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Pelikan 140 Vs 400


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#1 returnofpenguy

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 15:47

I am curious to know the differences between the 140 and 400. They are both from the same time 1950-59. Is the size the only difference? I see the cost of 400 is about $75 more than 140.

Also, I am looking for a nice daily writer that I can carry in my shirt pocket and write during meetings. Would pelikan pens be suitable for this purpose? I don't want to buy a desk pen, since I have other such pens.

Are the treads on the cap too many? On some of my eye droppers, the treads take too long for pen to be ready to write.

I have seen these pens with flex nibs and some very interesting nib points. Is the flex nib a charecteristics of all pelican pen nibs?

Too many questions.

Thanks for your reply in advance.

#2 jgrasty

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 16:23

I am curious to know the differences between the 140 and 400. They are both from the same time 1950-59. Is the size the only difference? I see the cost of 400 is about $75 more than 140.

Also, I am looking for a nice daily writer that I can carry in my shirt pocket and write during meetings. Would pelikan pens be suitable for this purpose? I don't want to buy a desk pen, since I have other such pens.

Are the treads on the cap too many? On some of my eye droppers, the treads take too long for pen to be ready to write.

I have seen these pens with flex nibs and some very interesting nib points. Is the flex nib a charecteristics of all pelican pen nibs?

Too many questions.

Thanks for your reply in advance.


Both 140 and 400 pens are excellent. Which you'll like better is personal preference.

Pelikans take 1/4 to 1/2 of a full rotation to take off the cap. You'll have no difficulty there.

I frequently carry Pelikans in my shirt pocket. Very rarely you may find a vintage Pelikan that has a cap that doesn't fit securely enough to put in your shirt pocket. None of mine have this issue.

Pelikan nibs of the era are typically semi-flex. I would not call them flexible, but they are very springy and have some line variation. Wonderful nibs, better than the stiff modern nibs, IMO.
Regards,

Joey

In use: Pelikan M200 Green Marbled (EF nib) with Noodler's Black and Pilot Fermo (M nib) with Noodler's Legal Lapis.

#3 piembi

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:04

Also, I am looking for a nice daily writer that I can carry in my shirt pocket and write during meetings. Would pelikan pens be suitable for this purpose? I don't want to buy a desk pen, since I have other such pens.
...
I have seen these pens with flex nibs and some very interesting nib points. Is the flex nib a charecteristics of all pelican pen nibs?


The 140 had been the cheaper line, the 400 had been top of the Pelikan lines. Thus the 400 is bigger, the binde is more colourful and the quality of the gold plating is much better.

Regarding the nibs there is no other difference than the size. Both pens come with the same semiflexible nibs that are distinctive for all Pelikan nibs up to the 1960s. There is a stiff nib type out there as well, the "Durchschreibefeder" marked "D", that had been made for carbon copies.

My favourite daily writers at the office are three vintage pens. Depending on the paper of my notebook I use a Parker 51 (decent ink flow), a Pelikan 400 and a Pelikan 140 (both gushers - even with Pelikan ink). All of them had been made as workhorse pens and they are equally suitable for everyday use.

I am also carrying a 1990s M400 to the office. Personally I stick to my vintage Pelikans (love the 1950s/1960s nibs). The M400 is the pen I offer if someone asks me for a fountainpen (yes, this does happen frequently).

#4 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 17:37

I don't have a '50-54 400 or a '56 400N.I don't know those nibs and forgot what Rick Papas said. He did say the 140 was semi-flex, the 400NN 'flexi' and the 100-100N easy full flex.

I do have a 140 and a 400NN. The 120 is also a nice pen, for a school pen. Mine is always in rotation. ;) The nib is as good in steel as my 14 C gold '90's 400.


The 140 is a tad smaller, but posts as long as a modern M400. The nib is smaller than both the 400NN and the more modern '90's M400.
The 400NN is a medium-large pen @ the size of a P-51. The M400 is a standard sized pen.

The 140 is a semi-flex nib.
The 400NN is a 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex nib.

The '83-89 400 is a nice springy regular flex nib...don't have, I do have the tad stiffer '90-97 M400...it is more springy and writes a sharper line than the modern post '97 fatter blobbier nibbed M400.

Bear in mind what Piembi said, ""There is a stiff nib type out there as well, the "Durchschreibefeder" marked "D", that had been made for carbon copies.""

I would suggest the 140 or the Geha 790 as good semi-flex nibbed pens. The Geha 790 is the same size as the M400.

I think one should work one's way up the flex chain, semi-flex, 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex, and easy full flex. It allows you to develop a light hand naturally.

The semi-flex can be used by the ham fisted.
The 'flexi'/maxi-semi-flex can be used by the slightly ham fisted. :embarrassed_smile:

For the older 100 or 100N's that had an easy full flex nib...you do need a light hand. They are not what I'd call a modern day work pen.

Semi = almost. A semi-flex nib is not a 'flex' nib. It is more a springy ++ nib, with both tine bend and spread. It requires half the pressure to spread it's tines than a regular flex.
It will through natural pressure make certain letters in a word wider. Giving you that nice old fashioned fountain pen script.
It is often a wetter writer due to ease of tine spread.
Of course you should not press the nib to the max all the time, but you can make it do a tad of fancy.

If you are interested in a bit of fancy flexible writing, I'd suggest more the 400NN....if your hand has developed enough to use it. It requires 1/4th the pressure needed to spread it's tines than a regular flex.
For real fancy writing get a 100-100N with an easy full flex nib, that is designed to do it. 1/8th tine pressure.

I think you should look at a 120, or '83-89 or '90-97 M 400 or a 140 semi-flex, as very good work pens.

I'm more into semi-flex and maxi-semi-flex/'flexi' nibbed pens.

But a major problem is what paper are you using at work.
If poor, then it could be semi-flex is not for you.

For nicer looking, the pre-98 M400 would be the way to go if you still want a better nib.
Tortoise is not all that expensive with a bit of luck on German Ebay...M400 tortoise '84-96 one year after and before the M400 started and ended...'83-97.
PM me for a German Cheat sheet.

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For that get a 'flexi' or a "flex" nib.

"

 

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 returnofpenguy

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 18:27

Thank you all for your reply. Very helpful.

One question that always concerns me about the breaking of the filling mechanism and it's repair. Is it common for these pens to have problems with the piston fill? How expensive it is to get it fixed?

#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 13:06

Seldom a problem. They have the up-to-date, mid 1950's plastic gasket. The early fifties might be more a problem. I do have a plastic gasket 'no name', war pen that works well.
My 140 and 400NN ('56), 120 (all-'56-65) and 1955 MB 234 1/2 Deluxe and few Geha's from the 'late-50's-mid '60s and other lesser brand '60s all with plastic gaskets work fine.
I expect my '90's and 2005 Pelikans to last as long with out repair as the ones from 1956.

There is an occasional problem, or plastic gasket repair would not be in the Marshal & Oldfield 'Pen Repair' book and Richard would not sell plastic sheets to make gaskets out of.

No idea what it costs, in that mine work fine.
The older or lesser early '50's pens with cork, can be a problem if they dried out for a couple of generations in the back of the drawer.
I do have some '30's-early '50s pens needing re-corking. As soon as I can block some time, I'll 'Repair at Home Alone" :yikes:

Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 04 December 2012 - 13:09.

Semi-flex is an “almost” flex; not a ‘flex’ nib. It is great for regular writing. It can give you some fancy; but it is not made for real fancy writing. For that get a 'flexi' or a "flex" nib.

"

 

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.


#7 returnofpenguy

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:49

Thanks Bo Bo Olson for the detail response. Very helpful.

#8 watch_art

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:51

Very good pens - very hardy. If you get one from a good seller it will probably already be serviced or restored so no worries for a very long time. :)

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