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Looking For Most Recommended Modern Flex Pens

flex omniflex pilot noodlers falcon conklin fpr

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67 replies to this topic

#41 SoulSamurai

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 12:29

Many thanks, A Smug Dill, that’s really useful. The stub looks narrow enough for general use - but the warning about the ink leakage is critical.

 

 

Any pen model can have the occasional lemon. I've heard a lot of praise for the Himalaya and I have not had any problems with them myself (other than the aforementioned dodgy stub nib). Also I've found FPR's customer service to be pretty good, so if you do order one and have a problem I expect they'll take care of you.



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#42 Addertooth

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 13:14

Some have provided some great examples of Stub writing.  Some of them were even 1 millimeter (mm) wide.  They had very wonderful penmanship to boot.

As a point of comparison.  Here is a picture of my "test sheet" after I restored a vintage flex pen.  It flexes to 2.5 mm.   The dots on the paper are 5 mm apart.

A dime and a nickel have been added to aid in a sense of scale (in case you are a non-metric person). 

I would politely disagree that a Stub produces the same kind of line as a flex.  Both have the ability to go from narrow to wide, but frequently a good flex can go

wider, and with a mechanism which applies to artistic endeavors with more control on variation without twisting your wrist left and right.  The mechanics of creating

the line can be important to artists.  For the record, I make no claim of "being" an artist, only that I have some small insight to their minds.  

 

fpn_1577019928__two_point_five_mm_flex_s



#43 Arkanabar

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 13:23

FPR's stubs (I have two) are kind of round, compared to some others (Pilot's CM nib, found in such diverse pens as Prera Iro-Ai, MR, and the Plumix/Pluminix) and don't provide great line variation.  But bear in mind that both my cheep salvage paper and some of my inks promote spreading.  YMMV.



#44 A Smug Dill

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 14:47

Any pen model can have the occasional lemon.


Sure.
 

I've heard a lot of praise for the Himalaya and I have not had any problems with them myself (other than the aforementioned dodgy stub nib).


I haven't really been aware of the leaky cap issue on the FPR Himalaya until the last 24 hours, because even though I "should" expressly test caps for airtightness — or specifically against leaking where the clip and/or finial joins the main body of the cap — I generally don't, especially if there is a screw or spring in the roof of the cap.

However, now that I'm aware, and it seems there is no metal part at the roof of the cap, I decided to put the caps of all six FPR Himalaya v1 pens in this household to the test, standing them side by side atop a paper towel in a test tube rack, then putting a single drop of ink in each cap (alternating between Diamine Evergreen and Diamine Red Dragon) and then filling them up with water.

Wanna take a wild guess how many exhibited leakage after 10 minutes or so by way of colour of the paper towel under them?





The answer is five out of six. What was most surprising, was that the leaky Emerald Green acrylic cap was the slowest to leak this time, such that there is no green splotch beneath it; it took touching a tissue against the rim of the metal clip to detect any leakage.
 
As for ink leakage from the converter into the barrel, I don't know how to speedily test for that. However, I must say I've long thought the the converter in the FPR Himalaya — including the smell of the material of the hollow tube, and how it screws onto the section but with the converter as the "female" side of the join — is the worst part of that pen model, even though I still don't expect every converter for the Himalaya to leak with every fill.
 

Also I've found FPR's customer service to be pretty good, so if you do order one and have a problem I expect they'll take care of you.


I'm sure Kevin would send me a replacement converter if I tested and confirmed that one of the converters is always leaking ink into the barrel, and reported the issue to him, irrespective of how long I've had the pen.

On the other hand, I don't think there is much he can do to fix the leaky caps, which seems to be a pervasive problem. Of course no user, including myself, is going to routinely fill the cap with water, but the fact is that there is evidently an avenue for air to escape from and into the cap, thus causing more evaporation of ink to be possible than if the cap was airtight.

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.


#45 JulieParadise

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 15:02

[...] Do you think the 912's fa nib could offer a reliable cursive writing (not calligraphy) experience with flair? Thank you so much. The 912 is a great size for the hand too.

 

Since I do own three of these 912 with FA nibs (of which two were bent and misused but not beyond repair, one was factory new and unused [the one from day 14/23], so every one has a different feel to it now; you can see them in my posts on the DIAMINE Inkvent Calendar thread starting here http://www.fountainp...ndar/?p=4268178 used on Dec 8, 14, 22 and 23) you can see that they all offer some flair, although I usually do not push them that far. I do like to write with them for longer texts and also letters which span several pages. There I also flex them a bit more and yeah, you should write a bit slower then but nonetheless, when you avoid extremely dry or highly sheening (= sticky) inks they hold up as good as vintage flex pens of which I own three -- and still prefer the FA nibs.

 

I think -- and I saw this a lot since I also take my pens to our Berlin pen meet-ups and let other people try them -- they are pretty sensitive to rotating and also, a bit like a car, preferably start "slow", i.e. soft and gentle to get the ink flowing. And, honestly, there are people who do not get along with them at all, kind of like some who just cannot get themselves to enjoy the feel of a Lamy 2000. (Comparing the disliking of the nibs' peculiarities and not the feel of the nibs themselves.) A lighter touch helps. 

 

I love these nibs and, even though I loathe the pen bodies and have pens that are a looooot prettier (2x OMAS Dama, one in Arco Brown, Montblancs, 3776 Celluloid etc.) these are the nibs I enjoy the most -- by far. Go figure ... 



#46 SoulSamurai

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 15:30

I would politely disagree that a Stub produces the same kind of line as a flex.

I don't believe anyone said they produce "the same kind of line". Personally I was saying that they both look good, and I don't think one produces better looking writing than the other. Personal taste of course. But yes, they certainly produce different types of lines.

Speaking of line thickness, I believe the Pilot Parallel can be had with line thicknesses between 1.5mm and 6mm. It may not use a traditional-looking fountain pen nib, but I believe it ultimately functions the same as a stub nib fountain pen, using Pilot ink cartridges.

#47 MuddyWaters

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 20:08

 
Since I do own three of these 912 with FA nibs (of which two were bent and misused but not beyond repair, one was factory new and unused [the one from day 14/23], so every one has a different feel to it now; you can see them in my posts on the DIAMINE Inkvent Calendar thread starting here http://www.fountainp...ndar/?p=4268178 used on Dec 8, 14, 22 and 23) you can see that they all offer some flair, although I usually do not push them that far. I do like to write with them for longer texts and also letters which span several pages. There I also flex them a bit more and yeah, you should write a bit slower then but nonetheless, when you avoid extremely dry or highly sheening (= sticky) inks they hold up as good as vintage flex pens of which I own three -- and still prefer the FA nibs.
 
I think -- and I saw this a lot since I also take my pens to our Berlin pen meet-ups and let other people try them -- they are pretty sensitive to rotating and also, a bit like a car, preferably start "slow", i.e. soft and gentle to get the ink flowing. And, honestly, there are people who do not get along with them at all, kind of like some who just cannot get themselves to enjoy the feel of a Lamy 2000. (Comparing the disliking of the nibs' peculiarities and not the feel of the nibs themselves.) A lighter touch helps. 
 
I love these nibs and, even though I loathe the pen bodies and have pens that are a looooot prettier (2x OMAS Dama, one in Arco Brown, Montblancs, 3776 Celluloid etc.) these are the nibs I enjoy the most -- by far. Go figure ... 

Thanks for your response. I was looking around since yesterday for writing samples and videos and reviews. It is clear that there are some people who have had bad experiences but I do not necessarily hold the nib responsible for this. After having watched a video writing sample though, I am worried that this nib is too soft and does not snap back enough for fast writing as I am accustomed to. The extent of my cursive writing with flare experience is with dip pen nibs which flex without pressure yet offer tactile resistance/bounceback and are also hard enough to offer feedback when the tines scratch the paper. I am worried that the 912 will be too floppy for my type of use, as I am not a patient writer. Rather than being someone who buys this nib then complains about it after because I do not go carefully enough with it, I'd rather preserve this likely excellent nib from my displaced frustration.

Anyway that is how I think now. I may go with a soft medium nib instead, with the knowledge that it will not provide much flare if any at all, but at least will be suited for my type of fast western cursive writing.

I would try the FA but I don't think that with the reasons mentioned above, that I have sufficient reason to justify the $250 canadian. Does that sound reasonable or do you think the fa is suitable for fast cursive writing too?

Happy holidays in Berlin!

Edited by MuddyWaters, 22 December 2019 - 20:10.

Link to a post about ergonomics I made: http://www.fountainp...with/?p=4179072


#48 A Smug Dill

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Posted 22 December 2019 - 22:26

I am worried that this nib is too soft and does not snap back enough for fast writing as I am accustomed to._...‹snip›... I am worried that the 912 will be too floppy for my type of use, as I am not a patient writer.


I write very slowly and deliberately, and in my first-hand experience, the #10 FA nib on my Pilot Custom Heritage 912 did not snap back anywhere near rapidly enough for getting the shapes I want out of it in my handwriting. As far as I'm concerned, tines spreading significantly in elastic deformation but without rapidly returning to their original shapes and positions is counterproductive as a writing instrument, especially one with which the user wants to get specific shapes on paper for artistic and/or aesthetic reasons; and spreading significantly and readily with little pressure applied but without rapidly springing back just makes things worse, as it impairs the use of pressure moderation techniques as a way of controlling the shapes and widths of the marks put on the page.


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.


#49 Vunter

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 15:29

 

Since I do own three of these 912 with FA nibs (of which two were bent and misused but not beyond repair, one was factory new and unused [the one from day 14/23], so every one has a different feel to it now; you can see them in my posts on the DIAMINE Inkvent Calendar thread starting here http://www.fountainp...ndar/?p=4268178 used on Dec 8, 14, 22 and 23) you can see that they all offer some flair, although I usually do not push them that far. I do like to write with them for longer texts and also letters which span several pages. There I also flex them a bit more and yeah, you should write a bit slower then but nonetheless, when you avoid extremely dry or highly sheening (= sticky) inks they hold up as good as vintage flex pens of which I own three -- and still prefer the FA nibs.

 

I think -- and I saw this a lot since I also take my pens to our Berlin pen meet-ups and let other people try them -- they are pretty sensitive to rotating and also, a bit like a car, preferably start "slow", i.e. soft and gentle to get the ink flowing. And, honestly, there are people who do not get along with them at all, kind of like some who just cannot get themselves to enjoy the feel of a Lamy 2000. (Comparing the disliking of the nibs' peculiarities and not the feel of the nibs themselves.) A lighter touch helps. 

 

I love these nibs and, even though I loathe the pen bodies and have pens that are a looooot prettier (2x OMAS Dama, one in Arco Brown, Montblancs, 3776 Celluloid etc.) these are the nibs I enjoy the most -- by far. Go figure ... 

 

Smug suggested trying Flexible Nib Factory feeds in the pilot pens.  Have you tried either the 2-slot or 3-slot feeds in any of your customer heritage 912 pens? If I went the modern route I think I would go the heritage 912 route with an FA nib only because the suggested 743 is more expensive. 

I should probably preface my use in that I don't think I would be flexing an entire letter; so having to be deliberate and slow for like salutations, headings, signatures, PS, etc... I'm sure flexing an entire letter can be done, but In my mind to me I think it would detract from the beauty; I'm thinking in terms of less is more.  What is flexed will have more impact. I could be wrong in this thinking, but thats where my head is at, there is no right way or wrong way, whatever makes us happy when we write. 



#50 bbs

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 21:56

fpn_1577017619__fpr_himalaya_v1_55_stub_


Brilliant, thanks so much!

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#51 bbs

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 21:58

Any pen model can have the occasional lemon. I've heard a lot of praise for the Himalaya and I have not had any problems with them myself (other than the aforementioned dodgy stub nib). Also I've found FPR's customer service to be pretty good, so if you do order one and have a problem I expect they'll take care of you.


That’s true, and at that price I probably will get one at some stage.

I chose my user name years ago - I have no links to BBS pens (other than owning one!)


#52 JulieParadise

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 23:44

Answering on a smartphone is awful, I will get back to your questions once I have access to a computer again ;-)

#53 Vunter

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 03:36

So Melissa59 sent me her Noodlers Ahab so I could try it out and see what it's like to use a flex a pen.  I have been Noodling around with it the last day or two; see what I did there hahaha, Noodling.  Anyways yeah this was really great, because after using flex I have a completely different outlook.  I still plan on exploring flex, but maybe not quite as much as I had wanted to.  Some of that might be being discouraged with my poor flex writing, better flex writing will come with time.  

 

Overall I'm glad she sent me the pen, because I probably would have had misguided expectations. 



#54 SoulSamurai

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 05:31

What was it you didn't like about the pen or about flex writing itself?



#55 Vunter

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:49

What was it you didn't like about the pen or about flex writing itself?

 

I think I thought it would be easier or I think I thought writing in flex would be a little similar.  I've been learning that it takes a different rhythm and different movement.  For instance when I write some letters I retrace certain lines; with flex however this screws up the line variation so I've been learning that I have to connect the letters in a different manner to maintain the line variation.

Granted I haven't used a vintage flex, but I am starting to understand what all you are referring to and mean when you guys say vintage flex is where it's at.  Having said all that this is definitely a great learning experience for me.  Having this experience allows me to hone further on what nibs I like, I've tried a bunch thus far and I'm really starting to lean towards certain nibs that just feel good to me.

I'm starting to realize that Stubs and Italics might be my goto the most.



#56 A Smug Dill

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 08:55

I'm starting to realize that Stubs and Italics might be my goto the most.

Start with the outcome you want to achieve for that particular application and/or use case.

Then work out which techniques your can already perform or want to work at acquiring, and in parallel, which tool(s) you need.

Neither "flex" nor stub nibs are the "secret sauce" that will suddenly make your handwriting beautiful like you imagined is its potential without your having to practise, fail, practise, fail again, practise... until you even begin to see some promise of getting there.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 02 January 2020 - 08:55.

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.


#57 SaintPat

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 14:18

Ditto.
I have to press hard to get the Ahab nib to flex. And when I press hard, my writing looks terrible.


Try taking the nib and feed out of the pen and re-adjusting. Have the nib protrude farther beyond the feed for more/easier flex.

The nib and feed in an Ahab are friction fit. Just wiggle them out, slide the feed back a bit more and then jam it back into the pen body. Play with it. The great thing about those Noodlers pens is how easy, and dare I say 'fun', they are to play with.

I have zero experience with any other flex nib, but I have a lot of fun with my Noodlers Ahab. I've torn it apart and re-adjusted that nib dozens of times. The amount of flex the nib can provide is very impressive.

#58 melissa59

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 22:14

Try taking the nib and feed out of the pen and re-adjusting. Have the nib protrude farther beyond the feed for more/easier flex.

The nib and feed in an Ahab are friction fit. Just wiggle them out, slide the feed back a bit more and then jam it back into the pen body. Play with it. The great thing about those Noodlers pens is how easy, and dare I say 'fun', they are to play with.

I have zero experience with any other flex nib, but I have a lot of fun with my Noodlers Ahab. I've torn it apart and re-adjusted that nib dozens of times. The amount of flex the nib can provide is very impressive.

 

My relationship with the Ahab was a complicated love-hate relationship. I loved what it was supposed to do. I hated what I actually accomplished with it.

 

It is indeed a fun pen to play with. It was also a great learning experience for someone new to fountain pens. Some days, even the Lava soap wasn't enough to get the ink off my fingers. Good times! But in the end, I found the Ahab to be more of a toy than a tool.

 

Neither "flex" nor stub nibs are the "secret sauce" that will suddenly make your handwriting beautiful like you imagined is its potential without your having to practise, fail, practise, fail again, practise... until you even begin to see some promise of getting there.

While I agree that nice writing takes practice -- a lot more practice than I've been putting in lately -- it takes a decent tool to make learning enjoyable.

 

The good news is the Ahab gives the user practice in pressing on the downstroke and lifting on the upstroke but I've not found it to be good for actual writing. By the time I pressed hard enough to get some good line variation, I was creating letters that were an inch high.

 

This year, I plan to pick up a nice flexy vintage pen. The plan is to find something with a fine unflexed line that can flex a good deal with a gentle touch, something I can use to address envelopes or write greetings inside a homemade card. I'll admit it. I'm hoping a vintage noodle with a fine nib will be the "secret sauce" to writing with a bit of flair. :P

 

Years ago, I attempted to learn how to use a dip pen. I was not good at it. In fact, I was downright terrible. Granted, I didn't put in a lot of time practicing. In fact, I gave up when I learned that fancy calligraphy is not actually writing, but the drawing of letters. I can't draw a decent stick figure, much less learn to draw beautiful letters. I still have my calligraphy ink and some nibs. Maybe I will pull them out and give them another try. Perhaps learning a bit of calligraphy would help with a flex pen?


"You have to be willing to be very, very bad in this business if you're ever to be good. Only if you stand ready to make mistakes today can you hope to move ahead tomorrow."
Dwight V. Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer.

#59 pictogramax

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Posted 02 January 2020 - 22:15

Vunter, maybe these might be useful to you:

 

https://pictogramax....le-nib-factory/

 

https://pictogramax....ing-comparison/

 

https://pictogramax....3/05/04/spring/

 

https://pictogramax....1/ahab-arrives/


Edited by pictogramax, 02 January 2020 - 22:19.


#60 Vunter

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 04:06

After a practicing for a couple of hours today here is my first picture worthy Flex Writing Sample.

 

Ink:  Organics Studio - Nitrogen Royal Blue

 

PZqkgcc.jpg







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: flex, omniflex, pilot, noodlers, falcon, conklin, fpr



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