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Ideal Fountain Pen: Can You Feel Me?

vintage nib feed feedback writing flex

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#21 seimodern

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Posted 21 March 2019 - 17:40

I lean both ways....modern (now primarily Japanese pens) and vintage. But the pleasures of writing are many and varied , and can accommodate functional, aesthetic, and historical pleasures. Similarly diverse and complex are the pleasures and interests of what might in a very broad sense be called nostalgia. For example, one can be interested in a pen's historical or cultural significance, for what it tells us about the past, without viewing that past as desirable or ideal. (In fact it might be just the opposite, as when that historical or cultural context is instead quite disturbing...e.g. wartime Pelikans, or etc). I guess I am often just intrigued by the different forms, roles, and passions of the writing cultures of the past (and present).

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#22 como

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 18:21

For me, an exemplary modern nib is an Omas 18k Broad, just effortlessly gliding on paper. It feels light, soft and buttery smooth. My favorite vintage nib is an Onoto or Conway Stewart 14k nib that feels soft, gives pencil-like feedback and writes like Medium or Broad. This is a lot of generalisation, I realize. I came cross some vintage nibs from no name pens that write beautifully. Equally, some horrible nibs from horribly expensive modern pens. It's true that you can't judge a thing(or a person) by the looks and price (or earnings :-)



#23 Intensity

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 20:52

I haven’t met my ideal pen yet. Some criteria are:

- high flow of ink through the feed/nib (usually very vintage pens do this). I almost always prefer the look of ink laid down on a page in high concentration.
- but without sac and fiddly push bar; preferably not a piston either to allow for more ink compatibility. Aerometric P51 is okay but takes extra long to flush, so not ideal either
- not very thin—around Pelikan M600 or M800 section diameter for grip
- no triangular grip shape a la Lamy Safari
- the nib needs to have character: not a nail with spherical tipping, even if it’s a super smooth one. Some stubbishness, in other words, even for extra fine size—more precisely ground. I do like soft/springy nibs. It doesn’t need to be an ultraflex, but something like a vintage soft Pelikan OBB nib is great. Or a very flexible XF nib pen for fun and normal sketching/notes. I have a great Whal Eversharp like that, but alas it’s a sac filler, so I baby it.

All of the pens I’ve used fit some but not all of these criteria. I feel like my ideal pen would be a frankenpen made with a vintage nib, vintage or modern ebonite feed, modern body and filling system (converter or vac).

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#24 como

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Posted 02 April 2019 - 21:15

I haven’t met my ideal pen yet. Some criteria are:

- high flow of ink through the feed/nib (usually very vintage pens do this). I almost always prefer the look of ink laid down on a page in high concentration.
- but without sac and fiddly push bar; preferably not a piston either to allow for more ink compatibility. Aerometric P51 is okay but takes extra long to flush, so not ideal either
- not very thin—around Pelikan M600 or M800 section diameter for grip
- no triangular grip shape a la Lamy Safari
- the nib needs to have character: not a nail with spherical tipping, even if it’s a super smooth one. Some stubbishness, in other words, even for extra fine size—more precisely ground. I do like soft/springy nibs. It doesn’t need to be an ultraflex, but something like a vintage soft Pelikan OBB nib is great. Or a very flexible XF nib pen for fun and normal sketching/notes. I have a great Whal Eversharp like that, but alas it’s a sac filler, so I baby it.

All of the pens I’ve used fit some but not all of these criteria. I feel like my ideal pen would be a frankenpen made with a vintage nib, vintage or modern ebonite feed, modern body and filling system (converter or vac).

 

 

How about a vintage Onoto Magna with plunger-filler? Just saying...  :)



#25 Intensity

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 07:34

Well, I guess I should also add that my ideal pen shouldn’t cost a few hundred dollars+ on second hand market ;)

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 


#26 como

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Posted 03 April 2019 - 15:27

Well, I guess I should also add that my ideal pen shouldn’t cost a few hundred dollars+ on second hand market ;)

 

Your last criterion has made it officially a Holy Grail  ;)  I gave up, at least for the moment  :D







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: vintage, nib, feed, feedback, writing, flex



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