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Lamy 2000: A Review


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#1 davidmigl

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 22:55

Lamy 2000 EF

Summary: While inhibited by poor quality control, the Lamy 2000 is a superb pen offering a Bahaus appearance, a nearly indestructible construction, a smooth, springy nib, and a reliable and capacious piston filler.
The good: Smooth nib, durable material, capacious piston filler, modern appearance.
The bad: Sketchy quality control, ink view window ineffective, piston sometimes stiff, some visual clutter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pens are emblems of the era. One can easily imagine an elderly man sitting high above the rolling English plains in a mansion in the 1940's, at an oak desk penning a letter with a luxurious Conway Stewart with a beautiful exposed golden nib and a luscious green body to complement it. But fast forward sixty years. The surroundings are now an office space with its minimalist rectangular architecture looking high out over the downtown area of an urban metropolis. What pen fits here?
That would be the Lamy 2000. Designed in the 1960's, the 2000 is a modern design that will likely never look dated. The subdued curves quietly whisper impressions of "refined," "suave," and "understatedly professional."

Appearance


The Lamy 2000 is the epitome of sheer Bauhaus design; in the 2000, form follows function. The body is subtly curved, starting out with the thinness of the nib, reaching an apex in the center of the pen, and tapering slowly back off to the end of the piston. The cap shares the same curves, tapering slowly to the end and complemented by the clip, which has a slow taper as it goes to the end. The matte black Makrolon that the body is made of absorbs scratches well and resists fingerprinting. There are many grains running lengthwise that lead one's eye along the subtle curves.

The black Makrolon is complemented by stainless steel accents; the clip, a small circular patch on the rear of the piston knob, the section, and the nib.
Starting at the front of the pen, one is greeted by a semi-hooded 14kt gold nib that is colored/plated silver to match the rest of the highlights. About one inch of steel comprises the section and then the Makrolon starts, briefly interrupted by the ears that hold the cap on and a small ink view window. It continues uninterrupted until it meets the piston knob, where the grains do not match perfectly and so discontinuity can be disconnected, but only if you're looking for it.

I love the smooth, subtle appearance of the 2000. It's not something that screams "I'm an expensive fountain pen with lots of **bling**," but rather slips in smoothly under the radar.


I do have a few quibbles, though. First is a glossy plastic area on the top of the cap (you can see the reflection in the first picture); I think this would look a lot better if it were Makrolon. Second, the ink view window and clip ears seem to disturb the smooth flow of the lines on the 2000. I think I could do without the ink view window (more on that later).

The pen is very discreetly branded. The company name, "LAMY" is engraved in a monospace all caps font on one side of the attachment of the clip, and the country of origin, "GERMANY," is engraved in the same manner underneath the clip; you won't find it unless you look for it. The nib is not marked at all, so make sure you remember what width it is and keep the boxes if you want to sell it!



Features
The 2000 is a piston filler, my preferred method of filling. Ink capacity is very large. The nib is 14kt gold and springy/flexible - more on this later.
The ears I believe have been completely blown out of proportion with the effect they have. They are small pieces of steel that have blunt, rounded edges and go back into the pen if you push them (they're spring loaded). I usually don't grip the pen that high, but if I try, I can barely feel the ears since the retreat back in. Whereas another reviewer said to try before you buy, I am so confident they will not be a problem that I say "don't worry about them; they are nothing at all."

The cap is a snap cap and goes on very securely with an audible "click." I can insert and remove the pen from my pen case with its elastics while gripping the cap and not have the cap come off.

The clip is spring loaded and offers 10-15 degrees of rotation for easy clippage onto any material.


The piston is notoriously stiff but fully functional. This could be better, but I'll leave the piston design to Pelikan and not worry about the one on the Lamy, since it gets the job done just fine.

The ink window is about 1/8" wide. It is divided into four rounded sections, and there is a tube inside that holds the ink; the ink does not come up directly against the window. I wish it were either eliminated or made twice as large, for by the time I can see any emptiness at all, I have less than a page of writing left. Once one realizes he is low on ink, the pen runs out very quickly. It first begins to run out of ink in the nib sooner when heavily flexed, then the writing becomes a lighter and lighter shade until it finally runs out.

The construction is very solid and sturdy. I would have no doubts that with the cap on this would survive a drop of several feet onto concrete and come out relatively unscathed (although I obviously have no intentions of performing this test!). I wouldn't say that about my Pelikan M200, or even my (previous) Nokia 6102i cell phone (side note: that's how it met its demise one day in a parking lot, but I ended up replacing it with a superior samsung AGH-707!).

I usually grip the pen on the steel section. It feels colder and more slick than the Makrolon, but keep in mind that the Makrolon provides a very good grip in the first place. I have had no problems with my fingers slipping down the section. The curved design of the 2000 can be helpful in that if one desires a large grip diameter, he can grip the pen higher up, and vice versa. One item of interest with the section - it has grains like the rest of the pen, and after filling up with ink, some ink is impossible to get out of the grains. The result is nothing more than a mere "powder" or so of ink - I've never had my fingers stained by this but felt it was worth mentioning as an interesting idiosyncrasy nevertheless.

Nib

The Lamy 2000 Nib in full writing order. Nib creep courtesy of Nathan Tardif rolleyes.gif biggrin.gif
On closer inspection, it looks like my nib slit is off-center (click on image for a closer view). I just realized this after writing the review.


I ordered the EF nib. The nibs run about one size large; the EF is a bit smaller than a Pelikan F. You can see writing samples next to a mm scale below. The nib is of 1960's design and thus has a delightful amount of spring and flex. I would say I can double the nib width by going from light pressure to heavy pressure. Obviously, it doesn't qualify as flexible or even semi-flex; the ink film often bursts when the nib is heavily flexed, leaving two hairlines on the page. However, this flex adds much flair to one's writing nevertheless when used purposefully.

The nib is on the wet side; maybe a 7 out of 10. It is not overly wet like my Pelikan M200 F (9) nor dry like a Safari EF (4). Using Noodler's Black, the 2000 lays down a dark, intense line that is devoid of the brown shades and bubbles that result when this ink is used in a dry writer. Sometimes my nib starts half an inch after being put to paper. It has never skipped, though.

How does it write? Smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that it knocked my Pelikan M200 out of it's rotation spot. However, I do think the smoothness is very, very exaggerated by some users. The nib, while being smooth, nevertheless has a small bit of tooth/feedback. This is the least when used with a light touch. I believe descriptions such as "warm butter over glass" or "the smooth to end all smoothness" are entirely unwarranted. Maybe "warm butter over fine sandpaper" would apply. Keep in mind that the pen writes more smoothly than any other pen I have owned; I only believe that smoother nibs may be possible (although this nib is very enjoyable, indeed.).

Quality Control
Simply put, Lamy's declining quality control is the only thing that would keep some from recommending this pen. The first 2000 I received was dry and scratchy, so I exchanged it for another one, which was only marginally better. So, off the Filofax it went, and the nibmeister replaced the nib and grommets before sending it back. It was obviously much better, but I still thought I felt a touch of feedback. While preparing pictures for this review, I noticed that the tines were misaligned! I straightened them, and the pen writes with much more smoothness.


edited: maybe it was my overflex that caused this unsure.gif...
More details about my saga can be found here.

I honestly don't know what I would do if I could do the purchase over again. Maybe I'd send it off the Lamy the first defective one I got; maybe I would have the vendor ship the pen to Binder first! Whatever you decide to do, be sure to budget a few extra weeks and ~$25 in shipping just in case. As usual, YMMV.

Summary
The Lamy 2000 is a sleek modern pen that is up to the challenges of the modern workspace. It combines several killer features such as a hooded, smooth nib, piston filler, and tough body into one pen that truly has the potential to be a formidable pen if it has not slipped past Lamy QC.

Writing Samples
Due to popular request! As usual, click on image for a larger version.

Some introspective writing - free and intended only to be legible. Note the last line on the "t" and "y" - I got a little too enthusiastic with the flex! The 2000 wasn't designed as a flex pen, but the bit it has sure is enjoyable!


Here are some rather mundane class notes. The pen is in normal use writing very quickly with no attention paid to flex.


An early draft of a thank-you note. Flex randomly used throughout. Note the inability of the nib to keep up with the heavy flex in the letters C, g, and l at the end.

Edited by davidmigl, 09 June 2007 - 15:53.


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#2 Lloyd

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 23:59

Excellent, insightful review!
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
Oscar Wilde

#3 Mal

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:00

Thank you for the great review. I've been hesitant to order a 2000 because I can't decide on a nib width. I want my standard M, but from reports I'm afraid it would write a line a foot wide and lay down a gallon of ink every inch. I'm going to take your advice and order one and realize it may take me a month or more and a little extra money to get the pen I want, but I love the 2000 enough sight-unseen to deal with the hassle.

Great review. Thanks, again.

#4 Shelley

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:02

Smooth review, great pictures, hope you still like your pen after all that and maybe you could include some handwriting samples in your next review?
Lamy 2000-Lamy Vista-Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise Demonstrator-Pilot Vanishing Point Black Carbonesque-1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue Double Jewel-Aurora Optima Black Chrome Cursive Italic-Waterman Hemisphere Metallic Blue-Sheaffer Targa-Conway Stewart CS475

#5 HDoug

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 01:50

Great review and pix. I like your putting the summary at the top.

Doug

#6 davidmigl

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:17

QUOTE(Shelley @ May 24 2007, 08:02 PM) View Post
Smooth review, great pictures, hope you still like your pen after all that and maybe you could include some handwriting samples in your next review?


Yes I do - it is pretty smooth and slightly flexible to boot - definitely has an edge over the ol' Safari. And, I added some handwriting samples that I had laying around!

#7 davidmigl

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 05:38

QUOTE(Mal @ May 24 2007, 08:00 PM) View Post
Thank you for the great review. I've been hesitant to order a 2000 because I can't decide on a nib width. I want my standard M, but from reports I'm afraid it would write a line a foot wide and lay down a gallon of ink every inch. I'm going to take your advice and order one and realize it may take me a month or more and a little extra money to get the pen I want, but I love the 2000 enough sight-unseen to deal with the hassle.

Great review. Thanks, again.


Yeah, I know that I may have come across negative at times, and I do realize that my case could be an isolated incident, maybe not though...

The appearance was a major factor in my purchase - I just love minimalist/engineer looking pens!

I have heard that the F is more like a juicy M - that might be what you want (no experience here though, just what I've read). I'd hate to see the European double broad version (!) but I bet that'd be one smooth nib!

Edited by davidmigl, 25 May 2007 - 05:42.


#8 Hans-Peter Ording

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 13:18

Great review, thank you.
Pens I own: TWSBI Vac 700 (clear F), 2 × Lamy Safari (Savanna F, Lime 2008 M), Waterman Kultur (orange F)
Pens I got rid of: Cleo Skribent Chiffre 05; Lamy Joy, Logo; Pelikan Future, M250, Pelikano; Waterman Philéas

#9 Mal

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 14:50

#1 Thank you for the writing samples.

#2 THEY WERE WRITTEN WITH AN EF!?!? I mean, wow. Those are some juicy lines for an EF. I may have to rethink the M.

#10 RyanL27

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 15:09

Great review of an excellent and classic pen. I just got a 2000 as a graduation present, and I've been using it constantly. Mine is the Fine, which does write a definite medium-width line and is actually the smooth to end all smoothness, absolutely buttery writer. I suppose that can't be expected with an EF nib like yours, but the Fine certainly delivers.

Like you, I find the ears to offer no problem whatsoever regarding comfort. I imagine that people who find them bothersome must grip the pen much more firmly than I do.

Enjoy the pen!
"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them."
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#11 pilgrim

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 16:00

Interesting review!
L2K is the best pen in my collection at the moment. Had no problems at all.


QUOTE(Mal @ May 25 2007, 01:00 AM) View Post
I've been hesitant to order a 2000 because I can't decide on a nib width. I want my standard M, but from reports I'm afraid it would write a line a foot wide and lay down a gallon of ink every inch.

my L2K is with M nib and I am satisfied (I prefer M nibs)

[attachment=9178:debelina_pisave.jpg]

samples from above:

pel 250 - EF
pel 200 - F
lamy 2000 - M
faber castell emotion - M
parker 51 - B
pilot VP - B

#12 MYU

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 22:05

Excellent review, David! It's nice to have a few more in-depth perspectives shared on this pen. Some comments:

Ink window - Mr. Muller made it translucent, rather than clear, to keep it somewhat muted while also being scratch and stain resistant. I agree with you that it could have been made larger, without disturbing the Bauhaus theme. But it is functional--you just have to know how to use it. Hold the pen upright with the cap on for about 15-20 seconds. Remove the cap and then hold the pen up to the light, nib upward. If the ink window is dark, you've got plenty of ink. If it's mostly clear, slowly tilt the pen sideways. You will see ink fill over the window at some point (if there is ink present). Based on how far you had to tilt the pen will give you an indication of how much ink remains. It won't take long before you get a feel for making the ink window useful.

Nib performance - Each of the nib sizes seems to have different qualities, so if you've only tried one nib your experience won't necessarily match that of someone else's experience of a different nib size. The larger nib sizes are usually very smooth and wet, while the XF/EF nib tends to be drier and a bit toothy. And then of course the quality control problems introduce other aberrations that aren't representative of the nib design. They are hearty nibs though, that I think can take well to customization.

Stiff piston - Yes, out of the box this is true. However, the piston screw can be lubricated to reduce the friction. Regardless, the piston will always require a bit more effort than your average piston filler pen. You get used to it, though.

All in all, if there are any nib problems at first, they can be rectified successfully. And once that is achieved, you have a pen that will work well for you in the many years to come. smile.gif

Edited by MYU, 29 May 2007 - 22:07.

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#13 jonro

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 22:48

Excellent review and great pictures to supplement your discussion. Nice expository style, too.

#14 orpheus

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 22:36

David, great review - and well-illustrated too.

MYU, thank you for the tip on how to use the ink window. Now I know!

Mal (and anyone else) who is wondering about nib size, for what it's worth, I tried a F (too scratchy for me, but it may have just been that particular pen), and a M. I liked the M very much, and was about to buy it, but just for the heck of it tried a B. I was surprised: while there was a big jump in size from the F to M, there wasn't that much difference between the M and B. The B was just a bit bigger. But it was even smoother, and somehow more versatile: I could get a pretty fine line by writing with very little pressure, and a much bolder one with a bit more pressure. (The M couldn't do this; it was much more consistent regardless of pressure.) YMMV.

I ended up getting the B, and I've been very happy with it. A very nice pen.
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#15 PAKMAN

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:21

Great job on the review! I have resisted for months buying a Lamy 2000. I'm an engineer and when I first starting collecting fountain pens had I seen the 2000 and been able to find a price like is available today, it probably would have been my first FP. I ended up taking another path and went more toward vintage 20-40's and decided on some color and flair versus my tendency for austere and functional. I even have been known to say, "Life is too short to use black ink or black pens!" I finally did buy what I considered my "Engineer" pen, a Rotring 600 in Lava finish. One indestructible pen!

Back to the Lamy... SpeerBob suckered me in this week with an offer on a vintage, new old stock, 2000 from the 70's with "Made in West Germany" on it with an extra fine nib. My will power collapsed and a paypal payment ensued! Now all I have to do is patiently wait dry.gif for it to get here from Thailand!

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#16 meanwhile

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 12:13

Excellent balanced and thoughtful review. I now understand why the pen has such a deep steel tip - the Makrolon could get unbearably inky during filling otherwise.

But - a nib that wide is called an XF???

And out of fairness to Lamy and your anonymous nibmester, don't you think tine misalignment is a likely consequence of using a non-flex pen as a flex? I'd have taken "the inability of the nib to keep up with the heavy flex in the letters C, g, and l at the end" as a very severe warning.
- Jonathan

#17 davidmigl

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 15:49

QUOTE(meanwhile @ Jun 9 2007, 07:13 AM) View Post
And out of fairness to Lamy and your anonymous nibmester, don't you think tine misalignment is a likely consequence of using a non-flex pen as a flex? I'd have taken "the inability of the nib to keep up with the heavy flex in the letters C, g, and l at the end" as a very severe warning.


You know, I've read topics about heavy flex misaligning tines and... I was thinking the exact same thing mellow.gif. It is more likely that I caused the misalignment. Perhaps it's time for me to get a clue on how to use a fountain pen sad.gif.

Based on some of your reports, a L2k F is probably in my future... too good of a pen to give up on because of a nib size.

#18 MYU

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 19:51

Good point, David. 40 years of sales would mean a lot of very tolerant fountain pen users! When the pen is in good working order, it's a dependable workhorse to be appreciated. I wouldn't be surprised if your nib needs tuning. smile.gif

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#19 Penhead

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 01:08

Great review and great thread. I'm not strictly a fountain pen nut, but rather a fine pen nut. However, I have ordered a Lamy 2000 ballpoint and depending on how I like the feel of the basic Lamy 2000 body, I will definaltely consider the Lamy 2000 fountain pen. (As if I need another pen!)

#20 Shelley

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Posted 27 August 2007 - 02:22

I think, Penhead, that I can speak for all of us here when I assure you that you certainly do need another pen!!!
Lamy 2000-Lamy Vista-Visconti Van Gogh Maxi Tortoise Demonstrator-Pilot Vanishing Point Black Carbonesque-1947 Parker 51 Vacumatic Cedar Blue Double Jewel-Aurora Optima Black Chrome Cursive Italic-Waterman Hemisphere Metallic Blue-Sheaffer Targa-Conway Stewart CS475






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