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#1 Russ

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 03:32

I'd like to buy my son his first FP. The Namiki Falcon is of interest. It appears to be a quality pen with a very nice, soft nib. One I hope he could appreciate years from now.

I'd like to hear others' experiences with this pen.
What is comfortable?
How was the filling mechanism?
OOTB nib quality (i.e., slit and tipping material on center, smooth)
Praise?
Criticism?

Thanks in advance.

Russ

#2 BillTheEditor

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:32

QUOTE (Russ @ Feb 28 2007, 09:32 PM)
I'd like to buy my son his first FP.  The Namiki Falcon is of interest.  It appears to be a quality pen with a very nice, soft nib.  One I hope he could appreciate years from now.

I'd like to hear others' experiences with this pen. 
What is comfortable?
How was the filling mechanism?
OOTB nib quality (i.e., slit and tipping material on center, smooth)
Praise?
Criticism?

Thanks in advance.

Russ

How old is your son?

The Falcon is a nice-size pen, about the same length capped as a Parker Duofold. Uncapped, the barrel and section together are also the same length as the Duofold, but the nib is substantially smaller. However, the barrel of the Falcon is slimmer than the Duofold, and "fatter" than the Parker Sonnet. It should be comfortable to hold for the average-size adult. It is quite light.

The Falcon fills with either Namiki cartridges or with a converter. The converter holds less ink than a Parker converter. The opening from the cartridge or converter is relatively large, and this keeps the pen from experiencing ink starvation problems, even when writing rapidly.

The nibs are of the highest quality. Mine required no adjustment, worked perfectly OOTB. I don't think I've ever heard of a quality problem with Falcon nibs (others have more experience, especially repair people, and they may have different information). My experience is with the F nib, my example of which is extraordinarily smooth and flexible (some say semi-flex -- it is no "wet noodle" but it certainly can show a great deal of variation in line width with relatively little change in writing pressure). Namiki itself refers to the nib as "soft" -- personally I think that's a distinction without a difference.

I have no criticisms of my Namiki Falcon. It stays loaded with Noodler's Black ink, and has not been out of my rotation since I received it. It makes a distinguished-looking signature once you learn how to use it, and can give character even to a grocery list. The pen looks good in any setting, and is sophisticated enough in its design to hold its own in a boardroom.

ADDED: Be careful about nib selection. The "safe" choice is probably the medium nib. The fine and extra fine seem to give some people a lot of trouble. The problem may not be with the nib, but with the fact that a fine flexible nib handles differently than what most people are used to in a fountain pen. In particular, since this is to be your son's first fountain pen, and I'm guessing he is used to pencils and ballpoint/rollerball pens, giving him a fine flexible Falcon might just turn him off to fountain pens completely. If at all possible, take him to a store that sells the Falcon and have him try out the various nib sizes. It seems to me that nib selection and "pen fit" are highly personal matters and hard to judge second-hand.

Edited by BillTheEditor, 01 March 2007 - 04:56.


#3 playpen

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:44

I concur. Bill said it all and perfectly! I love my Namiki Falcon. It is literally one of a kind! tongue.gif

#4 kissing

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:56

While the Namiki Falcon is a beautiful pen, as Bill and playpen have described, I wouldn't gift someone a semi-flex ("soft") nib has their FIRST fountain pen.

If your son is not already accustomed to using fountain pens, going straight to a semi flex nib may prove to be difficult to use, and there is also the possibility of damage. (I lent a fountain pen to a friend who is a ballpoint user, and she was pressing hard on it sick.gif )

Just my opinions - perhaps a Falcon is a bit of a big mouthful to be a starter pen unsure.gif I started off with a stiff-nibbed Parker Vector, and it took me months to get used to fountain pens smile.gif




edited - spelling

Edited by kissing, 01 March 2007 - 04:59.


#5 chemgeek

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 15:24

The Namiki Falcon is a lightweight pen that is nevertheless large enough for big hands. It has a converter fill, and the converter seems to be larger than most, with a wide diameter mouth that provides good flow of ink and air. Mine was superb out of the box, but I always give my new pens (nib and converter) a flush with weak dishwashing detergent solution (and a thorough rinse with distilled water) before filling the first time. Terrific writing pen, but one to use with a light touch. The Falcon has a very soft nib that won't tolerate a heavy hand. My only criticism is that it only comes in black! biggrin.gif Keep in mind that the nib sizes are Japanese, not European. So a Falcon medium is similar in stroke to a European/American fine. But the Falcon does lay down a very wet line with its soft nib. My Falcon writes just a little wider than my Sailor 1911M medium, which in turn is just a hair wider than my Pelikan M600 fine. I have a full review of the Falcon in the pen reviews section.

The Falcon is among my top three writers, and is always inked and in my pocket or briefcase. (The others are the Sailor 1911M and Pelikan M600, both wonderful writers, too. The Sailor also has a soft, responsive, nib, but not as soft as the Falcon.)

Cheers.


#6 Russ

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 02:26

Thanks, everyone, for your help. I agree with your assessment: the Falcon might be too much of a fine pen at first. We'll be going to the Raleigh pen show in a few months; perhaps it would be best to have my son visit the tables, try out some pens, and let him make the decision himself. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the Falcon and to other makes / models.

#7 sonia_simone

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 03:41

You might consider something like a Kultur or a Pelikano, which are excellent pens and designed for young people new to FPs. I don't know if brighter colors would appeal to him or if he would find them babyish.

If you do think you might want to go with a 'fine' pen, a "51" would not be a bad choice at all. They are very easy to write with, and it is something really special and not so disposable-feeling as the schools pens above. If I wanted to convey that this was a special object, to be taken very good care of and treated with respect, I think a common but well-restored "51" would be very high on my list.
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#8 Samovar

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 03:51

QUOTE (sonia_simone @ Mar 2 2007, 11:41 PM)
You might consider something like a Kultur or a Pelikano, which are excellent pens and designed for young people new to FPs. I don't know if brighter colors would appeal to him or if he would find them babyish.


The Pelikano babyish? ohmy.gif

The Pelikano is my correcting pen and my high school students think it's the coolest object since the invention of the Ipod. I write in their agenda everyday with an orange Pelikano filled with orange ink.
It's a great pen. One I'm not afraid to let them try.
If I had more money, I would buy a crate of it and give it away. If it's cool for them, it's cool for any kids!


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#9 sonia_simone

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 03:55

As it happens I have an orange Pelikano loaded with Apache Sunset. I think it is the coolest thing ever, and I am 41. However, sometimes young people don't want something that looks like a "toy."

By high school I don't think it's so much of a factor, but the pride of a 9-year-old can be a tender thing. (I have no idea how old Russ's son is. If he's 15, the Pelikano might be perfect.)
Isn't sanity really a one-trick pony, anyway? I mean, all you get is one trick, rational thinking! But when you're good and crazy . . . ooh hoo hoo hoo! . . . the sky's the limit!
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#10 Samovar

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 04:17

My Orange Pelikano is filled with Herbin Orange Indien tongue.gif

I'm planning to get a Lamy ABC next summer when I'll be travelling in France. I just love kids pen!
I also own a red Pelikano Junior, the perfect pen to carry in my jeans pocket, no clip, no problems.

Take care and keep that pen filled with orange ink!

Samovar

p.s. That's a cool pen user posted image

Edited by Samovar, 03 March 2007 - 04:39.

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#11 Emil Volcheck

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:30

BillTheEditor wrote:

The Falcon fills with either Namiki cartridges or with a converter. The converter holds less ink than a Parker converter. The opening from the cartridge or converter is relatively large, and this keeps the pen from experiencing ink starvation problems, even when writing rapidly.



I recently got a Namiki Falcon on the strength of the recommendations here and elsewhere. I love how it writes, but I'm disappointed with the total ink supply. The black ink in Namiki-brand cartridges is not very dark, so I bought some Noodler's black ink (Heart of Darkness). I love this ink, and the flow is ample for quick writing. The Namiki came with a twist converter, which takes up only a relatively small amount of ink that I can go through in a day or three. I would prefer to avoid refilling frequently and darkening the nib each time. Fahrney's Pens in DC which sold me the pen recommended a standard pneumatic converter (pressure bulb kind), but Namiki doesn't sell them any longer. I read the Namiki manual, and it said you can fill the barrel with ink using a dropper. I tried that, and that started out great. The seal from the threads is completely tight, so there is no leaking from the barrel. However after some use, the ink starts to trickle out the nib, making a mess. So obviously I'm doing something wrong with that. I'm wondering if anyone has found a better way to load ink. Can you refill a cartridge with a dropper, for instance? Thanks for any advice!

#12 Easterner

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:55

BillTheEditor wrote:

The Falcon fills with either Namiki cartridges or with a converter. The converter holds less ink than a Parker converter. The opening from the cartridge or converter is relatively large, and this keeps the pen from experiencing ink starvation problems, even when writing rapidly.



I recently got a Namiki Falcon on the strength of the recommendations here and elsewhere. I love how it writes, but I'm disappointed with the total ink supply. The black ink in Namiki-brand cartridges is not very dark, so I bought some Noodler's black ink (Heart of Darkness). I love this ink, and the flow is ample for quick writing. The Namiki came with a twist converter, which takes up only a relatively small amount of ink that I can go through in a day or three. I would prefer to avoid refilling frequently and darkening the nib each time. Fahrney's Pens in DC which sold me the pen recommended a standard pneumatic converter (pressure bulb kind), but Namiki doesn't sell them any longer. I read the Namiki manual, and it said you can fill the barrel with ink using a dropper. I tried that, and that started out great. The seal from the threads is completely tight, so there is no leaking from the barrel. However after some use, the ink starts to trickle out the nib, making a mess. So obviously I'm doing something wrong with that. I'm wondering if anyone has found a better way to load ink. Can you refill a cartridge with a dropper, for instance? Thanks for any advice!




You can refill a cartridge with a syringe. I use a glue syringe from a woodworking store and a baby syringe for dispensing medication that I found in Walmart. Just be careful not to enlarge the hole.
The glue syringe is also useful to power-flush nibs.

#13 limesally

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:01

Can you refill a cartridge with a dropper, for instance? Thanks for any advice!


you bet. And perhaps that's the best way to get the most volume of ink without making it an eyedropper. The mouth of the Pilot cartridge is pretty big, so yes, a dropper would work; if you happen to have access to those disposable transfer pipettes, those work great too.

#14 rdh

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 10:50

I like the Con-20 squeeze converter. They are still available and cheap. You can get them from Jet Pens or Swisher or a number of other vendors. It will hold a bit more ink than the twist converter and a bit less than a cartridge, but is a lot easier to refill than a cartridge.

Dave

#15 Kessel

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 21:33

Since we're discussing the Falcon here, I have a couple of questions! I was considering getting one, but:

Does the Falcon metal version take the Con-70? Ink capacity is a major issue for me.

#16 Emil Volcheck

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 21:42

Since we're discussing the Falcon here, I have a couple of questions! I was considering getting one, but:

Does the Falcon metal version take the Con-70? Ink capacity is a major issue for me.


I found the answer here: no it doesn't take the CON-70.

http://www.fountainp...showtopic=58693

You're right to be concerned about capacity. The Falcon comes
with a twist converter that does not hold much ink.

#17 mcmc

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 22:46

Anyone else use the Falcon as an eyedropper? Would perhaps the addition of an o-ring help performance in that regard?

#18 bitterwonder

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 23:32

While the Namiki Falcon is a beautiful pen, as Bill and playpen have described, I wouldn't gift someone a semi-flex ("soft") nib has their FIRST fountain pen.

If your son is not already accustomed to using fountain pens, going straight to a semi flex nib may prove to be difficult to use, and there is also the possibility of damage. (I lent a fountain pen to a friend who is a ballpoint user, and she was pressing hard on it <!--emo&:sick:--><img src='http://www.fountainp...ticons/sick.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sick.gif' /><!--endemo--> )

Just my opinions - perhaps a Falcon is a bit of a big mouthful to be a starter pen <!--emo&:unsure:--><img src='http://www.fountainp...cons/unsure.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='unsure.gif' /><!--endemo--> I started off with a stiff-nibbed Parker Vector, and it took me months to get used to fountain pens <!--emo&:)--><img src='http://www.fountainp...icons/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Back in the day my parents gave me an old (1935) Waterman with a flexible nib to take to school in third grade (1963)to learn to write. The pen and I both survived and we are both still producing (writing and drawing). I say let someone cut their writing teeth on a decent quality pen.



edited - spelling



#19 mrphyig

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 00:38

Does the Falcon metal version take the Con-70? Ink capacity is a major issue for me.


Hi, Kessel. The Metal Falcon does indeed take the Con-70, and I think in most cases, it comes with that converter. If you can, ask whether the Con-70 is included.

It's a great pen.

Edit: I noticed that Emil linked to a thread discussing this issue above, and now there's contradictory information. Just to clarify, the above thread is talking about the original, resin version of the Namiki Falcon, which is slightly smaller and consequently does not accommodate the Con-70. If you want to use a Falcon with the Con-70, it must be the metal version.

Edit edit: Regarding ink capacity, your mileage will vary depending on the ink you use, the paper you write on, the ambient humidity, the width of your nib, how large your characters are, and how heavy-handed you are when you write (that is, how often and how wide the tines are flexed). For reference, my Falcon has a <SB> nib and I do bear down more than I need to; in my fairly dense printing, a full Con-70 charge of most Herbin inks will get me through five to six sides of non-fancy Letter-size paper. My review worked out to use exactly one charge.

Edited by mrphyig, 15 April 2010 - 00:55.


#20 Kessel

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:26

Hi, Kessel. The Metal Falcon does indeed take the Con-70, and I think in most cases, it comes with that converter. If you can, ask whether the Con-70 is included.

It's a great pen.

Edit: I noticed that Emil linked to a thread discussing this issue above, and now there's contradictory information. Just to clarify, the above thread is talking about the original, resin version of the Namiki Falcon, which is slightly smaller and consequently does not accommodate the Con-70. If you want to use a Falcon with the Con-70, it must be the metal version.

Edit edit: Regarding ink capacity, your mileage will vary depending on the ink you use, the paper you write on, the ambient humidity, the width of your nib, how large your characters are, and how heavy-handed you are when you write (that is, how often and how wide the tines are flexed). For reference, my Falcon has a <SB> nib and I do bear down more than I need to; in my fairly dense printing, a full Con-70 charge of most Herbin inks will get me through five to six sides of non-fancy Letter-size paper. My review worked out to use exactly one charge.


Thanks for your help. I wanted the metal version anyway, so this is only good news to me!

I think the ink capacity of the CON-70 will suit me fine. http://www.nibs.com/pen_measures/ says it's 1.7 ml, and I intend on a fine nib. The Lamy 2000 I'm using is around 2.2, I think, and plenty of ink as far as I'm concerned.

Excellent! I think a new pen is in my future :)

#21 mcmc

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 19:30

So looks like no one else has tried using the Falcon as an eyedropper =) Perhaps that's just as well - John Mottishaw said that the internals might get wonked out if used as such, with direct contact with the ink. Unfortunate! But it was interesting to see that someone else was recommended that route and they'd been using it like that...

#22 handwriter

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 19:47

I have the resin version of the Namiki Falcon, with an SF nib. It is comparable or perhaps finer than typical EF nibs (sure finer than a modern Pelikan 400 EF). As a consequence, its converter load lasts forever. I didn't use cartridges (impossible to find them here) so I can't comment.
It is "semiflex": you can get line variation, but it takes applying significantly more pressure than with vintage flex pens. For someone that writes aplying little pressure, it writes like the smoother EF nib one can get (one can write fast with it without catching paper), almost WITHOUT line variation, and I don't think it should be difficult to use at all.
I'm a user, baby

#23 eome

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 12:44

Which has the better handling? the Resin or the metal body?

#24 mrphyig

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 13:31

Which has the better handling? the Resin or the metal body?


I prefer the metal body Falcon, especially when posted, because it feels much more substantial in my hand---I do prefer heavy pens to light ones, though, and I know that some folks here have disparaged the metal Falcon because they prefer light pens. I think your best bet is to try both in person and see which you like better, or if you don't have the opportunity, at least make your decision based on your preference for heavy or light pens.

#25 mcmc

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 14:24

So looks like no one else has tried using the Falcon as an eyedropper =) Perhaps that's just as well - John Mottishaw said that the internals might get wonked out if used as such, with direct contact with the ink. Unfortunate! But it was interesting to see that someone else was recommended that route and they'd been using it like that...



Wow, it's like I don't even exist here. Not a single acknowledgement or reply to either of my posts... As a new person I'm not sure if it's because I don't have a high post count, or if what I asked was really stupid. But doesn't look like I'm about to find out either way...?

#26 sjs

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 14:31

Wow, it's like I don't even exist here. Not a single acknowledgement or reply to either of my posts... As a new person I'm not sure if it's because I don't have a high post count, or if what I asked was really stupid. But doesn't look like I'm about to find out either way...?


Cowboy up. Your question was of the type, "does anyone do this seemingly very rare activity?" On forums, people generally don't post a "no" in response, else you'd see 10,000 of them. You'd probably get a much better response if you posted a thread with pics on "how to ED your falcon" with a review of performance.
Steve

#27 Dr.Grace

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 18:14

I don't know about the Falcon, but pens with metal parts that come in contact with ink could become corroded, so converting such pens to eyedroppers is not recommended.
These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. --Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

#28 Scott Searer

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:39

I'd like to buy my son his first FP. The Namiki Falcon is of interest. It appears to be a quality pen with a very nice, soft nib. One I hope he could appreciate years from now.

I'd like to hear others' experiences with this pen.
What is comfortable?
How was the filling mechanism?
OOTB nib quality (i.e., slit and tipping material on center, smooth)
Praise?
Criticism?

Thanks in advance.

Russ

My friend ordered this from richardspens.com and I was able to dip it and try the M nib---what a lovely and smooth writing pen! Do not be worried about the flex; it is not vintage flex and it is not fussy or extreme in the slightest....

#29 Falcon user

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 23:16

I use dropper to fill up Falcon, more ink and have no problems. I use small SF nib and it is more than enough for me. I think anything thicker would be too much for me as with the flex it has it would creare really thick lines.

#30 bushido

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:41

the nib! you won't find the nib anywhere!