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Italic Nib Comparison

john mottishaw cursive italic nakaya pelikan m800 montblanc oblique italic

7 replies to this topic

#1 mfyorulmaz


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 14:43



I learnt a lot from this forum and here is my payback...I want to share my comparison of couple of my Italic pens/nibs. Enjoy...


The pens/nibs are:


1-Pelikan M800 BB Cursive Italic by John Mottishaw. Line variation ~x4 (1.0mm/0.25mm)

2-Lamy 1.1mm (standard calligraphy pen). Line variation ~x1.8 (0.9mm/0.5mm)

3-Nakaya Decapod Twist Aka Tamenuri BB Cursive Italic by John Mottishaw. Line variation ~x3.6 (0.9mm/0.25mm)

4-Montblanc Boheme Oblique Medium (original Montblanc nib; no customization). Line variation ~x2.0 (0.8mm/0.4mm)


The meaning of the sentence in the pics is "The biggest pleasures become mundane if they are repeated excessively"



John Mottishaw's Cursive Italic nibs are similar to Osmoroid/Manuscript calligraphy pens in terms of nib sharpness but feels not as cheap. They are definitely sharper than Lamy Italic nibs but not so much as to bother for daily writing. Nib is sharp but not too sharp to catch paper. Given that stubs are too blunt for me Cursive Italic is definitely perfect for my taste. These pens can perfectly be used for daily writing.

I asked John to make Pelikan 1.0mm and Nakaya 0.9mm. Based on my measurements they are exactly as I wanted...

Finally, for daily note taking, 1.0mm seems little bit too bit. My miniscules are getting too big for my taste. On the other hand 0,8mm is too small to some enough line variation. Therefore, for me 0.9mm is the optimum nib size for daily note taking.

Let me know what you think...



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#2 098799


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 15:43

So depressing -- seems like $30 Lamy gives you not really more than the highest tier pens with custom grinds...

#3 mfyorulmaz


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 15:49

Well, if you think that way, you can even go with a 10$ Osmoroid/Manuscript. I think it is about the feeling that you have when you hold the pen and write with it. Although the end product (the writing) may look similar in terms of line variety, etc, the feeling that you have is completely different between cheap pens and top tier ones. For example, I would never write too long with a very plasticish Manuscript pen longer than couple lines...But that is my personal view anyways...

#4 098799


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 16:03

Well, I'm also investing silly amount of money into the hobby, so I understand you completely. It's just that sometimes I look at the eyedroppered preppy and think that from the utilitary point of view I really don't need anything else. And platinum nibs, even on a preppy, are quite decent.

#5 mfyorulmaz


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 16:08

Ditto. I agree with you on spending too much money. The marginal benefit (utility) per additional dollar spent exponentially goes down with the pens. But I think it is not about the writing itself but about owning something special. Just like owning a luxury watch. Normally a 5$ battery operated watch displays the time more accurately than  a 5000$ automatic Rolex...so it is about "that" feeling which to some "meaningless"...

#6 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 22:58

I went at it in a different direction. First my wallet didn't turn in a missing person's report. I live in Germany and chased cheaper pens and had a lot of luck.


Between having some Esterbrooks, and the what is what between Italic, Cursive Italic and Stubb, I got a bit lucky to the start. (some came in much later....after I was 'set' or somewhat.)


Well, I'm glad I got my 6 Osmiroid italic nib set (EF, F-EF, F, M, B, BB) of of English Ebay...that fit in my Esterbrook, so don't 'feel too cheap.

May look a bit...in it's bronze instead of gold....but feel??? Seems to have a lot to do with looks instead. I'm the only one seeing mine.


Manuscript a BBBB that is too wide, and a 1.5 Lamy Joy just right, even if not as sharp as Osmiroid, is big enough so I can see what I am doing when I attempt to Draw Letters.


Some of the ornamental dip pen nibs can be wide and leave a calligraphy style. I got enough trouble with a 1.5 than to worry about round circle nib tip....ornamental styles.


I have a Lamy Persona 18 K OB nail,  that Pendelton Brown changed from no line variation OB to a CI B/M with line variation. One can lose a tad of nib when going from OB to CI...was expected and is often normal.

I do favor taking modern fat blobby nibs and making them Italic, CI or Stub....if something real fat and blobby like a 400/600 one can also have the top of the nib ground down to a thin nib....a real two for one from a boring nib....don't have to be round....Italic/CI and stub on the top side?


The rest of my line variations come from German semi&maxi nibs in both regular and oblique. The oblique I got lucky and have in OBB, OB, OM, and OF in both @15 and 30 degrees of grind. Pure luck...as mentioned Oblique if with any touch of flex, is also stub from that era.


There is a difference between nail....italic or cursive italic, or even stub (BB '36 Canadian Factory nail nib on my '38-40 Vac and my Australian Snorkel maxi-semi-flex factory BB stub.)


German pens of the '30-65 era that did have a touch of flex, were in the most cases stubs to start with.


Some of them like Osmia can be sharp in the 'osmium' nib tipping is a small pad in the middle with what looks like a bare edge....a bit like the Osmiroid.

Humm, I'd just thought they were being extra cheap.....not that they were adding a bit of cursive italic to the nib pattern.   B)

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,


The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.




#7 amberleadavis


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Posted 16 December 2016 - 01:27

Thank you for sharing your results.

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#8 TSherbs


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Posted 16 December 2016 - 02:00

In your close-up photo of the nibs, it is your Nakaya (not the MB) that looks like it has a oblique nib on it. Am I seeing it wrong?

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: john mottishaw, cursive italic, nakaya, pelikan m800, montblanc oblique italic

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