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Ranga Bamboo


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#1 visvamitra

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 15:08

Indian handmade pens are quite popular in fountain pen afficionados circles. It's not really surprising. Makers like Ranga, Fosfor Pens or Krishna make wonderful pens from excellent materials. Ebonite, wood, acrylic resin - the choice is yours to make. While ordering them you can actually specify what material, finish, clip, type of nib and filling system you prefer. These pens can be customized to your exact wishes.

 

I always liked Ranga Bamboo design and I finally bought one during last Ranga Group Buy.

 

bamboo_2.jpg

 

bamboo_6.jpg

 

bamboo_4.jpg

 

Ranga Bamboo design is inspired by nature and it remains true to its name. It looks almost like a bamboo plant with nodes and internodes. Contrary to bamboo though it writes. The pen is made from ebonite that's available in close to thirty different color versions. Both polished and matte versions are available, I went for polished Olive Green ebonite.

 

bamboo_7.jpg

 

bamboo_8.jpg

 

bamboo_9.jpg

 

bamboo_10.jpg

 

There's no clip or rings on the barrel. Both halves of the pen are of equal length. Once you unscrew the cap, you can finally start to write. Section is on the narrow side, but I wouldn't call it slim. Actually, for many people it will be to wide. If your preferred section is the one from, say, Pelikan M205 I doubt you'll find this one comfortable. There's also a step down from the barrel to the section. I don't mind as I hold my pens very close to the nib, but I guess some may find it disturbing.

 

When the pen is closed, you won't be able to see where the cap ends and the pen body begins. Both halves are identical. Sure you can analyse ebonite structure and remember all the dots and subtle color differences but I don't see a point. The pen is very well made and all the elements are put together perfectly well. The polish quality is satisfying. I got precisely what I expected. It's not ultra-glossy. It's just right.

 

 

Nib

 

bamboo_nib.jpg

 

bamboo_nib_2.jpg

 

rangabamboo_psimo.jpg

 

rangabamboo_psimo2.jpg

 

I've ordered Ranga with broad Bock nib. The nib was extremely dry and unpleasant to use. I had to do some tweaking in order to improve flow and smoothness. First impression counts, though, and mine was bad. The pen filled with wet ink barely wrote at all. For me it's unacceptable. I do realize it's nor Ranga's fault as they use Bock nibs but I believe checking the nibs before shipping the pen would be reasonable.

 

Once the tweaking was done the pen started to write smoothly. It uses ebonite feed that supplies enough ink for broad nib. After I improved the flow the nib is wet and consumes quite a lot of ink. So far I haven't experienced any ink starvation issue. Feed keeps up with fast writing. 

 

Filling system

 

Because the pen has no metal elements it can be filled in three ways. It can be used as an eyedropper with huge ink capacity (2 ml). For those who prefer cleaner solutions converter or cartridge can be used. I use the pen as an eyedropper and while there was no problems when I used it at home, I experienced some ink leaking through the feed at work. Of course, it wasn't work itself that caused it, rather the fact I had the pen in my backpack. I'm rather energetic person so the pen experiences dome shaking, some tilts and slight abuse. The fact is though when you used as an eyedropper you would do better to always keep it with the nib reaching up (and given the two halves are identical it may become tricky when you're in a hurry).

 

Dimensions

 

Capped 152 mm
Uncapped 135 mm
Barrel diameter 14 mm – 15 mm
Section diameter 11.5 mm

 

Ranga Bamboo is big. Given that my Ranga Regular feels oversized to me I can't help but wonder what a monster Ranga Bamboo Oversize must be. Lamy Al-Star or Pelikan M800 look small compared to this one. It can't be really posted but I did it once just to see if the cap holds on. Well, I think that this pen with the cap on is just too big to use unless you're the Mountain from Game of Thrones.  

 

 

Summary

 

fpn_1502642219__bamboo_11.jpg

 

Ranga pens offer great price / what-you-get ratio. It's not easy to buy handmade ebonite fountain pen for less than 100 $. This pen is not only cheaper than that, it's also very well made and unique design-wise. Additionally manufacturer communicates very well with his clients and is always ready to help and, sadly, that can't be said about all fountain pen makers.

 

All in all I think Ranga Bamboo is great fountain pen that will appeal to those of us who enjoy huge pens. For me it's just a little too big. I'm not sure if there's such a thing as Ranga Bamboo Junior but if the answer is yes, I want one.


Edited by visvamitra, 13 August 2017 - 16:37.


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#2 fountainpagan

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 15:40

Excellent review, Visvamitra. Thank you.

 

Your pen is very beautiful. That is a new ebonite colour, no? It looks like Olive green (or it is probably just my screen...).

 

Your photos have a weird size...

 

I love Ranga Bamboo. It is indeed a ver nice pen.


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#3 ENewton

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:10

I wish they were not so large.



#4 fountainpagan

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:25

What? The pen or the photos?


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

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#5 visvamitra

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:38

@fountainpagan - I tried to correct photos but they're still rather big. Proportions should be good though. And yes it's new ebonite color - olive. It's beautiful.



#6 dinuraj

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:48

Nice review of a very good pen. Love the new olive colour.

 

A bamboo was my first Ranga pen. Now, I have three of them.  I like the long concave section and is very comfortable for me. 

 

As you said, it is very difficult to see which end is cap and which end is the body. Finally, I figured out that the cap has slightly smaller segments :-)

 

 

- Dinuraj



#7 ENewton

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 16:54

What? The pen or the photos?

 

Oh!  I'm so sorry.  I meant that I wish the Ranga pens were not so large.  On my screen, the photos are perfect.



#8 mhguda

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 17:32

Nice review, and yes interesting new color. (Not one that pushes my button, luckily.)

I have two Ranga Bamboos, and find them very comfortable to use. The transparent one (acrylic) is slightly larger than the blue green ebonite one.  And they are on the smaller side of average for Indian ebonite pens. (I have three Rangas that are significantly larger, while still also very comfortable to write with).

I think I got one Ranga with a non-Indian nib, all others were either their stock Wality nibs (awful) or the new option, first Ambitious and now Kanwrite - both of them much better nibs. I usually replaced the Wality nibs as soon as I got the pen and put in my own # 6 (Ambitious, Noodler, Jinhao) since the Wality nibs in my Airmail/Wality pens were always so scratchy.

I have one Ranga (from a group buy) that has a Conklin nib, which was also very nice out of the box.


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#9 KellyMcJ

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Posted 13 August 2017 - 17:58

I have one with the hand cut ebonite feed and it is eyedropper only. I do love it!!! I would definitely buy one with a Bock or Jowo nib unit were I to purchase another.



#10 visvamitra

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:10

Fast size comparison:

 

fpn_1502690880__bamboo_size.jpg

 

Pelikan M205, Waterman Hemisphere, Lamy Al-Star, Ranga Bamboo



#11 Little_Nell

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:40

Dear Visvamitra, could I trouble you for this group photograph without the caps please?

 

my thanks,

 

Nell



#12 visvamitra

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:05

Sure:

 

fpn_1502694292__bam.jpg



#13 Little_Nell

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:32

That's wonderful! :) Thank you so much.  Comparison with the Lamy is especially useful as so many of us have had or have these.



#14 Sagarb

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 07:44

What a pen ! and the olive colour...just amazing..! Penmanship is awesome..! Thanks for an extraordinary review...! 


Sagar Bhowmick


#15 fountainpagan

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:14

Thank you, Vis.

 

The photos are perfet, now.

 

Indeed this olive colour is beautiful!!

 

Enewton, my bamboo is not that large (Ranga has regular Bamboo, and thin Bamboo), and as Margo says, really confortable. Even the Varuna Gajendra which is a very large pen, has an extremely confortable section and, oddly enough, not so large as I was afraid it would be.


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SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#16 visvamitra

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:38

Ah, I didn't know there was thin version. I should've got this one instead of regular.



#17 Jamerelbe

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:07

I'm really happy with my Ranga Bamboo, in a blue and orange (browny-orange!) swirled ebonite - but this olive-green ebonite looks amazing!  A good call, too, to go for the polished finish I think.  I don't need any more Ranga pens (I REALLY don't) - but this has me wanting to look out for the next group buy...



#18 fountainpagan

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 12:19

Ah, I didn't know there was thin version. I should've got this one instead of regular.

 

The announce it on Ebay.


A silent response: it shows you didn't lose anything

 

My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

SUPORTER OF uh2SgO.jpg AND OHg34j.jpg


#19 Scribs

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 13:52

Something told me that, even though I've already got four Rangas, and even though I love them all more than any of my other pens, the latest arrival wouldn't be my last Ranga. This olive green looks gorgeous, even with, or perhaps especially with, the small specks that somehow seem to add depth to the finish.

 

Thanks for sharing the pics and your review.



#20 SOMNATH

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 15:34

Indian handmade pens are quite popular in fountain pen afficionados circles. It's not really surprising. Makers like Ranga, Fosfor Pens or Krishna make wonderful pens from excellent materials. Ebonite, wood, acrylic resin - the choice is yours to make. While ordering them you can actually specify what material, finish, clip, type of nib and filling system you prefer. These pens can be customized to your exact wishes.

 

I always liked Ranga Bamboo design and I finally bought one during last Ranga Group Buy.

 

bamboo_2.jpg

 

bamboo_6.jpg

 

bamboo_4.jpg

 

Ranga Bamboo design is inspired by nature and it remains true to its name. It looks almost like a bamboo plant with nodes and internodes. Contrary to bamboo though it writes. The pen is made from ebonite that's available in close to thirty different color versions. Both polished and matte versions are available, I went for polished Olive Green ebonite.

 

bamboo_7.jpg

 

bamboo_8.jpg

 

bamboo_9.jpg

 

bamboo_10.jpg

 

There's no clip or rings on the barrel. Both halves of the pen are of equal length. Once you unscrew the cap, you can finally start to write. Section is on the narrow side, but I wouldn't call it slim. Actually, for many people it will be to wide. If your preferred section is the one from, say, Pelikan M205 I doubt you'll find this one comfortable. There's also a step down from the barrel to the section. I don't mind as I hold my pens very close to the nib, but I guess some may find it disturbing.

 

When the pen is closed, you won't be able to see where the cap ends and the pen body begins. Both halves are identical. Sure you can analyse ebonite structure and remember all the dots and subtle color differences but I don't see a point. The pen is very well made and all the elements are put together perfectly well. The polish quality is satisfying. I got precisely what I expected. It's not ultra-glossy. It's just right.

 

 

Nib

 

bamboo_nib.jpg

 

bamboo_nib_2.jpg

 

rangabamboo_psimo.jpg

 

rangabamboo_psimo2.jpg

 

I've ordered Ranga with broad Bock nib. The nib was extremely dry and unpleasant to use. I had to do some tweaking in order to improve flow and smoothness. First impression counts, though, and mine was bad. The pen filled with wet ink barely wrote at all. For me it's unacceptable. I do realize it's nor Ranga's fault as they use Bock nibs but I believe checking the nibs before shipping the pen would be reasonable.

 

Once the tweaking was done the pen started to write smoothly. It uses ebonite feed that supplies enough ink for broad nib. After I improved the flow the nib is wet and consumes quite a lot of ink. So far I haven't experienced any ink starvation issue. Feed keeps up with fast writing. 

 

Filling system

 

Because the pen has no metal elements it can be filled in three ways. It can be used as an eyedropper with huge ink capacity (2 ml). For those who prefer cleaner solutions converter or cartridge can be used. I use the pen as an eyedropper and while there was no problems when I used it at home, I experienced some ink leaking through the feed at work. Of course, it wasn't work itself that caused it, rather the fact I had the pen in my backpack. I'm rather energetic person so the pen experiences dome shaking, some tilts and slight abuse. The fact is though when you used as an eyedropper you would do better to always keep it with the nib reaching up (and given the two halves are identical it may become tricky when you're in a hurry).

 

Dimensions

 

Capped 152 mm
Uncapped 135 mm
Barrel diameter 14 mm – 15 mm
Section diameter 11.5 mm

 

Ranga Bamboo is big. Given that my Ranga Regular feels oversized to me I can't help but wonder what a monster Ranga Bamboo Oversize must be. Lamy Al-Star or Pelikan M800 look small compared to this one. It can't be really posted but I did it once just to see if the cap holds on. Well, I think that this pen with the cap on is just too big to use unless you're the Mountain from Game of Thrones.  

 

 

Summary

 

fpn_1502642219__bamboo_11.jpg

 

Ranga pens offer great price / what-you-get ratio. It's not easy to buy handmade ebonite fountain pen for less than 100 $. This pen is not only cheaper than that, it's also very well made and unique design-wise. Additionally manufacturer communicates very well with his clients and is always ready to help and, sadly, that can't be said about all fountain pen makers.

 

All in all I think Ranga Bamboo is great fountain pen that will appeal to those of us who enjoy huge pens. For me it's just a little too big. I'm not sure if there's such a thing as Ranga Bamboo Junior but if the answer is yes, I want one.

Wow! That is a brilliant review of a brilliant looking pen -The Ranga Bamboo in olive green. Thank you for the same. The photographs are wonderful, both of the pen and the background. The pen looks irresistible, isn't it?  I have one Ranga bamboo in my collection, but that is  in regulation ripples, and  I would imagine a solid natural color would enhance its beauty manifold.  

In the mean time, enjoy your new acquisition.








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