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Eight Modified Nibs Compared

stub cursive italic

10 replies to this topic

#1 geoduc

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 07:01

Over the years I've acquired a suite of pens with modified nibs, and I thought it would be interesting and possibly useful to show a progression of different nib sizes. These are all Nakaya nibs modified by John Mottishaw, all are loaded with Pelikan Blue Black ink, and the samples are written on Rhodia 80 gsm paper with a line spacing of 7 mm. I also included samples from a few other pens for comparison. 

 

The nib grinds vary from stub to cursive italic - the smooth cursive italics are somewhere in between. For those, I asked John to grind the nib to provide as much line variation as possible while still being smooth enough for everyday use (credit goes to dcpritch for that one). The flows are given on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the wettest, and the values are what I requested John to set them at. Enjoy!

 

fpn_1469601652__nakaya_nibs004_01.jpg



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#2 Randal6393

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Posted 27 July 2016 - 23:46

Very interesting. And informative. Would like to see an italic hand, get the full effect of the nibs. Thanks,


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From a person's actions, we may infer attitudes, beliefs, --- and values. We do not know these characteristics outright. The human dichotomies of trust and distrust, honor and duplicity, love and hate --- all depend on internal states we cannot directly experience. Isn't this what adds zest to our life?
 


#3 nekomuffchu

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 02:39

Much appreciated geoduc.I have a 0.6mm stub on the way after seeing your previous posts.

Could you give any thoughts on the John's stub, smooth CI and CI grinds. What are your favourite nibs if you had to do it over again?

#4 geoduc

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 04:11

Very interesting. And informative. Would like to see an italic hand, get the full effect of the nibs. Thanks,

 

Sorry, that's as close to an italic hand as it gets for me ;-)



#5 geoduc

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 04:42

Much appreciated geoduc.I have a 0.6mm stub on the way after seeing your previous posts.

Could you give any thoughts on the John's stub, smooth CI and CI grinds. What are your favourite nibs if you had to do it over again?

 

I'm glad you found the post useful, thanks.

 

John's stub grinds are pretty much what you'd expect - smooth, easy to write with, and enough line variation to make it interesting. The smooth CIs are also well suited for everyday use and they have a noticeable bump in line variation (which may not be easily visible in the sample above, but you see the difference in your writing). My favorites are the cursive italics; they are definitely sharper than the stub or smooth CI, but I have no problem using them at normal writing speed and I like the additional line variation. You just have to pay more attention to staying on the sweet spot.

 

I definitely have a couple of favorites in the group. All of the nibs are excellent, but I think the 0.6mm CI and the 0.9mm smooth CI stand out above the rest. The 0.6 is an excellent everyday nib with good feedback and a nice expressive line. The 0.9 is too wide for me to use every day, but there I times when I want a wider line and it seems that all of the stars lined up when John worked on that one. It's a nib that brings a smile to my face every time I sit down with it. I could be satisfied if I only had those two nibs.

 

The 0.55 is a close third; the slight difference in width over the 0.5 definitely matters in terms of line variation, yet it is narrow enough to work well on substandard paper. It's a great nib for an everyday carry pen. The music nib is the only one I probably wouldn't do again; I find it too wide and wet to be of much practical use for writing, although it is fun to draw and doodle with.

 

Good luck with your new pen! What did you order?



#6 whichwatch

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 12:10

Great comparison, and really nice handwriting, too!

 

As another Nakaya fan, I'd love to see a picture of the pens to which the nibs are attached! 



#7 nekomuffchu

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 13:17

 

I'm glad you found the post useful, thanks.

 

John's stub grinds are pretty much what you'd expect - smooth, easy to write with, and enough line variation to make it interesting. The smooth CIs are also well suited for everyday use and they have a noticeable bump in line variation (which may not be easily visible in the sample above, but you see the difference in your writing). My favorites are the cursive italics; they are definitely sharper than the stub or smooth CI, but I have no problem using them at normal writing speed and I like the additional line variation. You just have to pay more attention to staying on the sweet spot.

 

I definitely have a couple of favorites in the group. All of the nibs are excellent, but I think the 0.6mm CI and the 0.9mm smooth CI stand out above the rest. The 0.6 is an excellent everyday nib with good feedback and a nice expressive line. The 0.9 is too wide for me to use every day, but there I times when I want a wider line and it seems that all of the stars lined up when John worked on that one. It's a nib that brings a smile to my face every time I sit down with it. I could be satisfied if I only had those two nibs.

 

The 0.55 is a close third; the slight difference in width over the 0.5 definitely matters in terms of line variation, yet it is narrow enough to work well on substandard paper. It's a great nib for an everyday carry pen. The music nib is the only one I probably wouldn't do again; I find it too wide and wet to be of much practical use for writing, although it is fun to draw and doodle with.

 

Good luck with your new pen! What did you order?

 

 

Thanks for the insight :) I've ordered a portable writer in ama-iro with a 0.6mm rhodium stub which should be arriving in a few days from CFP. I also have a naka-ai writer in sumiko on order with a 0.7mm ruthenium hybrid stub / cursive italic. 

 

I noticed you had a Lamy Safari 1.1mm italic. From your experience which Nakaya nib is the Lamy most like in your stable? I find the Lamy  incredibly smooth, it just has too much line variation for my liking. Also, just wondering if you have tried any of these nibs with with added flex? I know that added flex may add more variation, however at the same time I wonder if it will add a touch of flair and softness to my script. 



#8 geoduc

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 21:28



Great comparison, and really nice handwriting, too!

 

As another Nakaya fan, I'd love to see a picture of the pens to which the nibs are attached! 

 

Here you go. Not the best photo, but you'll get the idea.

 

fpn_1469740958___tad0062_03.jpg

 

From left to right:

 

Briarwood, matte finish - 0.55mm smooth cursive italic

Long cigar, oitake iro (custom color) - 0.9mm smooth cursive italic

Neo Standard, heki tamenuri - 0.7mm stub

Neo Standard, kuro tamenuri - 0.6mm stub

Portable writer, black with ruthenium trim - 0.5mm cursive italic

Naka-ai, jidai nuri finish - 0.6mm cursive italic

17mm portable cigar, unpolished shu - 0.8mm smooth cursive italic

17mm portable cigar, aka tamenuri - music nib



#9 geoduc

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 21:40

 

 

Thanks for the insight  :) I've ordered a portable writer in ama-iro with a 0.6mm rhodium stub which should be arriving in a few days from CFP. I also have a naka-ai writer in sumiko on order with a 0.7mm ruthenium hybrid stub / cursive italic. 

 

I noticed you had a Lamy Safari 1.1mm italic. From your experience which Nakaya nib is the Lamy most like in your stable? I find the Lamy  incredibly smooth, it just has too much line variation for my liking. Also, just wondering if you have tried any of these nibs with with added flex? I know that added flex may add more variation, however at the same time I wonder if it will add a touch of flair and softness to my script. 

 

Sounds like you have a couple of very nice pens on the way. Please post photos when they arrive!

 

The 0.9mm nib is probably closest to the Lamy 1.1. If that nib had too much line variation for you, then the narrower nibs you have on order should be better. Those Lamy italics are actually quite nice nibs to write with, especially given the very cheap price.

 

I have not tried any Nakaya nibs with added flex. My portable cigar originally had a soft medium nib (unmodified) that I tried to live with for two or three years but could never learn to love. I found it too hard to control and it always felt like I was fighting with the nib when I tried to write. Last year I had John swap out the SM nib for a firm 0.5mm CI and I'm far happier with the new one.



#10 amberleadavis

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 00:06

Terrific comparison. Thank you.

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#11 Houston

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 08:46

geoduc:

 

Terrific resource you've provided. Thank you. 

 

My mileage has varied a bit, vis-a-vis yours. I find John's stubs to be pretty sharp, compared with those of Binder, Pendleton Brown and others. When I order from John's shop, these days, I specify a very soft-edged stub because of the difference I've experienced versus other folks' stubs. 

 

Thanks, again, for the original post. Great stuff. 

 

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