I find vintage pens have great balance posted. In they are on the whole standard or medium/large. And back then when one wrote all day long, one wanted a light and nimble pen.
Unlike the big heavy note takers of today.
I have no idea what $30 buys any more......never did. I was buying off of German Ebay and the E20-30 pens were a decade ago....so prices have gone up.
I don't know what a Sheaffer Snorkel goes for....did read here it had gotten cheap. Could be because they pens are old and the rubber sac needed to make them work died. They are a thin great balanced Large pen. Perhaps the best balanced large pen at all.
The previous model the Sheaffer Touchdown will also have great balance. In it too was a flag ship.
For $30 I think you can get an Esterbrook DJ.....a 1940-60 pen. A slightly slimmer version is a SJ, and a smaller thin one is the LJ.................DJ = double jewel....and some of the 1940 ones have only a single jewel.
Esterbrook has it's own section here. I lucked out with this lot, about a decade ago on English Ebay. There are Esterbrooks made in England....and Parkers and Sheaffers.
Wearever can be nice....of the ones shown below, some are pre and others just after the War. They were good second tier pens....like the Esterbrook. Some with metal caps are later basic 3rd tier pens.
Do make sure you can see a nib when buying a pen......the Esterbrooks with a cap on....was lacking the screw in nibs.
There is a slew and a half of Esterbrook nibs one can get for $10-15....do go to the Esterbrook subsection.
Esterbrooks after 1960 have a metal cap and are not pretty patterned.....look just like later metal capped Wearevers.
Best Buy for a nice springy regular flex piston pen, is a Geha School pen, it has a serial number. Costs E12-E19 if you Hunt in German Ebay. They have to take Pay-Pal and ship world wide.
If you are rich, you can push the Buy Now Idiot button.........and pay Stateside prices. I've seen them go for $89 for idiots in a hurry in the States.
It's a great school pen, well balanced, very nice steel springy regular flex nib.
Do Not Buy into the gold nib myth..............German vintage steel nibs, Geha, Osmia are first class.
I was a gold nib snob. For $10 less I could have gotten Osmia pens in great steel nibs.....back when $10 was big money. .....................Osmia will cost more than your budget.
But a gold and steel nail are = A nail is a nail. And a steel nail is so much cheaper you can get a nice ink and a bit of good to better paper.
A Good Gold nib can be as Good as a Good Steel nib. Accent on good.
The golden rule of fountain pen buying is....................take your time.
Look in past auctions to find out a average price. Bid only once or snipe and go no more than 10% over your budget. That pen will be there next week or the week after.................don't bust the budget and unless you are rich don't push the idiot button.
There is no reason to spend a small fortune on a Pelikan 120 when the Geha school pen matches or betters the 120.
The Geha's have a reserve tank.
I have 3 Geha 790's a 760 a 725 and two slightly different piston school pens. The nib will be a F.....FK= fine Kugal....it is not the stub of many '50-60's German pens but has the 'American Bump Under'......the normal US under tipping.
Copy and paste...........Geha Schulfüller Füller..................Sadly the two I saw for a fair price....won't ship to the US.........But keep looking. I saw one in good shape for a start price of E 25 which I think is too high....12-19, but he will ship to the states.
I have really come to like the springy regular flex nibs....................semi-flex is a bit down the road for you in a Geha 790 goes for E60 (the Best Buy in semi-flex)......lots cheaper than the Pelikan 140/400/400nn for E90-100-120.....if you Hunt. A Cartel has been flooding the pure auction section with pens they Buy Now for a bid E-10 under their idiot hunting price on the Buy Now section, to drive up the prices generally.
Any noobie seller will of course ask for E-250 instead of the E1.00 he was going to ask for. "Everyone" is.
You can if you wish pay $200 or 250 or even more for those Pelikans........I don't see time being money for folks with out money like us.
Hunt and hope....the Hunt is half the fun......yes...yes... nope...Next week a new thrill.
Do Not Buy a Geha cartridge pen. They were the first in Germany to make them so had their own cartridge.............they stopped making pens in 1972, and there are no modern cartridge that fits.
A P-45 could be in your range.
Eventually a P-51 and a P-75....down the road.
Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 05 May 2019 - 21:14.