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After using my Gama Raja for a little over a day, I've formed some tentative opinions of it. With the somewhat scarce information on this pen here on FPN, I'm hoping that my thoughts will help someone that's undecided about it.
First off, I'll comment about the seller and experience I had with them. I ordered from ASA Pens, and being new to the Indian pen game I didn't know what to expect with my order (again, not too terribly much information that I could find). I couldn't be happier. The order took just under three weeks from ordering to receipt, including having Mr. Subramaniam test the pen before dispatch. It was very well packaged. I don't think that the pen would have been harmed if someone jumped on it (but I'm not willing to try ). I'm in the U.S. by the way.
Upon opening the package and taking the pen out of its velvet slip and excessive (not that I'm complaining) bubble wrap, my impressions were very good. The pen is large (prior to this, the largest pen I owned was a Jinhao X-750), deep matte black, the trim is nice and shiny and golden, the pen has simple, clean, elegant looks that remind me of the Parker Duofold and other 30s-40s American pen designs. It's a very nice looking pen to my eye.
-The fit and finish of this pen is superb, especially for the price. The threads, though single start, are well cut and mesh smoothly, the finish is even and well done, the polished ends are also well done, the trim is well set, the nib is set as it should be for a #6/35mm nib, and the Gama logo is nicely engraved.
-The feel in hand (I have a medium mens' glove size according to Mechanix) is very good. The section is large to be sure, but it's comfortably cut with a nice, abrupt flare to keep your fingers off the nib. The pen itself, while long, is very well balanced and actually very light. It honestly doesn't feel any heavier in hand than a featherweight Lamy Safari. The ebonite feels good in the hand; it really is a warm feeling material. It doesn't feel like a plastic or metal or wood... it's unique. While the pen can be posted, the cap doesn't post very deeply, leaves marks on the barrel, makes the pen very long, and throws off the balance of the pen.
-The writing, when the feed is saturated sufficiently and you're in the sweet spot, is superb. As I stated before, I had the pen tested before shipping and it paid off. After a little alignment (I was probably the cause of the issue to be honest) the pen (with the stock nib and feed) is wet, starts well with zero pressure (and I mean ZERO pressure), is very smooth with a TINY touch of feedback and the stock IPG duotone EF/Indian fine (I've seen it called both) writes a good, firm extra fine (compared to a Lamy fine).
-The ink capacity is HUGE. As someone that's used to C/C pens, I was blown away by the ink capacity. I haven't measured it, but I wouldn't doubt an estimate of 3-3.5ml.
As you may be able to tell, I quite like this pen already
-The stock, unmodified nib on my pen (one example) has a fairly small sweet spot. When you're in the sweet spot, it's as smooth as I've felt as of yet, about on par if maybe a little under a JoWo (which costs, by itself, more than half of the asking price of this pen), but the moment you get out of the sweet spot there's a fairly significant amount of feedback.
-If the pen is agitated and warm, say in a gesticulating hand or in a shirt pocket, a little ink seems to want to burp into the cap and get on the nib. It isn't a big deal, but it is slightly annoying. This issue could probably be fixed with a new feed.
-When the pen was in my shirt pocket for a while, the feed dried up somewhat. It took a bit of tapping on the page to get it started again.
-It smells like tires, which doesn't bother me and will dissipate, but the smell may offend some people.
-There's some minor scratching on the very shiny clip and one of the cap bands is a teensy tiny bit wonky (I'm picking at nits at this point)
Overall, this pen is an amazing pen, especially for what you pay for it. I'm in love already, and I'm hooked on Indian eyedroppers now.
ETA- Sorry for the long post! I tried to make everything as detailed as possible to make up for the lack of pictures.
Edited by thatotherguy1, 25 January 2015 - 03:02.