Light and nimble Standard (400/200) & medium-long (P-51/600) use to be the normal sized pens back when one wrote with one 8 hours a day. They were mostly posted, in that is where the great balance comes in. Large pens out side the Snorkel were very rare. I never saw a Sheaffer PFM....Pen For Men...in the late '50's- early '60's when it came out.
If you post the 200/400/600 they are not 'too small'. If you don't post....they can be. There are folks who don't post who don't think they are too small.
But I think they are a minority. Mostly I read....how small they are by folks who refuse to post.
The MB 146 went from being a very nicely balanced medium long pen to being a slightly clunky Large pen in the '70's. I have both....I was chasing the '50s MB for the nib and the '70's one was cheap at a live auction. I do have to adjust for a few seconds when I use it....and it is one of the lighter of the Large pens.
IMO Large pens are so large in they Bling....well. Sort of Clunky in my mind.
The only Large pen that is great, is the thin Snorkel (could be a Touchdown which I don't have, also)....a great balanced pen. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found it to be the same length as a Safari. Yes, you do post a Snorkel.
On second thought my Large light and nimble Waterman 52 that I post has good balance.
Outside of them, I have 8-10 Large pens that I reach for last.
If posting is against your religion than you are condemned to using large clunky pens.
Now for the nib.....'50-65 era is it. Stubbish semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex nibs are standard.
'82-98 is second best....the M400 is 'true' regular flex, like the 200. The 200's springy 'true' regular flex nib is very good, gives a good ride.
'True' regular flex use to be the norm for many pen companies until so many Ham Fisted Ball Point Barbarians started using fountain pens in the mid-90's and bent so many nibs that had to be repaired the companies went over to issuing semi-nail or nail, instead of 'true' regular flex nibs.
Modern M400/600 have fat blobby semi-nail nibs......butter smooth....that's about it....not a nice ride like a '82-97 M400 or the modern 200.....good for making it a stub or a CI....one can buy vintage nibs...'50-65 that will fit. I have a '54 Transitional 400's semi-flex B nib in my 605. My fat and blobby 600's nib is stored in the 400 tortoise until I use it again. Don't want to misplace nibs.
One of these days I'll turn that 600's fat and blobby semi-nail BB into a stub....been saying that for ages.
I do want some character to my writing that the vintage '50's era nibs give me with out me having to do anything at all......magic.
The 600 has a nice girth, light and nimble, well balanced posted....and there are very many beautiful ones of them. If you get a nice '50-65 semi/maxi-semi-flex nib, you can put it in your 600. And have a real pen.
Chase the nib....
Yes, if one is use to the American Bump Under....the stubbish minimalist tipping or that era can be a shock. I as 'noobie' thought some shade tree mechanic tried to stub them....but that was what that era's tipping looked like. Works wonderfully..
Do not waste money buying a '82 or later Oblique....it is a 100% waste of money.
Buy a '50-65 one, there you have that era's stubbish nib with semi-flex or maxi-semi-flex tine spread. and the 15 or 30 degree grind. (pure luck to which it will be)
If you want a great 'true' regular flex the W. Germany ('87-89/90) 800 has that nib***.....but it is a large and clunky pen....it will take a while to get use to it. I don't know nor has anyone said when in the '90's the 800 became the nail it now is.
Yes, your Safari is a Large pen...and not as heavy as many. The brass back weighted 800 will fell bigger.
**** The '82-90 W. Germany 400's nib is a slight tad more springy than the '90-97 Germany M400. It costs much more too.
Get a '50-65 one for less than that...and you will be spoiled by the nib.
I'd asked someone once that had it and '50's nibbed 400's and she told me not to buy it, in I'd been spoiled by semi-flex.
Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 26 October 2016 - 23:20.