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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

#61 SoulSamurai

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 05:41

Very nice!

 

I guess I was lucky because I didn't find the need to change the shape of my letters in order to write with flex, I just needed to change the way I hold and use the pen a little (go slower, apply more pressure on the downstrokes). It's still much slower and more deliberate than writing with a normal or stub nib (at least with the cheap flex nibs I own), and I find it works much better when writing larger.



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#62 A Smug Dill

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 07:19

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.


I don't dispute that at all. However, I also come from a different school (of thought), so to speak. When I learnt knife-fighting, while there was consideration as to which weapons are just too unsuited to a particular individual for whatever reason, the focus was on technique and outcome; enjoyment of "bonding" with the weapon at hand had little or no part to play, and any "user satisfaction" was primarily based on smooth, proper execution of techniques and success if achieving the desired outcomes. I personally approach the skill/practice of "beautiful" handwriting — even if it doesn't nearly qualify as calligraphy — in much the same way.

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.


Exactly why I like pens such as the Pilot Namiki Falcon. It can produce that style of handwriting at 2.5mm x-height, specifically because it isn't a "wet noodle".

I'm hoping a vintage noodle with a fine nib will be the "secret sauce" to writing with a bit of flair. :P


Have you tried a Pilot Elabo/Namiki Falcon with SEF nib, or perhaps a Pilot Justus 95 with F nib?

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.


#63 Honeybadgers

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 01:26

Honestly, if "learning" is a goal, a 2mm lead holder, a regular wooden pencil, or an inexpensive dip pen are ideal. They can vary line widths with pressure in very predictable ways for low prices. The reason is that they have more "instant" snap. Whereas modern flex nibs require that you release pressure almost halfway down the stroke, a pencil or dip nib won't require it until the veeeeery end. It makes the downstrokes much more forgiving.

 

But the only real modern "flex" pens that come to my mind are pens with dip nib units, a-la desiderata, osprey, and flexible nib factory. A semi-flex option would be the pilot FA nib. It's soft and flexible enough to move at a good pace while still providing decent shades with good enough snapback and doesn't require that "focus" of other options.

 

Everything else requires a bit too much really specific feel for the pen itself. I don't think the ultraflex FPR nibs are a good way to learn, since they're not very responsive. They're more for artsy ornamental stuff, but not for everyday flare. The long slit also makes them a little prone to hard starting when writing quickly, in particular printing or writing numbers.

 

I don't think the pilot falcon really does much for my handwriting in stock form. I'm even a little disappointed with the flex and softness in the full spencerian customization. It's still nowhere near approaching a vintage semiflex. The angle of the nib itself doesn't really work well unless I'm going slowly. it writes well, but it's not really soft or flexy. I love the pen, but it's really inferior to the FA nib as a flex tool. Only bummer for me is the FA only comes in F. So I'm going to have mine ground to a needlepoint.

 

I do like the justus 95. I also wish it came in at least an EF option as well. And the feed will struggle to keep up when flex writing in cursive.

 

Gil, I don't follow your logic. Wet noodles have nothing to do with flex, only pressure. You don't even use vintage pens.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 04 January 2020 - 01:28.

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


#64 A Smug Dill

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 04:42

Wet noodles have nothing to do with flex, only pressure. You don't even use vintage pens.

 

 

I don't want anything that stays deformed, albeit elastically, for an extended amount of time even after the pressure has been removed. To me, the "noodle" part indicates that quality — floppy and sloppy, instead of having a tendency to spring-back rapidly but for the user constantly applying and moderating pressure to keep the tines deformed (for intended writing effects). I also don't like "wet" for its own sake; ideal ink flow should be controlled and controllable. I don't mind spending five minutes writing each simple thank-you card with two sentences in however good a calligraphic hand I can manage as a rank amateur; that's the time when I want "flex", and every swell should be tightly controlled, being fattest in the middle of a curve and then tapering back down immediately past the apex, as soon as I start reducing the pressure. The Pilot FA nib fails to respond that way, and that why I ultimately decided mine wasn't fit for purpose and into the trash it goes, after I've "punished" it by snapping it in two for all the annoyance it caused me. Whereas the Pilot Elabo/Namiki Falcon will push back at my hand all the time and want to return to its original shape, so I can much more easily moderate how wide the track of ink is from moment to moment.


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.


#65 SoulSamurai

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Posted 05 January 2020 - 10:28

Whereas modern flex nibs require that you release pressure almost halfway down the stroke

 

 

Is that necessary for the "hairlines"? I've been maintaining pressure until the end then lifting the nib "away" from myself to get a flat bottom on strokes, but the following upstroke ends up so flooded with ink that it's not nearly as fine as the nib is capable of.



#66 sidthecat

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:36

I'm going to suggest you seek out a pen show. Try every nib that interests you, new or vintage, and get a sense of what you may like. It may send to down the rabbit hole, but that's the risk of the game.



#67 Vunter

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 19:50

I'm going to suggest you seek out a pen show. Try every nib that interests you, new or vintage, and get a sense of what you may like. It may send to down the rabbit hole, but that's the risk of the game.

 

Yeah I'd like to goto a show, but being a college student with no money really this would be very bad lol.  I'd leave the show being in debt lol. 



#68 timotheap

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Posted 08 January 2020 - 21:10

Just wanted to add my 2 cents about Conklin Omniflex: the first nib I got was really bad. I managed to "tune" it a bit so it wouldn't scratch so much, but it was very stiff and would dig into the paper when flexed. Goulet Pens were really kind and sent me a replacement unit: the flex was really nice (easier than my Ahab), same line variation I would say, but wouldn't write when non flexed (hard starts, skipping, very dry on up and side strokes). I ended up splaying the tines... After tightening them again I can write "normal writing" but I won't be flexing much... 

 

As a side note, my Ahab is a joy to use. 







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



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