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Your Pen/ink Combinations For The Perfect Writing Experience

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#21 IndigoBOB

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 14:04

 

There's something to be said for a good, reliable black ink. After a couple years of not even considering using a black ink, I got some Carbon Black for Christmas and must confess at how nice a deep, dark, doom and gloom black it is. It's a little refreshing to see some pure black on the page for a change. This ink keeps coming up in various threads and reviews as an ink that makes for a great writing experience. I also agree about the need to use it with a very fine nib. In a wet or broad pen on cheap paper it tends to get out of control.

 

 

Glad you found your perfect match! I'm noticing a trend that expensive inks need expensive paper to reach their potential.

By contrast, some super cheap inks (e.g., Schneider above) perfect exquisitely on any kind of paper, but the colors just aren't that exciting.

 

What are your favorite combinations for cheap paper? Have you reached any bliss with copy paper?

 

 

Well, my best ink for cheap paper is Kiwa-Guro But it's not as wet as Miruai or other inks I have so I haven't quite found the right pen for it.  I do use a Lamy Vista-F with it as an EDC, but it can be just a touch dry.  If the tines are too close I don't get the flow I want, but I do get a descent smoothness, so I have to open up the tines, but that increases the feedback that the increased flow still doesn't make up for.

 

TBH, I do have a very lovely combination of an Al Star-EF--Heart of Darkness that is just wonderful.  Kiwa Guro had a very weak flow with this nib, but Heart of Darkness, as it always does with any pen I put it in, wrote beautifully with it.  Of course I can put that nib on any of my Safari's and my Vista as well.  I actually have a couple of those Lamy EF's, but this one came perfect.  The tines are a little tight so there isn't that feedback from separating the tines.

 

And HoD is a rich beautiful Black.  It does perform well on cheap paper, though not as good as Kiwa-Guro, but it was a pleasure to write with.


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


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#22 KLscribbler

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 17:06

Only standard copy paper, huh? In that case my answer will have to be:

 

Pen: Any Pilot with the #5 Soft Medium nib (as found in the Custom/Custom Heritage series pens. Not the Pilot Falcon/Elabo soft nibs.) The #10 nibs in the same series are perhaps even a little nicer in writing feel, but I dislike the larger bodies the #10 nibs are installed in (e.g. Custom 912). I prefer the size of pen bodies fitted with the #5 nib (Custom 74, Custom Heritage 91) and thus I give the overall edge to the #5.

 

Ink: Sailor Sei-Boku

 

Why this combination is my favorite: the slight softness of the nib provides a brush-like, gentle cushioned feel when writing. I write with a very light hand, so I don't usually get any line variation whatsoever, but the soft writing feel of these nibs is still noticeable and very relaxing. With this ink, the Pilot #5 soft nibs are very smooth with just the barest hint of feedback - I'd describe the feeling as being like skimming on oiled silk, not quite glassy (which I dislike as glassy smooth tends to feel uncontrolled especially during fast writing).

 

The Sei Boku ink has a nicely lubricated wet smoothness without being too wet. It gives a wonderful velvety feeling when writing, and is capable of taking the harsh edge off of even rougher steel nibs, but with the Pilot #5 soft nib, it is just heavenly. On copy paper, it holds together well and maintains good crisp line quality. On better paper, of course, this ink shines even more (it has good shading and a lovely sheen, for instance). Sometimes you can even get it to sheen on copy paper. The icing on the cake is that Sei Boku is a very appropriate ink for professional applications, and is fully waterproof to boot. No worries about smudging from sweaty palms and coffee rings = extra peace of mind.

 

This pen/ink combination is so comfortable for me that I often find myself disappointed that I don't have more things to write upon finishing a writing session. It doesn't matter if I've written two pages or two dozen pages; I keep wanting to write more and never stop just because it is that comfortable. Currently, the Custom Heritage 91 with Soft Medium nib is my main work pen, and I doubt it could be displaced from that position any time soon.

 

 

There is, however, a second combination which I prefer over the above only in certain specific circumstances -

 

Honorable mention:

Pen: Parker 51 Special with fine octanium nib

Ink: Pilot Blue-Black

 

The main attraction of this combination for me is that I find the Parker 51 to be the most accommodating pen when it comes to pausing for thought with the pen in hand, uncapped. Sure, my Pilot 91 is no slouch in this department, but the 51 can sit uncapped for 10+ minutes and continue on with nary a sign that it has been left uncapped - no initial skip, no startup dryness, not even a dark first stroke indicating evaporation from the nib slit.

 

I used to not like the 51 because I prefer nibs with some softness to them, which the 51 cannot provide. But over time, I've come to realize that the relaxation afforded by the peace of mind of not having to worry how long I've kept the pen uncapped helps a lot when performing slow writing tasks - journaling, writing the first draft of a document when the ideas just won't flow, and so on.

 

(I do realize this is somewhat different from your request to focus on the writing feel of a nib, but since it is part of the writing experience, and in this case it is the decisive factor that makes this combination so nice and relaxing in use, I thought I should write about it nevertheless.)

 

My choice of the octanium instead of gold nib in the 51 is probably influenced by luck more than anything. My 51 special happens to have a particularly nice and smooth nib, which has not yet been surpassed in smoothness and writing comfort by any gold 51 nibs. There are people who claim that octanium 51 nibs are smoother writers than the 14k nibs across the board, but I will refrain from making such a general statement since I don't think the sample size of 51s I have used is large enough to merit generalization.

 

The choice of Pilot Blue-Black in the 51 is a "next best thing" choice, since I prefer not to use Sei Boku in my 51s. In all likelihood it's safe and I'm just being paranoid, but I still don't dare to use a nanopigmented ink in a pen that has such a large ink collector, and cannot be dismantled for internal cleaning. Pilot Blue-Black has somewhat similar properties to the Sei Boku, but to a lesser degree - it has a nice lubricated feel, but is a tad less velvety and cushioned-feeling than Sei Boku. It is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof. It shades and has some red sheen, but neither characteristic is as pronounced as Sei Boku.

 

The 51/Pilot Blue Black combination is my favorite only in situations when I anticipate frequent long pauses while writing. In all other situations, the first combination (Pilot #5 soft medium/Sei Boku) prevails.

 

Interestingly, I have been told that since I like the Pilot soft mediums, I might like the nibs on the vintage Parker UK Duofolds, as they tend to be similarly wet and soft. I have yet to follow up on that recommendation, but it's something I definitely intend to try sometime.



#23 Torrilin

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 18:37

There's something to be said for a good, reliable black ink. After a couple years of not even considering using a black ink, I got some Carbon Black for Christmas and must confess at how nice a deep, dark, doom and gloom black it is. It's a little refreshing to see some pure black on the page for a change. This ink keeps coming up in various threads and reviews as an ink that makes for a great writing experience. I also agree about the need to use it with a very fine nib. In a wet or broad pen on cheap paper it tends to get out of control.


It’s actually a favorite in broad nibs too. I’ve got a Sailor fude that gets fed nothing but, and it’s my favorite black in my italics. It’s my most reliable ink. But the eco with an xf always has it, and it’s usually on me.

I’d describe it as exquisitely boring. Resists smearing, lefty friendly on most paper, makes almost all pens I’ve tried flow better and resist drying out, and 100% trouble free when dealing with banks or the feds. And you can throw a proper watercolor painting’s worth of water at it and it will stay put.

Everybody needs that kind of boring ink. Tho maybe not by the piston filler...

#24 IndigoBOB

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 20:51

One Honorable Mention I must contribute:

 

Noodler's Charlie-FPR Fine NIb--Kung Te-Cheng-  Kung Te-Cheng is my favorite ink color, and honestly my favorite ink, but it's one of my most fickle inks as well.  It was very difficult to find a pen it worked well with.  I typically don't like smaller pens, nor am I a fan of resin pens, but this Charlie pen simply fits me well.  It reminds me of the smaller ballpoints I use to use and I like the compactness of it as well as how the simple ergonomics suit me.  The resin of the Charlie even has a little more grip than Acrylic pens I have, and this draws me to it.

 

The Ebonite Feed makes the pen write wetter, which I like.  The wetter flow helps to lubricate the feedback a little more, which is just right for the slightly more feedbacky FPR Fine nib I have installed.

 

It writes a finer line, but still puts out a saturated inkflow to bring out that deep hue that makes KTC worth it.

 

Finding the right nib was a long series of trials and errors.  The original, which wrote wonderfully, had a squeak I did not like.  I went through FPR nibs, through Jowo's, then back to more FPR nibs, and finally after many I found one FPR Fine nib that just worked.   I love this Pen-Ink Combo.  The nib has some softness, which made me prefer it over the more rigid Jowo's that worked.

 

Of course this applies to Tomoe River Paper... Sorry -_- .  But it's one of my Fav Ink-Pen combos :happycloud9: and even pushes my $100+ pens back to storage.

 

I have back up Charlie Pens just for this ink.  I also really like the nib that comes with the Charlie when it's not a dud.  


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#25 TruthPil

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Posted 18 February 2018 - 03:32

Thanks for the detailed post! There were so many things I wanted to comment on that I just included them inside the post below:

 

Only standard copy paper, huh? In that case my answer will have to be:

 

Pen: Any Pilot with the #5 Soft Medium nib (as found in the Custom/Custom Heritage series pens. Not the Pilot Falcon/Elabo soft nibs.) The #10 nibs in the same series are perhaps even a little nicer in writing feel, but I dislike the larger bodies the #10 nibs are installed in (e.g. Custom 912). I prefer the size of pen bodies fitted with the #5 nib (Custom 74, Custom Heritage 91) and thus I give the overall edge to the #5.

 

Ink: Sailor Sei-Boku

 

Why this combination is my favorite: the slight softness of the nib provides a brush-like, gentle cushioned feel when writing. I write with a very light hand, so I don't usually get any line variation whatsoever, but the soft writing feel of these nibs is still noticeable and very relaxing. With this ink, the Pilot #5 soft nibs are very smooth with just the barest hint of feedback - I'd describe the feeling as being like skimming on oiled silk, not quite glassy (which I dislike as glassy smooth tends to feel uncontrolled especially during fast writing).

 

​This sounds like a perfect combination for those who want just a little feedback for control instead of the buttery/glassy feel. I find this to be common with Asian pens because Asian writing requires feedback to get the strokes just right.

 

The Sei Boku ink has a nicely lubricated wet smoothness without being too wet. It gives a wonderful velvety feeling when writing, and is capable of taking the harsh edge off of even rougher steel nibs, but with the Pilot #5 soft nib, it is just heavenly. On copy paper, it holds together well and maintains good crisp line quality. On better paper, of course, this ink shines even more (it has good shading and a lovely sheen, for instance). Sometimes you can even get it to sheen on copy paper. The icing on the cake is that Sei Boku is a very appropriate ink for professional applications, and is fully waterproof to boot. No worries about smudging from sweaty palms and coffee rings = extra peace of mind.

 

This pen/ink combination is so comfortable for me that I often find myself disappointed that I don't have more things to write upon finishing a writing session. It doesn't matter if I've written two pages or two dozen pages; I keep wanting to write more and never stop just because it is that comfortable. Currently, the Custom Heritage 91 with Soft Medium nib is my main work pen, and I doubt it could be displaced from that position any time soon.

 

I totally agree about Sei-Boku. If I could only have one ink for some horrible reason like the zombie apocalypse, this would be the ink I'd choose. It is the most reliable, permanent, and a beautiful unique color as well. You are wise not to put it in your Parker 51 or any vintage pen because I've had trouble getting it out of several of my pens and it has stained a few converters. Nevertheless, amazing ink that is totally reliable when you want beautiful permanent ink.

 

 

There is, however, a second combination which I prefer over the above only in certain specific circumstances -

 

Honorable mention:

Pen: Parker 51 Special with fine octanium nib

Ink: Pilot Blue-Black

 

The main attraction of this combination for me is that I find the Parker 51 to be the most accommodating pen when it comes to pausing for thought with the pen in hand, uncapped. Sure, my Pilot 91 is no slouch in this department, but the 51 can sit uncapped for 10+ minutes and continue on with nary a sign that it has been left uncapped - no initial skip, no startup dryness, not even a dark first stroke indicating evaporation from the nib slit.

 

I used to not like the 51 because I prefer nibs with some softness to them, which the 51 cannot provide. But over time, I've come to realize that the relaxation afforded by the peace of mind of not having to worry how long I've kept the pen uncapped helps a lot when performing slow writing tasks - journaling, writing the first draft of a document when the ideas just won't flow, and so on.

 

(I do realize this is somewhat different from your request to focus on the writing feel of a nib, but since it is part of the writing experience, and in this case it is the decisive factor that makes this combination so nice and relaxing in use, I thought I should write about it nevertheless.)

 

My choice of the octanium instead of gold nib in the 51 is probably influenced by luck more than anything. My 51 special happens to have a particularly nice and smooth nib, which has not yet been surpassed in smoothness and writing comfort by any gold 51 nibs. There are people who claim that octanium 51 nibs are smoother writers than the 14k nibs across the board, but I will refrain from making such a general statement since I don't think the sample size of 51s I have used is large enough to merit generalization.

 

​I've heard this claim too several times and it wouldn't surprise me. I have a lot of 51s (all 14k) and they do vary in smoothness, about half of mine are glassy smooth writers if you hit the sweet spot just right.

 

The choice of Pilot Blue-Black in the 51 is a "next best thing" choice, since I prefer not to use Sei Boku in my 51s. In all likelihood it's safe and I'm just being paranoid, but I still don't dare to use a nanopigmented ink in a pen that has such a large ink collector, and cannot be dismantled for internal cleaning. Pilot Blue-Black has somewhat similar properties to the Sei Boku, but to a lesser degree - it has a nice lubricated feel, but is a tad less velvety and cushioned-feeling than Sei Boku. It is water-resistant, but not fully waterproof. It shades and has some red sheen, but neither characteristic is as pronounced as Sei Boku.

 

The 51/Pilot Blue Black combination is my favorite only in situations when I anticipate frequent long pauses while writing. In all other situations, the first combination (Pilot #5 soft medium/Sei Boku) prevails.

 

​The Pilot Blue Black does seem to have some oily thickness to it that makes my 51s write smoother as well. It's a great ink for vintage pens if you clean them regularly!

 

Interestingly, I have been told that since I like the Pilot soft mediums, I might like the nibs on the vintage Parker UK Duofolds, as they tend to be similarly wet and soft. I have yet to follow up on that recommendation, but it's something I definitely intend to try sometime.

 

​Yes, you definitely should get a UK Parker Duofold (the slimfold and junior models can be had for great prices and seem to be everywhere). I have 2 UK Duofold Juniors and both are soft like you describe. My OB nib Junior is especially soft and lovely, but all mine came too try at first and I needed to open the tines a little to get good flow. You might also like the UK Parker 45s, they generally seem to have more feedback than the 51s and duofolds I've tried and also have really soft nibs if they are the UK 45s.


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#26 KLscribbler

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 04:09

You might also like the UK Parker 45s, they generally seem to have more feedback than the 51s and duofolds I've tried and also have really soft nibs if they are the UK 45s.

 

 

Oh, thanks for the great info. I have several P45s but they are all US-made. The US 14k nibs have a little springiness to them, but if the UK ones are even more so, I'll probably like them more. Time to get a UK nib...

 

On the subject of feedback - to digress slightly beyond the realm of copy paper - another thing I like to do is to take a really smooth nib, and use it on paper with a textured surface. E.g. various kinds of laid paper, watercolor paper, and so on. Cold-pressed watercolor papers are particularly nice, just the perfect amount of texture, neither too rough nor too smooth. I like to use hardbound watercolor sketchbooks as my personal journals. I'm especially partial to the Strathmore 400 series hardbound watercolor sketchbooks; the similar Daler-Rowney ones are ok too but I find their paper to be just a bit too smooth relative to the Strathmore ones. Plus I've gotten occasional bleedthrough with Daler-Rowney paper, but never with Strathmore paper. With pens like the P51, these papers are lovely to write upon. Best with medium to wet-writing pens and broader nib widths, though.

 

Feedback is such a personal thing, isn't it? Sometimes even small differences are critical. For instance, both Platinum 3776 series and Sailor 21k nibs are often described as having "pencil-like" feedback, but I've gradually come to realize that I like the Platinums, but not the Sailors. It's like the difference between a softer vs a harder grade of pencil, Platinum 3776s being more like a pencil in the 2B~4B range, while Sailor being like a pencil in the HB-1H range. Just as 2B is my favored grade of pencil in everyday use, so Platinum nibs are also favored over Sailors in my collection. (Of course, I like Pilot nibs even more, but those 3776s sure are lovely...)

 

Another nib-related thing I haven't mentioned in my original post, but which also impacts significantly on my writing enjoyment, is the shape of a nib's tipping. I have to say, I'm not a fan of tipping that is "blobby", that too closely approaches a spherical shape (example: Parker 25, many modern Pelikan Souverans). I prefer tippings that have a more palpable, distinctive shape; even if that might reduce the area of the nib's sweet spot somewhat, the uniqueness and "character" of the writing feel more than compensates for it in my opinion.

 

My beloved Pilot CH91 is actually a good example of this - even though the nib tip looks more or less spherical at first glance, when writing with it, it turns out not to be a simple sphere, but feels subtly faceted - as if there is a distinct "foot" in which the sweet spot sits, surrounded by gently, yet precisely beveled edges on either side, which slowly increase the feedback as one rotates the pen out of its sweet spot. The "facets" are not so sharp as to increase feedback to an uncomfortable level in normal writing position variation, nor is ink flow interrupted, but the positionally-dependent feedback given by this tipping shape gives the pen a precise and controlled writing feel in spite of its considerable smoothness. Indeed this pen excels in situations where I have to write fast without looking at the paper (rushed notetaking while looking at presentations in meetings, for instance); the feedback provided by the nib immediately keeps me informed of the pen orientation and degree of roll (if any) without me having to look at it.

 

The Parker 45 is another good example of this. Many people have commented that P45 nibs tend to have a small sweet spot, and to be intolerant of rotation. Well, if compared to modern spherical-tipped nibs then yes, I somewhat agree... but the P45 gives a so much more unique writing experience in comparison. I like to describe the typical P45 tipping shape as being like a cylinder rolled on its side - thus a flatter "foot", sharper corners, sometimes a slightly more stubbish profile, relative to modern round nibs. The smoothest nib in the world it ain't, but darned if it isn't full of character. It sure makes writing with a P45 more interesting than writing with the typical Bocks or new Pelikans of this day and age. (Incidentally I find the Lamy 2000 to have a rather similar tipping shape; in my mind, it's like a long-lost cousin of the P45... albeit a more obese cousin. :lol: )

 

This thread is fun (and I shall probably succumb to logorrhea if I keep going... :lticaptd:) so thanks for starting this topic!



#27 TruthPil

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 05:50

Thanks again for another great post!

You bring up several issues with tipping that I hadn't thought of.

 

 

Oh, thanks for the great info. I have several P45s but they are all US-made. The US 14k nibs have a little springiness to them, but if the UK ones are even more so, I'll probably like them more. Time to get a UK nib...

 

​There's at least one seller on Ebay who sells all the common sizes of UK P45 nib units, I think the seller id was "fatnibs" or something like that. I've messaged him a few times and he's helpful. Also, the best UK P45 nib I ever bought is a soft and juicy broad nib tuned by FPN member Piscov. It's now one of my all-time favorite nibs. If you're in the market, you might want to send him a message. 

 

Feedback is such a personal thing, isn't it? Sometimes even small differences are critical. For instance, both Platinum 3776 series and Sailor 21k nibs are often described as having "pencil-like" feedback, but I've gradually come to realize that I like the Platinums, but not the Sailors. It's like the difference between a softer vs a harder grade of pencil, Platinum 3776s being more like a pencil in the 2B~4B range, while Sailor being like a pencil in the HB-1H range. Just as 2B is my favored grade of pencil in everyday use, so Platinum nibs are also favored over Sailors in my collection. (Of course, I like Pilot nibs even more, but those 3776s sure are lovely...)

 

Another nib-related thing I haven't mentioned in my original post, but which also impacts significantly on my writing enjoyment, is the shape of a nib's tipping. I have to say, I'm not a fan of tipping that is "blobby", that too closely approaches a spherical shape (example: Parker 25, many modern Pelikan Souverans). I prefer tippings that have a more palpable, distinctive shape; even if that might reduce the area of the nib's sweet spot somewhat, the uniqueness and "character" of the writing feel more than compensates for it in my opinion.

 

My beloved Pilot CH91 is actually a good example of this - even though the nib tip looks more or less spherical at first glance, when writing with it, it turns out not to be a simple sphere, but feels subtly faceted - as if there is a distinct "foot" in which the sweet spot sits, surrounded by gently, yet precisely beveled edges on either side, which slowly increase the feedback as one rotates the pen out of its sweet spot. The "facets" are not so sharp as to increase feedback to an uncomfortable level in normal writing position variation, nor is ink flow interrupted, but the positionally-dependent feedback given by this tipping shape gives the pen a precise and controlled writing feel in spite of its considerable smoothness. Indeed this pen excels in situations where I have to write fast without looking at the paper (rushed notetaking while looking at presentations in meetings, for instance); the feedback provided by the nib immediately keeps me informed of the pen orientation and degree of roll (if any) without me having to look at it.

 

This is something I hadn't thought about which gives me a new appreciation for feedback. My general philosophy has been to use the blobby, smoothest nibs possible when in situations where I have to write as quickly as possible. However, I had noticed that my handwriting is quite bad when writing quickly with a buttery smooth nib. On the opposite end, my worst writing experience in a frantic note-taking situation was with my otherwise lovely Platinum 3776 with soft fine nib. The softness caused the pen to slow me down as did the tooth on the nib. Your experience helps me see that maybe a pen with smooth yet faceted tipping material might be just what I should use in such situations to maintain control when not able to watch what I'm writing. What other Pilot pens have a similar tipping shape to the CH91? The 9X line is out of my price range.

 

The Parker 45 is another good example of this. Many people have commented that P45 nibs tend to have a small sweet spot, and to be intolerant of rotation. Well, if compared to modern spherical-tipped nibs then yes, I somewhat agree... but the P45 gives a so much more unique writing experience in comparison. I like to describe the typical P45 tipping shape as being like a cylinder rolled on its side - thus a flatter "foot", sharper corners, sometimes a slightly more stubbish profile, relative to modern round nibs. The smoothest nib in the world it ain't, but darned if it isn't full of character. It sure makes writing with a P45 more interesting than writing with the typical Bocks or new Pelikans of this day and age. (Incidentally I find the Lamy 2000 to have a rather similar tipping shape; in my mind, it's like a long-lost cousin of the P45... albeit a more obese cousin. :lol: )

 

A ha, you hit the nail on the head for why I don't absolutely adore most of my P45s. I bought them wanting a glassy smooth experience, which many of them provide. However, that smoothness is so easy to loose because of the square-ish shape of the tipping material. It's really unforgiving when I'm writing extremely fast, such as when grading a stack of assignments, and a sharp corner can may even catch the paper. 


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#28 minddance

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:41

 
Oh, thanks for the great info. I have several P45s but they are all US-made. The US 14k nibs have a little springiness to them, but if the UK ones are even more so, I'll probably like them more. Time to get a UK nib...
 
On the subject of feedback - to digress slightly beyond the realm of copy paper - another thing I like to do is to take a really smooth nib, and use it on paper with a textured surface. E.g. various kinds of laid paper, watercolor paper, and so on. Cold-pressed watercolor papers are particularly nice, just the perfect amount of texture, neither too rough nor too smooth. I like to use hardbound watercolor sketchbooks as my personal journals. I'm especially partial to the Strathmore 400 series hardbound watercolor sketchbooks; the similar Daler-Rowney ones are ok too but I find their paper to be just a bit too smooth relative to the Strathmore ones. Plus I've gotten occasional bleedthrough with Daler-Rowney paper, but never with Strathmore paper. With pens like the P51, these papers are lovely to write upon. Best with medium to wet-writing pens and broader nib widths, though.
 
Feedback is such a personal thing, isn't it? Sometimes even small differences are critical. For instance, both Platinum 3776 series and Sailor 21k nibs are often described as having "pencil-like" feedback, but I've gradually come to realize that I like the Platinums, but not the Sailors. It's like the difference between a softer vs a harder grade of pencil, Platinum 3776s being more like a pencil in the 2B~4B range, while Sailor being like a pencil in the HB-1H range. Just as 2B is my favored grade of pencil in everyday use, so Platinum nibs are also favored over Sailors in my collection. (Of course, I like Pilot nibs even more, but those 3776s sure are lovely...)
 
Another nib-related thing I haven't mentioned in my original post, but which also impacts significantly on my writing enjoyment, is the shape of a nib's tipping. I have to say, I'm not a fan of tipping that is "blobby", that too closely approaches a spherical shape (example: Parker 25, many modern Pelikan Souverans). I prefer tippings that have a more palpable, distinctive shape; even if that might reduce the area of the nib's sweet spot somewhat, the uniqueness and "character" of the writing feel more than compensates for it in my opinion.
 
My beloved Pilot CH91 is actually a good example of this - even though the nib tip looks more or less spherical at first glance, when writing with it, it turns out not to be a simple sphere, but feels subtly faceted - as if there is a distinct "foot" in which the sweet spot sits, surrounded by gently, yet precisely beveled edges on either side, which slowly increase the feedback as one rotates the pen out of its sweet spot. The "facets" are not so sharp as to increase feedback to an uncomfortable level in normal writing position variation, nor is ink flow interrupted, but the positionally-dependent feedback given by this tipping shape gives the pen a precise and controlled writing feel in spite of its considerable smoothness. Indeed this pen excels in situations where I have to write fast without looking at the paper (rushed notetaking while looking at presentations in meetings, for instance); the feedback provided by the nib immediately keeps me informed of the pen orientation and degree of roll (if any) without me having to look at it.
 
The Parker 45 is another good example of this. Many people have commented that P45 nibs tend to have a small sweet spot, and to be intolerant of rotation. Well, if compared to modern spherical-tipped nibs then yes, I somewhat agree... but the P45 gives a so much more unique writing experience in comparison. I like to describe the typical P45 tipping shape as being like a cylinder rolled on its side - thus a flatter "foot", sharper corners, sometimes a slightly more stubbish profile, relative to modern round nibs. The smoothest nib in the world it ain't, but darned if it isn't full of character. It sure makes writing with a P45 more interesting than writing with the typical Bocks or new Pelikans of this day and age. (Incidentally I find the Lamy 2000 to have a rather similar tipping shape; in my mind, it's like a long-lost cousin of the P45... albeit a more obese cousin. :lol: )
 
This thread is fun (and I shall probably succumb to logorrhea if I keep going... :lticaptd:) so thanks for starting this topic!


Hi, the Pilot CH in question, what nib size is that? I understand different line widths are ground differently.

#29 TruthPil

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 12:33

I wouldn't know, to be honest. But regardless of the origins of the ink, they sell it as Cross ink and they probably wouldn't do that if the ink didn't wotk well with their own pens. I really like the performance and the colours of Cross Blue in my Townsend.

 

Thanks again for mentioning the Cross pen and ink combination. I was able to fix the problem with the nib on the used Century II I bought a while back and just filled it with Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black. Wow, absolutely perfect smoothness and flow. This ink can be dry in many pens, but it really does seem like the pen was designed for the ink (considering for a while Cross was relabeling Pelikan ink). With the medium nib I get a line just broad and wet enough to actually see the IG in the ink change colors from blue to blue-black while writing. The only reason I'm not getting a totally blissful experience out of it is due to the shape and slipperiness of the lustrous chrome pen. I need a thicker pen to get my zen on haha. For those who like thinner pens, this would be a truly wonderful combination. 


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#30 TheDutchGuy

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 16:16

My Cross is a lovely pen that matches up very well with that ink. Sadly I am reluctant to carry this pen around. It's too large for my breast pocket and it doesn't handle mild shocks too well (ink spills inside the cap). But as a desk pen, it's great. A fellow FPN member who is a nibmeister tuned the nib for me, and it is a joy to write with. However I'd rate my 14k Sheaffer Targa just a tad higher, that pen has a really lovely feedback as the nib glides over the paper. It doesn't get more subtle than that. Of course I'm not a collector and I don't own many pens, so my education is far from complete.

#31 KLscribbler

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 17:40

Hi, the Pilot CH in question, what nib size is that? I understand different line widths are ground differently.

 

It's the Soft Medium. I do not also have a #5 nib in normal Medium, so I'm not sure if the normal (non-soft) medium is also ground like that.



#32 KLscribbler

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 18:34

What other Pilot pens have a similar tipping shape to the CH91? The 9X line is out of my price range.

 

Hmm... I think your best bet would be to try looking for something in the Custom series. The nibs should be similar... is the Custom 74 within your budget range? If it is, it uses the same nibs as the Custom Heritage 91 (except without rhodium plating), so that would work. But there is another caveat - what is your preferred line width? As member Minddance has also mentioned, the tipping for different nib sizes in the Custom series are shaped somewhat differently, so even if you were to get a Pilot pen with a #5 nib in, say, Fine, I'm not sure it would have the same tipping shape. I have only written with Pilot F and EF nibs on a very small number of occasions, with borrowed pens (not a fan of fine nibs, so I don't own any Japanese fines or finer), honestly can't remember the extent to which they resembled the mediums in writing characteristics.

 

That said, I can definitively tell you that none of the Pilot steel nibs in the "Super Quality" series (i.e. the nibs in the Prera, Metropolitan, Kakuno, Knight, and other lower-end pilots) have tipping shaped like that. The Pilot Super Quality nibs are a bit less tolerant of rotation than the 14k #5 nibs; the feeling of their tip shape in writing is more like a smooth "u" truncated quite sharply on either side, so that beyond a certain degree of roll, one gets a quite abrupt increase in scritchy feedback, instead of the gradual ramping-up of feedback that the #5 nib gives. They are a lot more tolerant of roll than, say, P45s, but they handle roll less gracefully than the Custom series nibs.

 

I have a pen that does achieve a similar effect to the Pilot #5 nib, but with a differently-shaped tip - this is my old Waterman Harmonie, probably an early production model since I bought it in 2004. Also in Medium. The tipping shape on this pen is another one of my favorites. I like to describe it as "kind of like a triangular or wedge-shaped sled" - it has a nice fat and wide sweet spot curving gently outwards on either side, also curving up and narrowing gently towards the front (like the front end of a ski). Really sublime to write with, it's almost like hydroplaning on ink. (It can get too smooth on certain papers, however...) This is a very different tipping shape from the Pilot #5 medium, but it achieves some of the same effects - when the pen is rotated out of its sweet spot, you can feel it in a very tactile way. In the case of the Harmonie, the feeling is not so much a gradual increase in feedback, but more like turning a corner in your car or on a jetski - a feeling reminiscent of pushing back against a smooth centrifugal force. (Does this description make sense?) Of course, being a steel nib not designed for any softness, the Harmonie's nib is much stiffer than my Pilot CH91. I'm still fond of it, though.


Edited by KLscribbler, 19 February 2018 - 18:34.


#33 LanceSaintPaul

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 18:49

Dear Enablers:

 

Proud of yourselves R U? 

 

From reading this thread to purchasing via eBay a UK Duofold Junior (1959 ish?) in Burgundy took only moments.

 

I suppose I owe some conditional thanks - I'll have to wait until I receive & tryout the pen to make it unconditional. But the price was friendly, so,

 

Thanks for the tip. You are incorrigible ("I know you are, but what am I?").



#34 pseudo88

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 18:56

Thanks for sharing! Copy paper does narrow it down a lot, doesn't it?
Japanese inks seem to rule the day for smoothness on any paper.

 

I does, even though it took a while for several pens to write well even on good paper, and some combinations didn't look right, e.g. Lamy Vista + Lie de Thé =  chocolate milk instead of tea dregs!


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#35 IndigoBOB

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 22:04

The Japanese inks definitely are some of the best.  Rated #1 by the PenAddict.  Most preferred by Karas Kustoms...  and those are just the blogs I know.

 

This thread has motivated me to perfect...

 

Right now I am using my Black Lamy Safari-F now with my Bungubox Silent Night, and it's simply a beautifully writing pen now that is reliable, light, and just feels like a complete pen.

 

My Lamy Vista-EF with Sailor Kiwa Guro is a beautiful EDC while still pleasurable with a velvety reliability..

 

Sailor inks are something else and they bring the most out of so many of my pens.


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#36 TruthPil

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 00:01

 

Hmm... I think your best bet would be to try looking for something in the Custom series. The nibs should be similar... is the Custom 74 within your budget range? If it is, it uses the same nibs as the Custom Heritage 91 (except without rhodium plating), so that would work. But there is another caveat - what is your preferred line width? As member Minddance has also mentioned, the tipping for different nib sizes in the Custom series are shaped somewhat differently, so even if you were to get a Pilot pen with a #5 nib in, say, Fine, I'm not sure it would have the same tipping shape. I have only written with Pilot F and EF nibs on a very small number of occasions, with borrowed pens (not a fan of fine nibs, so I don't own any Japanese fines or finer), honestly can't remember the extent to which they resembled the mediums in writing characteristics.

 

That said, I can definitively tell you that none of the Pilot steel nibs in the "Super Quality" series (i.e. the nibs in the Prera, Metropolitan, Kakuno, Knight, and other lower-end pilots) have tipping shaped like that. The Pilot Super Quality nibs are a bit less tolerant of rotation than the 14k #5 nibs; the feeling of their tip shape in writing is more like a smooth "u" truncated quite sharply on either side, so that beyond a certain degree of roll, one gets a quite abrupt increase in scritchy feedback, instead of the gradual ramping-up of feedback that the #5 nib gives. They are a lot more tolerant of roll than, say, P45s, but they handle roll less gracefully than the Custom series nibs.

 

I have a pen that does achieve a similar effect to the Pilot #5 nib, but with a differently-shaped tip - this is my old Waterman Harmonie, probably an early production model since I bought it in 2004. Also in Medium. The tipping shape on this pen is another one of my favorites. I like to describe it as "kind of like a triangular or wedge-shaped sled" - it has a nice fat and wide sweet spot curving gently outwards on either side, also curving up and narrowing gently towards the front (like the front end of a ski). Really sublime to write with, it's almost like hydroplaning on ink. (It can get too smooth on certain papers, however...) This is a very different tipping shape from the Pilot #5 medium, but it achieves some of the same effects - when the pen is rotated out of its sweet spot, you can feel it in a very tactile way. In the case of the Harmonie, the feeling is not so much a gradual increase in feedback, but more like turning a corner in your car or on a jetski - a feeling reminiscent of pushing back against a smooth centrifugal force. (Does this description make sense?) Of course, being a steel nib not designed for any softness, the Harmonie's nib is much stiffer than my Pilot CH91. I'm still fond of it, though.

 

The Custom 74 can be had for a pretty decent price if bought from Japan. I'd probably get an SM like yours, but it would be nice to know how different the SM feels from the standard M. For now I think I'll just used the newfound knowledge from this thread too look more carefully at the shape of the tipping on the pens I already have and try some different combinations for frantic-speed note-taking situations. I guess I'm starting to get off topic because I don't think any pure bliss could be had in such situations anyway haha.

 

Dear Enablers:

 

Proud of yourselves R U? 

 

From reading this thread to purchasing via eBay a UK Duofold Junior (1959 ish?) in Burgundy took only moments.

 

I suppose I owe some conditional thanks - I'll have to wait until I receive & tryout the pen to make it unconditional. But the price was friendly, so,

 

Thanks for the tip. You are incorrigible ("I know you are, but what am I?").

 

Congratulations on getting a great pen! Be aware that the nib might be too dry when you get it...both of my 1950s UK Duofold Juniors had the tines too tightly together when I got them and needed a little work with my thumbs to get the flow right. Both nibs are pure glass smooth, but needed to be opened up a little. Enjoy!

 

The Japanese inks definitely are some of the best.  Rated #1 by the PenAddict.  Most preferred by Karas Kustoms...  and those are just the blogs I know.

 

This thread has motivated me to perfect...

 

Right now I am using my Black Lamy Safari-F now with my Bungubox Silent Night, and it's simply a beautifully writing pen now that is reliable, light, and just feels like a complete pen.

 

My Lamy Vista-EF with Sailor Kiwa Guro is a beautiful EDC while still pleasurable with a velvety reliability..

 

Sailor inks are something else and they bring the most out of so many of my pens.

 

Indeed, I've noticed a few prominent ink reviewers saying that Sailor inks are their favorite. I enjoy the colors and the writing experience is really the best out there with most pens. I just wish more of them had real water resistance, but that doesn't have anything to do with the experience itself.


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#37 IndigoBOB

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:15

I feel the same way about the water resistance.  My Kiwa-Guro has excellent water resistance, but it doesn't flow with the wetness my other Sailor inks (Shigure, Doyou, Miruai, Silent Night) do. 

 

My Pilot CH 92 has a tip shape that makes it a dry writer, feels like a baby's bottom.  Pilot wouldn't fix it though when I sent it to them.  It's going to the nibmeister in a couple weeks.  Besides the fact that it writes terribly it's a great pen :headsmack:  .  I would have preferred the CH 74 though since I prefer converters and the Con 70 does hold a lot of ink.

 

This is an enabling thread!! :roller1:   I'm selling off a Franklin-Christoph then ordering a Lamy 2000 thanks to the honing in on what works, reflection on what works, and remembering the pen that was next on my list after being so pleased with my Lamy Vista & Safari.  


A voice:  I'll write pages and pages, days upon days, to be able to breathe out a few lines,

I'll do whatever it takes to breathe out those few lines, where the breath breathes out on its own, in on its own,

To thine own...

...breath on its own.


#38 LanceSaintPaul

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:33

Congratulations on getting a great pen! Be aware that the nib might be too dry when you get it...both of my 1950s UK Duofold Juniors had the tines too tightly together when I got them and needed a little work with my thumbs to get the flow right. Both nibs are pure glass smooth, but needed to be opened up a little. Enjoy!

 

Thanks, I'm looking forward to trying it out. By the statements made here it sounds like these could be in the running among the best values with a gold nib. I will check the flow - I like wet & easy. 

 

One of the nice things about this thread is the emphasis on the nib, ink, (paper) conjunction, which naturally is the only way a pen can be experienced. How the rubber meets the road....



#39 minddance

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:46

OOTB, my Pilots (912sm, 74music) are impossibly dry writers except 74sfm and 74bb. In my 74sfm and bb, I can use unadulterated Diamine inks.

Kodak Photoflo makes them all write, no adjustment to tines required because tines will always automatically widen for me as time goes by. If the ink is capable of flowing, these pens are capable wet writers.

#40 TruthPil

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:47

I feel the same way about the water resistance.  My Kiwa-Guro has excellent water resistance, but it doesn't flow with the wetness my other Sailor inks (Shigure, Doyou, Miruai, Silent Night) do. 

 

My Pilot CH 92 has a tip shape that makes it a dry writer, feels like a baby's bottom.  Pilot wouldn't fix it though when I sent it to them.  It's going to the nibmeister in a couple weeks.  Besides the fact that it writes terribly it's a great pen :headsmack:  .  I would have preferred the CH 74 though since I prefer converters and the Con 70 does hold a lot of ink.

 

This is an enabling thread!! :roller1:   I'm selling off a Franklin-Christoph then ordering a Lamy 2000 thanks to the honing in on what works, reflection on what works, and remembering the pen that was next on my list after being so pleased with my Lamy Vista & Safari.  

 

Great, it totally makes sense to stick with a brand if you find that their nibs fit your taste. So far I'm still searching for one perfect pen brand like that, but JoWo nibs seem to hit the spot for butter smoothness if combined with the right feed and ink. 

 

What's really nice is that price doesn't necessarily factor in to have a perfect writing experience. I've found it quite easy to achieve pure bliss with my acrylic Black Marble Nemosine Singularity broad nib and just about any ink that is reasonably wet. That glassy smooth nib and the decent size and balance of the pen just make you want to keep writing.


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