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1St Impression Aurora Optima Italic


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5 replies to this topic

#1 o2bmark

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 22:51

While in Washington, DC I of course stopped by Fahrney's Pens for a look around and to pick up some ink. The Pilot/Namiki representative was there showing off some of the new not yet available offerings from that company. He had some nice hand lacquered $10K pens which is in keeping with the money awash in DC! While the rest of the country may be experiencing unemployment and loss wealth, I assure you that business has never been better in DC---they are operating 180 degrees out of phase with the rest of the country so don't wonder why they are not as concerned about the economy as most of us. But I digress.

I was asking about factory stubs or italics and at some point ended up at the Aurora counter section. I was more interested in the 88 form but the only italic in stock was a Pearla. I probably would have never selected this pen from a catalog but having it in my hand made the difference. A much lighter pen than is my norm, but posted it balances well but was noticeably lighter than my Pelikan M800 which I have never considered a heavy pen by any stretch. Testing a dipped pen may tell you about the smoothness or even variability of line but flow and shading will be somewhat of a mystery until pen is properly inked. I bought then pen and filled it with the Aurora Blue ink-one of my favorites.

Observations after a week:

On any remotely good paper the nib glides, something I didn't really expect from an italic. The nib, like seemingly most new fountain pens favors a steeper ball point pen type angle of writing. I don't naturally write that way and like a much more relaxed angle. I have several stubs but this is my first "italic" and I was told that they are more prone to skipping and I found that to be true. In the picture attached you can see some of the skipping. When I'm paying close attention I can minimize the skipping by ever so slightly favoring the right side of nib on start and keeping pen more upright. To be honest, I wish the pen had some tooth but it really is butter like if you maintain the perfect orientation of the nib to page (my son, not a FP user found this very difficult to do, whereas my stub gave him no noticeable trouble). Back to the skipping, it seems most likely to happen on downstroke which is often the first letter in a word and it does annoy me. If I move slower on first letter or provide pressure, then I can nearly eliminate it. I realize that letting ink come down a tiny center slit and then spread across the broad sharp tip is not easy to accomplish. I decided to try some Pelikan Black ink since it is the only quality ink I can get locally---NOT GOOD. The skipping made pen unusable. I have read in this forum about Pelikan being a dry ink but until now never had such a vivid demonstration of dry vs wet ink. The aurora inks, know to be wet seems to be required in this pen. I next tried Aurora black which worked much as the blue and perhaps even skipped less. When the ink flows from the pen it leaves a wet line but with some shading in the blue ink and not hardly any with the black. The ink capacity of the Aurora seems much less than my Pelikan M800 though I have not measured it. I presently carry it and another pen daily so I don't worry about running out of ink now, but if it were the only pen I carried then inking twice a week would probably be my practice (I go a week with M800).

This is not meant to be an in depth review and I'm still trying to decide if I like the pen/nib overall. My negatives are lightness, skipping and capacity. The overall quality of pen and nib seem quite good. Metal work is attractive and cap unscrews in less than one turn. People notice the pen and comment (cracked ice appearance). If you like line variability and smoothness together then this may be your pen.
22.64 grams inked
5" capped pen
4.85" uncapped pen alone
6" posted pen
.55" widest barrel
.61" band around cap
photo.JPG

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#2 jandrese

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 00:21

Nice. I have an Optima with a factory italic. Yes, it likes free flowing inks. Mine likes Diamine inks and Iroshizuku inks. Good stuff.

#3 ttakacs

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 03:43

Oddly enough, my new Perla Noir arrived in today's mail! It sports a medium nib. First fill was with CdA Blue Night, which seemed to be a bit too wet. Changed to Montblanc Royal Blue, which at first blush is a better fit, writing a true medium line.

Posted, the Optima is comparable in size to my Montblanc 146 but is lighter -- yet I can already tell it balances beautifully and will be comfortable in extended writing sessions.

If you don't like the italic nib in the Optima, it is easily interchangeable with a handful of other Auroras. Just search this forum.

Edited by ttakacs, 22 February 2013 - 03:44.


#4 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 21:50

Just wanted to ask: is the factory italic a Crisp Italic or a Cursive Italic?  How smooth is it to write with?


WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator


#5 dms525

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 22:36

Just wanted to ask: is the factory italic a Crisp Italic or a Cursive Italic?  How smooth is it to write with?

 

That distinction is really rather fluid. It's really a continuum. With that in mind, the Aurora Italic nib is the crispest stock cursive italic nib I have experienced. If you know how to write with a formal italic nib, you might call it "crisp cursive italic." That is, you can write Palmer - type cursive with it, but you must hold the nib at a constant angle to maintain it on the "sweet spot." I would say it's an excellent everyday italic writer, but it would not be my first choice for Palmer-type cursive.

 

Hope that answers your question.

 

David



#6 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 07:07

 

That distinction is really rather fluid. It's really a continuum. With that in mind, the Aurora Italic nib is the crispest stock cursive italic nib I have experienced. If you know how to write with a formal italic nib, you might call it "crisp cursive italic." That is, you can write Palmer - type cursive with it, but you must hold the nib at a constant angle to maintain it on the "sweet spot." I would say it's an excellent everyday italic writer, but it would not be my first choice for Palmer-type cursive.

 

Hope that answers your question.

 

Thank you for your response.  Your helps quite a bit.


WTT: Conklin Nozac Cursive Italic & Edison Beaumont Broad for Pelikan M1000 or Something Cool (PM me to discuss. It's part of my One Red Fountain Pen trading post)

WTB: 1. Camlin SD

2. 1950s to early 1960s 1st Gen MB 149 with BB nib

3. Airmail 90T Teal Swirl

4. PenBBS 355-16SF Demonstrator







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