To expect that an EF Pelikan nib would be on par with an EF Japanese is just not realistic. In my experience, none of the western makers that I have tried have this equivalence (and the only one I haven't tried the finer nibs is Aurora). There must be a market reason for that!
I think you are over complicating things with your bias against Pelikan. My point was very simple. European brands generally don't produce EF nibs that are very fine.
My point is equally simple. I don't mind if Western (European, American, or even Australian) brands' idea of Extra Fine is the equivalent in physical measurements – of line width, nib tipping width and geometry, etc. – of Medium by the Japanese "Big Three" fountain pen brands' "standards" or specification. Pelikan, Aurora and JoWo can call 0.24mm–0.28mm XXXF (instead of EF) nib width for all I care. I care (1.)_
whether the Western manufacturers can successfully product nibs so fine at all, (2.)_
whether they can do so consistently, and (3.)_
whether they choose to produce such nibs on the basis of their views of market demand and profitability.
Pelikan (or any other Western brand) simply lacks the production capability, then the rest is moot; they simply cannot compete at all
for the custom of users who require pens and nibs that put down such fine lines. If (2.)_
it can do so only occasionally as one-off items, such as for the Make A Wish Nib programme
on individual customer request, and due to the labour-intensive process and high error rate (with unsuccessful attempts resulting in stock nibs being discarded or recycled) the cost of making such fine nibs more generally available for ordering would be too high, then it can't compete viably
for custom in that segment. If (3.)_
it simply sees there isn't enough market demand and potential for profit in producing such fine nibs, and elects not to compete for custom in that segment and let Japanese and/or other brands dominate, that's OK too.
I'll note that Pelikan's position is that it wants "roughly 40€" for the "individualisation" of a nib for the Make A Wish Nib programme. Considering that the "EF surcharge", i.e. price differential between the F nib and EF nib options for the same gold-nibbed pen model, often already exceeds that for an M80x (N.B.
I just checked the respective prices for the M805 basic black and M805 Blue Dunes pens on Fontoplumo.nl), it is bordering on unacceptable that Pelikan cannot deliver stock EF nibs that are consistently and noticeably finer than its own F nibs. I'm talking about arithmetic mean and standard deviation there; ...
The Japanese brands offer the finest EF, so if a very fine line is what you are after, a Pelikan, Montblanc, Lamy etc would not be a good choice. My Lamy safari EFis like a medium compared to my Pilot Falcon SF.
... if (and that's a big "if", since there is no published specification from Pelikan itself that I can find, so I'm just "making things up" by borrowing ranges that come from Platinum's specifications) of EF is 0.32mm–0.38mm, equivalent to Platinum's Medium-Fine nib width grade — with a mean of 0.35mm and, say, 95.46% (±2σ) of produced units falling within an acceptable margin of error of 0.03mm on either side — while its F nibs are 0.4mm—0.5mm, equivalent to Platinum's Medium, with essentially no overlap with the EF nib width grade's range, then I think it'd be perfectly acceptable and respectable. That's a matter of precision and consistency, and not whether Pelikan's (so-marked) EF nibs write as finely as Platinum's or Sailor's EF nibs.
Hand finished nibs are going to have more variation than nibs made and finished by machine. Trade off with the latter is lack of character.
Manual manufacturing processes are likely to produce a wider range of common variation than industrial machine work, sure. That does not logically mean 100 handmade nibs made available for sale (as factory-installed on complete pens or otherwise) will have more non-conforming units than 100 machine-made nibs, because it is always possible to inspect 500 handmade nibs all intended to conform to specifications, and select the best 100. Alternatively, the iridium tip for each EF nib could start off as that for an F nib, and then slowly and carefully ground down until it falls within the upper region of the EF specification range, then polished and finished (which may cause the loss of more tipping material) to approach the mid-point of the range. Either way, it's going to be significantly more costly than fully-automated production, but that's where discipline, workmanship and mastery come into play. I'd like to see Pelikan successfully rival Japanese brands in those regards, and not whether its EF specification range is broader on paper than its Japanese counterparts.
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.