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Opus 88: Fantasia, Picnic & Koloro

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34 replies to this topic

#21 Karmachanic

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 16:19

 I love the beige-teal Koloro and have almost bought it 3 or 4 times now, but the choice of resin section in place of ebonite has been bothering me.

Go ahead. Deprive yourself! :P  I have Ebonite pens and love them dearly. My Koloro is constantly in rotation.


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#22 Intensity

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 17:51

Too many great pens already to add anything less than just right at this point ;). The basic, generic steel nibs are a deterrent to at that price.

“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.” 


#23 Honeybadgers

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 09:21

Too many great pens already to add anything less than just right at this point ;). The basic, generic steel nibs are a deterrent to at that price.

 

I scored an acrylic 88 in brown (I do honestly prefer the ebonite blue/grey and would prefer it more with ebonite, but couldn't turn down the price) with a B nib for $50. 

 

I do have to say, the nibs are kind of boring and uninteresting. I have a B, bought an EF to swap, both are fine, nothing amazing, but what you are getting is a wonderful base for a vintage or alternate nib. I swapped in a TWSBI EF from a 580, and the much broader 580 nib looks way, way better and writes a treat. I can also throw in a #5 gold nib I got from a wing sung 698 or any number of custom #5's. Throw a bock titanium nib in there or a 14k JoWo from FPnibs. The shutoff makes them great traveling pens.

 

It's a bummer the nib is uninteresting, but it's so easy to swap that it suddenly makes the pen a lot better. It's like a penbbs pen. I bought it and enjoy it thoroughly with a different nib.
 

The only gripes I have about the 88  acrylic is that it doesn't post very well. it posts, but not super securely, when it easily could've been made to post deeply. Which is a bummer, because that kind of prevents it from being a perfect travel pen. I guess the fantasia works, but I hate threaded post pens with the sole exception of the cross spire.

 

Does the koloro post securely?


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#24 tonybelding

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 11:35

Yes, the Koloro does post nicely.

 

I'm not sure which model you mean by "88 acrylic" though?



#25 Karmachanic

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 12:10

Yes, the Koloro does post nicely.

Also my experience.


"Want little. Need less. Love more."


#26 Honeybadgers

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 16:44

Yes, the Koloro does post nicely.

 

I'm not sure which model you mean by "88 acrylic" though?

 

Picnic. Forgot the name, despite it being in the thread title  :P


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#27 Intensity

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 22:59

I might be wrong, but I don't think any of Opus 88 pens are made with acrylic.  They are all resin/plastic and some have ebonite accents (Koloro).


“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.” 


#28 Honeybadgers

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 07:54

I might be wrong, but I don't think any of Opus 88 pens are made with acrylic.  They are all resin/plastic and some have ebonite accents (Koloro).

 

All of the "plastic" parts of the opus 88's are turned acrylic. 

 

They have a very, very strong distinct "superglue" odor of the cyanoacrolates inside the cap and barrel.

 

they're not injection molded 


Edited by Honeybadgers, 13 December 2019 - 07:55.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#29 A Smug Dill

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 09:49

I'm actually very happy with the F and EF nibs I got on my (three) Opus 88 Picnic pens. I certainly can't say the same about the nibs that come standard on PenBBS 308/309 pens. So much so, after buying two Picnic pens from Fontoplumo at a bargain first, I couldn't let pass the opportunity to score a third one even more cheaply (by a very slim margin) in my wife's preferred colour, because I enjoy the use of those pens and I wanted her to have one of her own to use as the rare (as in odd) pen that needs a larger capacity for a basic/staple writing ink.

 

I've been tempted by the shape of the Koloro and the coloured accents, but that it has ebonite is not a plus (but also not a minus). Ebonite, celluloid, ... I can understand they may be more expensive materials than plastic/resin/acrylic to begin with, and thus in a teardown the components cost more and so a user may conclude there is more inherent value in the item (but for what, when the ebonite components cannot be repurposed?), but in and of itself ebonite is just as dull, boring and uninteresting as plastic, and some acrylics look far prettier.


As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.


#30 Intensity

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Posted 13 December 2019 - 15:03

 
All of the "plastic" parts of the opus 88's are turned acrylic. 
 
They have a very, very strong distinct "superglue" odor of the cyanoacrolates inside the cap and barrel.
 
they're not injection molded 


I am so happy youve told me this Ill take their pens off my wish list. Acrylic feels too hard and kind of slippery to menot a fan of having it on sections. I hoped they were plastic of Sailor type and the like.

“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.” 


#31 tonybelding

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 01:24

Ebonite, celluloid, ...  in and of itself ebonite is just as dull, boring and uninteresting as plastic, and some acrylics look far prettier.

Now I have to step up and defend ebonite a little.  It's one of the most classic and time-proven materials for pens.  It has a different look, feel and texture from acrylic, and it can be very lovely.  Preferring it is simply a matter of taste.

 

It's sort of like gold nibs.  When noobs ask questions about wanting to get their first gold nib, and how much better it's going to be than a steel nib, I'm usually quick to jump in and disabuse them of the notion.  No, gold nibs don't write better, they aren't better in any measurable, functional way.  They're merely an affectation, an anachronism, a historic holdover that would never even be considered if fountain pens were being invented today.  And yet…  When I pick up my 1940s Sheaffer Triumph desk pen with the stripped celluloid body and the massive, tubular, two-tone colored 14K gold nib that writes like a dream, I have to nod and smile and think to myself:  "Yes.  This is how it should be."  I just can't help it.

 



#32 Honeybadgers

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:52

I am so happy youve told me this Ill take their pens off my wish list. Acrylic feels too hard and kind of slippery to menot a fan of having it on sections. I hoped they were plastic of Sailor type and the like.

 

I know what you're talking about and they're exactly what you're describing, so definitely steer clear!

 

Sailor uses ABS plastic in the cheaper pens and polycarbonate in the nicer ones (I think mont blanc's "prescious resin" might be a polycarbonate) and Lamy's makrolon is polycarbonate. The lamy safari is ABS. ABS tends to have that "softness" and polycarbonates can develop that deeper luster.

 

Doesn't bother me, personally, but an ebonite section on the koloro would be really, really cool.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 14 December 2019 - 04:26.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#33 Intensity

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 03:58

Indeed!  I do like the Montblanc "plastic" as well as a number of other plastics.  Mostly any plastics I've tried to date on fountain pens has been fine.  I just really dislike acrylic for pen sections.   Any time I see Ranga pens do a group buy here with acrylic materials instead of their wonderful ebonite selection, I think "Why...."  


“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.” 


#34 Honeybadgers

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 04:10

Now I have to step up and defend ebonite a little.  It's one of the most classic and time-proven materials for pens.  It has a different look, feel and texture from acrylic, and it can be very lovely.  Preferring it is simply a matter of taste.

 

It's sort of like gold nibs.  When noobs ask questions about wanting to get their first gold nib, and how much better it's going to be than a steel nib, I'm usually quick to jump in and disabuse them of the notion.  No, gold nibs don't write better, they aren't better in any measurable, functional way.  They're merely an affectation, an anachronism, a historic holdover that would never even be considered if fountain pens were being invented today.  And yet…  When I pick up my 1940s Sheaffer Triumph desk pen with the stripped celluloid body and the massive, tubular, two-tone colored 14K gold nib that writes like a dream, I have to nod and smile and think to myself:  "Yes.  This is how it should be."  I just can't help it.

 

 

Yeah I don't subscribe to Gil's position on that either. even ABS feels dramatically different to polycarbonate, I don't love acrylics because of how hard they are, they're borderline slippery like chrome sections. But give me a celluloid pen and an acrylic pen and I can tell you the difference right away in how they feel in the hand.

 

Ebonite is a completely unique feeling material too. Very shock resistant, ALWAYS warm to the touch, I like the sulphur smell they have (all my hears racing cars has left "burning rubber" as one of my genuine favorite smells)

 

It also is a bit more of a "natural" product that has inherent flaws and character, like wood. 

 

And celluloid can achieve effects and depths of color that acrylic can't. Hot fused acrylic (like the classic pens LB5) can come close, but no material has ever come close to the beauty of the stacked celluloids of the parker vacumatics and visconti metro/divina metro, in my opinion.


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#35 WLSpec

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 01:31

Please stop putting pictures of these pens up... :lol: the more I see the more I want them, and I'm trying to save up for the Baltimore pen show! (The more I stare at your photography the more I'm tempted...)

 

Great review and nice eye candy!


-WLSpec

 

 






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