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Lamy Vista Review


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14 replies to this topic

#1 jatinsindhu

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:10

Here is my review of the Lamy Vista. I have two of these pens, one just over a month old and the other several years old. I have reviewed the fine nib.






1. Appearance & Design (1-10) – 8/10
Lamy is one of the famous pen brands for people starting into fountain pens. The Lamy Vista is a transparent pen and it stands out from the regular coloured pens used by most school going kids. When I saw this pen among the Lamy Safaris (which are coloured) I was immediately attracted to it. It is made of plastic but feels very solid. The cap of the pen has a completely round cross-section while the barrel is circular with flat top and bottom making it slightly oval. The gripping section of the pen has two flat indents so that pen can be held comfortably for long periods of time. This however has a slight disadvantage; the indents force you to grip the pen in a particular way. (Picture to be attached of both positions). The end of the gripping section towards the nib is slightly lifted so that your fingers may not come in contact with the nib. Though the gripping section has no groves or other measures to prevent slipping during writing but it is designed in such a way that there is no such problem. You can write for long periods of time with this pen.



2. Construction & Quality (1-10) – 9/10
The pen is made out of ABS plastic and feels sturdy, better than the normal plastic pens. The cap has a chrome plated top and the clip is also chrome plated. These apart from the nib are the only non-plastic parts of the pen. The plastic is not prone to major scratches but a new pen can be easily distinguished from an old one. With use the pen loses its shine and the glow of the new plastic. See the pictures to see what I mean. The end of the barrel has 'LAMY' written in chrome. This can be perfectly aligned with the nib if you close the barrel with lamy stamp facing the back of the nib. (again pictures will help)



3. Weight & Dimensions (1-10) – 8/10
The pen is of a length that is suitable for all people. It has the same dimensions as that of any other common pen you might find in the market. It is slightly thicker if you are moving on from a ordinary ball or gel pen. The thickness is not perceived because the gripping section is thinner that the barrel. The weight of the pen is good. The weight of this pen is such that normally you would not reflect upon it (when you pick it up you will not get thoughts like “oh this is light/heavy”). I find the balance of the pen a bit off when posted. The cap of this pen has some weight at the tip because of the chrome plating and when posted I find it a heavy for my liking and therefore I don’t post my Vistas. Without posting the pen the balance is very good and you don’t feel it.



4. Nib & Performance (1-10) – 8/10
I got a Fine nib with the pen. Lamy nibs are interchangeable so you can change the nib any time you want. The pen comes in EF, F, M, B nibs as standard. Other Lamy nibs also fit the pen. My nib is a steel one. I am happy with the feedback from the nib. Like all new fountain pens the nib was initially very scratchy but some pages of writing it improved and now it is a very smooth nib. The nib is consistent with most inks that I have used and does not skip while writing. Being a fine nib you can get faster writing speeds out of it which is of special importance to students. The line laid down by the pen is slightly broader than the fine laid down by the likes of Waterman. I haven’t tried the Lamy gold nibs so I cannot compare this nib with those. There is however one problem with the nib. If you like your nibs to be spotless and clean with no ink deposits on them then you are in for a tough time. Any ink colour shines on the chrome finished nib and is almost impossible to completely get rid of. I got used to using dirty nibs but you can get around it by filing the ink directly into the converter and then inserting the converter into the body, thereby avoiding the nib going into the bottle. However this is not advisable because filling the ink through the feed clears it of any deposits and helps keep the pen in good shape.



5. Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) – 10/10
The Lamy Vista uses the cartridge converter filling system that is it can take Lamy cartridges as well as their Z24 converter. The converter operates on the twist action where you have to twist the top to make the plunger go up or down. For my usual needs the converter lasts long enough. The top of the Z24 converter is red in colour stands out in the otherwise transparent body of the pen. Usually a converter gives you more freedom with the choice of inks so I mostly use converters and am yet to face any problem with them. The nib of the Lamy Vista can be easily removed without the need of any tools. There are also tutorials on removing the feed but that is not advisable. So if you try to split the pen into its components you can get the following: the cap, the grip/feed section, the converter, the outer barrel and the nib. There is not much I cannot expect more from the filling and maintenance point of view from a pen. It is said that this pen also takes in the Parker converter. This is partly true, I have three of these pen and only in one of these is the parker converter a snug fit. In the other two pens it seems that it might just fall off. I have not tried using any other converters or cartridges with my Vista.



6. Cost & Value (1-10) – 5/10
In my opinion this pen is expensive in India. It sells for Rs 1690 at most places without a converter with costs Rs 325. So if you plan to buy this pen in India with the converter you will have to pay $38 for it. For this price you are lured to try out the low end Watermans or Sheaffers with are made of metal and appear to be more expensive. It is difficult for a school going person to justify the purchase of a $38 pen which is completely made of plastic. Few years ago these pens were very reasonable. In 2007 I had purchased a Vista with a converter and it cost me Rs 699. Yes almost a third of the price. I don’t know what happened that they increased the price so much. Maybe because they hired a local distributor in the form of Linc Pens and Co. , but that should have further brought down the price and not made it thrice as expensive. This hike is so recent that you still get these pens for around Rs 1400 ($25) with converter on eBay India.



7. Conclusion (Final score [SUM/6]: X) – 7.6/10
It is a good pen. I recommend it. If you are just starting out with fountain pens then I would suggest you start with the medium nib. If you already are into fountain pens then you must have already used this pen.







I will upload the photos very soon. (within 24 hours)


This is my first review and I would like to improve so please feel free to give any suggestions you have.

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#2 Pentulant

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:31

Thank you for the review.

I found this interesting...
Like all new fountain pens the nib was initially very scratchy but some pages of writing it improved and now it is a very smooth nib.

Most my new pens write beautifully right from the start. I have had a couple of duds, but those are usually very inexpensive pens and I wasn't expecting perfection.

Your writing was great, by the way. I think you did a fabulous job.
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#3 raging.dragon

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:31

My guess is that the prices in India were raised to match prices in Europe and North America.

#4 jatinsindhu

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:38

Thank you for the review.

I found this interesting...
Like all new fountain pens the nib was initially very scratchy but some pages of writing it improved and now it is a very smooth nib.

Most my new pens write beautifully right from the start. I have had a couple of duds, but those are usually very inexpensive pens and I wasn't expecting perfection.

Your writing was great, by the way. I think you did a fabulous job.


Really happy that you liked my review.

The problem of scratchiness may be with my taste or what I call scratchy (I am yet to use an EF nib so I really don't know what it feels like)

I have only a few fine points and most other are medium and thus they can't be scratchy. I found that two of my three Safaris improved significantly within the first couple of days. The other one was good from the beginning. Same was for my Waterman Phileas, it was very scratchy in the beginning and within an year it turned into a very fine pen. (Though I dropped the pen and broke the nib a few months ago). I don't have much of an idea about the fine points of other brands so I can't say.

#5 jatinsindhu

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:45

My guess is that the prices in India were raised to match prices in Europe and North America.



In India you get a Sheaffer 300 for around $50. So for a first fountain pen that seems to be a better proposition. Though Safari has its own class and place in my collection but for someone buying a fountain pen for the first time a solid metal body pen beats a plastic body pen at the same price.

Or maybe because I got the pen for $18 and was forced to pay $40 for the same pen, I found it expensive.

#6 jatinsindhu

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:47

Here are the photographs of the pen.



IMG_1110_resize.JPG
The Vista with the normal Z24 converter



IMG_1132_resize.JPG
The Vista with a Lamy converter black. (It is original Lamy but I don't know which one)




IMG_1131_resize.JPG
The two converters compared




IMG_1130_resize.JPG
The body of an old Lamy with that of a new one. The older one is about 6+ years old




IMG_1129_resize.JPG




IMG_1124_resize.JPG The nib.



]IMG_1116_resize.JPG
The cap.

#7 lovemy51

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:07

hi.

great review! one comment regarding the nib: not all new FP nibs are scratchy out of the box. in my experience, tho', all Lamy Safari nibs are scratchy when new -at least all four i own.

my fav safari is the Vista with a 1.1 italic point.

enjoy your pen!

#8 seffrican

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:19

Just for information, the Safari works with both current Lamy converters, the Z24 that you show, and the Z26.

And as mentioned in another reply, not all nibs are scratchy to start with. I received a Kaweco last week that was creamy smooth from the first stroke.

The Safari is very well engineered as a note-taking pen, the feed seems to supply enough ink no matter how fast one scribbles.

Thanks for the review, I'm looking forward to reading more of your reviews in future.
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#9 1962falcon

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:11

Enjoyed your review, well done...... I have the Vista and three other Safaris. Of the four it's my favourite..... Perhaps my feelings for the Vista over the other three are biased by my love for demonstrators. It is of course an inexpensive route into this genre. That said, it's still a fine all round pen and mine is always in rotation; it's my red ink host..... it has black B nib which I think compliments the furniture. Nibwise .... I may be lucky but my Lamy nibs [2Bs'& 2Ms'] have all been good writers out of the box.

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#10 ajha1970

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 13:38

You can get Lamy Vista and Safari with convertor in 1100 Rs in Delhi and Mumbai
Tell me where you are located i will tell you stores name

#11 ajha1970

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 13:41

Great Pics, which camera and Lenses you have

#12 Vipersdad

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 15:27

I used a brown paper bag on my Safari medium nib and it smoothed out. One of my Vistas is a runaway on campus at UW Madison right now. Ugh.

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#13 jatinsindhu

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 16:10

You can get Lamy Vista and Safari with convertor in 1100 Rs in Delhi and Mumbai
Tell me where you are located i will tell you stores name


I live in Gurgaon, near Delhi and I really need to buy some Lamy nibs like 1.1 etc

#14 jatinsindhu

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 16:13

Great Pics, which camera and Lenses you have


Thanks for the compliments. I used the Canon EOS 60D Camera with the EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro Lens for the photographs

#15 ajha1970

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 16:33

contact Pawan at 9810065733, He will give you Lamy Pens and Nibs at lowest Price,
you can get any colour lamy Safari at 900-1000 Rs with convertor if you buy two three
His office is near Rajauri Garden Metro Station in south Delhi






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