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Pilot 78G: Short first review


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98 replies to this topic

#1 BillTheEditor

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 18:53

I'll post a longer review later, with photos. For now, though, I thought anyone looking for a good daily user for under $35 total might be interested in hearing about these pens.

The Pilot 78G was (is?) apparently produced only for the Asian market. It is a lightweight pen about the size of a Parker 51, with a conventional-looking nib (at least it looks conventional until you turn it over). The cap screws on, and has a good sturdy, springy clip. The cap also has two gold-colored bands around the lower end, but these are "printed" on, not actual metal.

I bought a pen with a "B" nib, which in this pen is a very nice fine-medium stub. You can also buy medium and fine versions, but remember that these are Asian medium and fine, meaning western fine and extra fine. The unusual thing about the nib is that the fins on the feed run the length of the feed, rather than across its width. I can't tell any functional difference as to flow. Maybe the reason for the different feed will become obvious with more use.

Loaded with Noodler's Black, the stub nib is slightly on the dry side, but it is not uncomfortable to use. It lays down a nice even line, no skipping or "holidays" in the writing, even when I scribble furiously. I like the width of the line. It's just right for me, doesn't force me to write larger than usual, looks good on the page.

I bought mine as NOS from Norman Haase ("His Nibs" http://www.hisnibs.com) for $25 plus $5.40 s&h. He had the Pilot 78G in green, teal, red, and black, with the stub nib only available in black. Some color/nib size combinations are sold out. The pen arrived in a simple plastic sleeve, no box, well-packed with a note from Norman illustrating writing from the B and M size nibs. (Usual disclaimer: I am a satisfied customer, no business relationship, etc.)

This will probably become one of my regular daily users, and will allow me to load my lapis Parker 75 with Ottoman Azure again (it also has a stub nib, about the same width as the Pilot's and I've been using black ink in it). I find it comfortable to write with, and I'm very pleased about the value (it's wonderful to find a great pen for this price).

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#2 chupie

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 19:08

I love mine too!
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#3 Macuser

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 19:23

I look forward to your photos!

#4 Phthalo

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 22:56

These are neat little pens indeed! I have two with Fine nibs, and they are amazingly smooth writers which produce super-fine lines... wonderful!

Laura / Phthalo

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#5 futhark

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 01:00

I received a green 78G with a medium nib in the mail today from Norman, and I've been grading papers with it all afternoon. It is the best inexpensive pen I have ever bought. If you like vintage pens, it has some ergonomic characteristics of many 1950s models.
Gerry

#6 kivanck

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 11:32

I just received my B stub. What more can you expect from a factory stub at this price! It's said to be a stub but It's line width (both vertical and horizontal) are very close to my .7 mm cursive italic Pelikan, really smooth and wet. I was also pleased to see that I haven't bought a small pen (one centimeter longer that M200 when capped). Since yesterday I'm excersizing lessons of Mr.Pickering for everyday italic writing smile.gif

#7 Karen Traviss

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 09:24

I'd agree that the broad is closer to a .7mm cursive italic than a stub. I bought a couple of Bs and an F - they're all very smooth, wet nibs. The F is finer than my custom XXF Pelikan nib, actually. (It makes a brilliant editing pen.) All in all - you can't go wrong with these.
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#8 Delivered

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 14:41

I purchased one of the Broad nibs as well.

This pen is an incredible value for the price. So much so, I ordered two more and am awaiting arrival this morning. drool.gif

Thanks Norm

Regards,

Delivered

#9 Tweel

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:16

QUOTE(Karen Traviss @ Dec 26 2006, 09:24 AM)
I'd agree that the broad is closer to a .7mm cursive italic than a stub.

I have one of the B 78G's, and no experience with "normal" stub nibs. What's the difference that you see -- the crispness of the 78G's line? I can see that the Pilot pen's nib has rounded corners like the stub nibs I've seen pictured on the Web, but I can also see that the line the pen makes is quite similar to that of italic calligraphy pens.

By the way, I apparently ended up with a somewhat broader nib than most people -- checking it against the PDFs here, it most closely matches Richard Binder's M (0.9mm) italic nibs.

Brian

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#10 BillTheEditor

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 16:16

QUOTE(Tweel @ Jan 2 2007, 12:16 AM)
QUOTE(Karen Traviss @ Dec 26 2006, 09:24 AM)
I'd agree that the broad is closer to a .7mm cursive italic than a stub.

I have one of the B 78G's, and no experience with "normal" stub nibs. What's the difference that you see -- the crispness of the 78G's line? I can see that the Pilot pen's nib has rounded corners like the stub nibs I've seen pictured on the Web, but I can also see that the line the pen makes is quite similar to that of italic calligraphy pens.

By the way, I apparently ended up with a somewhat broader nib than most people -- checking it against the PDFs here, it most closely matches Richard Binder's M (0.9mm) italic nibs.

Brian

I don't know what Karen had in mind, but in my opinion, the difference is, as you say, that the 78G makes a crisper line than a stub nib. It's very similar to the line from my Parker 75 #44, which is more like an italic nib than a stub (as it is designated by Parker). However, neither the 78G nor the #44 nib have those sharp corners so it's much easier to write cursive with them. Two of my pens have true stubs on them: a Bexley and a Parker Sonnet. Both of them give some variation in line width, but the "angles" (i.e. at the bottom of an italic "a") are much softer and less well-defined.

In the writing sample below, the brown part was done with the Bexley stub, the black with the Parker 75 #44. If that helps at all. (The 78G would have been perhaps a bit crisper than the #44.)

Attached Images

  • Hopkins_ultraclose.jpg

Edited by BillTheEditor, 06 January 2007 - 16:24.


#11 Tweel

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 17:44

So a broad nib that looks like a stub, that writes like an italic...
Oh Pilot! Where have you led us?

Thanks for the information -- and nice penmanship!

Brian

fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
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#12 chupie

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 02:27

Here are some samples of my Pilot 78G with Tahitian Pearl.






Pearl's Blog: A Journey in Patience: Feline DIabetes

Feline Diabetes is a treatable condition.
http://www.felinediabetes.com

#13 BillTheEditor

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 05:20

Another sample. FPN Galileo Manuscript Brown, Pilot 78G, B nib. Paper is a sheet from one of Richard Binder's pads.

Still working on the full review -- more later.

Attached Images

  • Pilot_78G_FPN_GMB_small_sample_2.jpg

Edited by BillTheEditor, 08 January 2007 - 05:21.


#14 chupie

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:16

Dang. I really need to try learning to write italic! It's so pretty.
Pearl's Blog: A Journey in Patience: Feline DIabetes

Feline Diabetes is a treatable condition.
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#15 His Nibs

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 07:41

I'm still awaiting shipment of more of the pens with the 'B' nib, but I wanted to alert everyone that I've gotten in a shipment of the 'M' and 'F' nibs, including...for the first time...the Teal in 'F'.
Regards,

Norman Haase
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#16 MikeLip

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 11:18

Mine in fine and black is incoming - can't wat to get it now!

#17 Terri

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 02:31

I just bought a second Pilot 78G from www.isellpens.com for only $17.99. So, it looks like I did quite well saving some money. I can't afford the prices on Norm's site. No affiliation with isellpens but just another satisfied customer.

#18 Phthalo

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Posted 19 January 2007 - 03:06

I just bought another two 78G's from HisNibs - now I have all four colours, and all four have gorgeous little F nibs. smile.gif

These are such good pens for taking to work - faultless performance and super-smooth writers!

Laura / Phthalo

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#19 wcnnick

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 20:45

I have also got one in green and M nib.
This pen is really smooth! Even smoother than much more expansive Pelikan M200(the most expansive pen I have)!
It seems much cheaper in Hong Kong, Only cost USD6-8 dollars~
However, it is hopeless to see how much ink left, as it has no ink window and non-transparent plastic pump, except using cartridges instead.

#20 BillTheEditor

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 20:58

QUOTE(wcnnick @ Jan 24 2007, 02:45 PM)
... it is hopeless to see how much ink left, as it has no ink window and non-transparent plastic pump, except using cartridges instead.

No different from using most squeeze fillers, or any lever-filler. If it's an issue for someone, then as you say, they can use cartridges.






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