchen scale.


this is great, I never thought of using the scale to test the flex requirement :thumbup:
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing

#15 New_Falcon

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 15:46

I also feel that my Falcon nib has softened up. I don't really use it for flexing but just regular writing. I don't have any other pens, fountain pens, to compare it too, but I like it a lot.

#16 XP100

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:03

I have one.
My normal writing pressure is between 12-28 grammes. (weight of the pen itself usually)
Flexing with it requires me to go to 200g. I went to 300g but saw no difference.

Flexing at around 200-240g consistently makes my wrist hurt. It's a great normal writer and great for the occasional flex, but IMHO, requires too much pressure to keep flexing with.

I tested on a diet kitchen scale.

Have you tried testing on a softer surface, like a notebook or pad? Just out of curiosity. For me, the pen writes wide enough to not require constant flexing, but the fact that the option is there and readily accessible is a huge plus for me.
Cross Aventura black, medium; Kaweco Sport white, fine; Lamy AL-Star ocean blue, medium; Lamy Studio dark blue, extra fine; Lamy 2000, fine; Montblanc Meisterstück 149, medium; Namiki Falcon black resin w. gold, soft broad; Parker Arrow black, fine (?); Pilot VP black w. gold, medium; Sailor 1911m blue w. gold, fine; Sailor Pro Gear black w. gold, medium; Waterman Phileas black, fine

#17 mrphyig

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:00

Ahoyhoy! I have a soft-broad nib on the metal version, and I've got exactly the same skipping problem you've described (strangely, even after having it fiddled with by a nibmeister). My experience is that it's more paper-dependent than ink-dependent: it'll skip very happily on Clairefontaine, but seems to behave on Rhodia or anything rougher. If you figure anything out, I'd love to hear about it, hey.

(Despite the skipping, it's still one of my favourite pens. On agreeable paper, the tweaked nib is really, really delightful.)

#18 ChuckClark

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 05:23

Despite what you have read...u can purchase the Namiki Falcon from Fahrneys for $144
http://www.fountainp...47#entry2205447
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#19 omgmalm

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 00:46

I can't seem to write hard enough to get anything but extra fine lines when I use this pen. I like that it's a bit flexy, but I have to press it so hard against the paper to get line variations that the paper almost gets scratched by the nib. This results in a pen with a pretty unstable EF nib. Compared to my F Pilot Capless, my handwriting looks more shaky. Don't get me wrong, I like the pen – but it's quirky.

Any comparisons between the F nib and other sizes?

#20 Joshua J.

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:53

I have one.
My normal writing pressure is between 12-28 grammes. (weight of the pen itself usually)
Flexing with it requires me to go to 200g. I went to 300g but saw no difference.

Flexing at around 200-240g consistently makes my wrist hurt. It's a great normal writer and great for the occasional flex, but IMHO, requires too much pressure to keep flexing with.

I tested on a diet kitchen scale.


Approximately what line width are you getting from that?

At 200 grams I'm getting around .5mm-.6mm with a regular Noodler's flex, .8mm-.9mm with the Ahab, and 1.1mm-1.2mm with the Zebra G-nib.