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Brief Comparison Of Various Lamy Extra Fine Nibs' Output

gold steel ef z50 z52 z53 z55 z56 z57 lamy 2000

13 replies to this topic

#1 A Smug Dill

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 03:53

These are writing samples using just a single unit of each model of LAMY EF nib I have, without any claim or implication that one unit of (say) Z55 EF nib will be identical or comparable with a different unit of such.
 
The first six nibs were all fitted in turn onto the same feed on the same pen drawing from the same reservoir (i.e. converter) of LAMY Benitoite ink. Each nib was cleaned in a dilute solution of ammonia and detergent and patted dry on a paper towel immediately before fitting on the LAMY cp1 pen used, then pressed against a paper towel until the ink being drawn through is dark enough, then written with on another sheet of Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper until the colour and flow appear stabilised.
 
The last of the nibs listed is the EF nib that came fitted on my LAMY 2000 blue Bauhaus pen.
 
fpn_1577071504__comparison_of_lamy_ef_ni
 
There are discernible but relatively minor differences between the ink flow and output of the first six nibs; the LAMY 2000's EF nib is what stood out as glaringly different, and incidentally I find its output the least pleasing.
 
The first nib is somewhat scratchy, to the point that it ripped and picked up fibres from the paper surface from time to time. I don't suppose every Z50 EF nib is equally as damaging, but I didn't feel like either going through my other Z50 EF nibs to find a better, smoother unit to test, or modifying the nib such that it is significantly different from factory condition (or at least as it was supplied to me by the retailer) by smoothing it with micro-mesh.
 
The Z52 and Z53 nibs are both harder than the Z50 nib, but can put down lines that are at least equally as broad when pressed.
 
The gold nibs feel softer than the steel nibs, and I can physically see more elastic deformation in the body when they are pressed, but their tines don't spread as far apart and thus the "maximum" line widths are not as broad.
 
Even though there has been several reports that the EF nibs on LAMY Dialog 3 pens — which use Z55 nibs — exhibit the characteristic of an architect's grind, in that lines left by downstrokes are narrow and cross-strokes wider, the one I tested proves not every Z55 EF nib is like that. (I have two Z55 EF nibs, but I haven't looked at the other one yet; it's on a new pen that only arrived on the weekend.)
 
The Z57 EF nib tested had more of the Sailor Zoom nib-like quality, in that the incident angle between nib and page changes the line widths of cross-strokes notably.
 
The Lamy 200 EF nib is wettest and broadest of them all, and has the least potential for delivering line variation through hand pressure moderation or fluctuation. Ugh.

 

<EDIT>

I just tested another Z50 EF nib, and it was as scratchy as the one used above. Alrighty then, micro-mesh it is.

 

All better now.


Edited by A Smug Dill, 23 December 2019 - 04:37.

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.


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#2 tamiya

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 05:14

Neat lineup! The L2k line looks a lot wetter.

Yeah I've polished & tweaked all my Lamys in use... if only to matchup with the first Al-Star that came from a proper penshop. It's generously wet & smooth; the others bought untested from other sources usually aren't.

#3 WLSpec

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Posted 23 December 2019 - 14:37

That's really great, thanks for sharing! As Tamiya said, it is interesting to see the glaring difference in the line of the 2k vs. all of the other Z model nibs. 



#4 Intensity

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 01:12

Very useful, thank you!  My favorite Lamy nib in feel is Z55 gold, around fine or so.  One I had had amazing pencil-like feedback and very pleasant dampened feel, not so much springy.  Next favorite is Lamy 1.5mm steel nib.  Everything else is a disappointment :(  Don't like my modern/latest Lamy 2000 nib at all--only keeping the pen and sent it to a nibmeister because I like the rest of the pen.  I would have preferred for my Lamy 2000 to somehow have the Z55 nib with a hood overhang.


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#5 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 24 December 2019 - 14:03

I've read often that the 2000's nib is a tad wider than Lamy Steel. They are made upstairs in a separate room, with old fashioned machinery. (60's or so looking machinery)

(The ball point cartridge making machines,  is defiantly '60's.I expected more up to date, but why, turns out enough, with long paid for equipment.)

 

When I visited the factory 5-6 years ago, the steel nib making machinery was down stairs and quite large, 4 yards by 10, with one man changing the diamond dust coated rubber cutting disks.

 

Goulet visited the factory with in the last year or so, and has a vid of the new smaller, lower and shorter steel nib making machine.

 

There is still tolerance be it man made or machine made. It looks like the 2000's nib is on the fat side of tolerance.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#6 Honeybadgers

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 08:41

It's interesting how the Z5X gold nibs don't have that architect-like effect that's so common. Do you hold the pen at a 50+ degree angle? Because when I asked endlesspens, I was told that every lamy EF gold nib they had, had that little pseudo-architect effect of an F/M cross stroke at a 40-45 degree angle.

 

The 2000 nib doesn't look wider. it looks wetter.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 25 December 2019 - 08:42.

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


#7 A Smug Dill

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Posted 25 December 2019 - 23:22

Do you hold the pen at a 50+ degree angle?


Yes, as in steeper and closer to vertical when I write.
 
By the way, just to be clear, I held both the Lamy 200 and the cp1 at similar angles when I did the comparative samples above.
 
<EDIT>
I just filmed myself writing with my Lamy 2000 in both Chinese and English, and did some measurements in GIMP on a number of frames. I typically hold my pen at 62°±4° when writing to fit 5mm spacing. (Not that easy to hold the camera in my left hand so that the orientation of the lens is perpendicular to the slit on the nib when viewed from above!) On the steeper end of that range when writing in Chinese kaishu, and on the shallower side when writing in English cursive script.

fpn_1577323234__the_angle_at_which_i_hol

 
That incidentally seems to match how Platinum gives its chart of line widths against different nib width grades, but I certainly wasn't trying deliberately to make it "fit".
 

Because when I asked endlesspens, I was told that every lamy EF gold nib they had, had that little pseudo-architect effect of an F/M cross stroke at a 40-45 degree angle.

 
Such a shallow angle is largely irrelevant to my applications that employ fountain pens, unless I'm pushing a Fude nib or Zoom nib (or something along those lines) to create "special effects". I can't even write properly (in English cursive script) for more than one or two short lines at a time when holding a pen like that.
 

The 2000 nib doesn't look wider. it looks wetter.

fpn_1577315749__comparison_of_lamy_ef_ni

The lines put down by my Lamy 2000 blue Bauhaus certainly look broader to me. You're of course welcome to disagree.


Edited by A Smug Dill, 26 December 2019 - 01:21.

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.


#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 27 December 2019 - 15:49

Unless using an Italic nib where I hold it more vertical (& canted 45 degrees) and before my big index knuckle, I hold all my pens at 45 max just after the big index finger knuckle, more often at 40 degrees the start of the web of the thumb, unless the pen is very heavy/long, when it slips into the pit of the web of my thumb, held at 35 degrees.

The exact hold angle depends on the length, weight of a fountain pen for me.....I can control the angle by moving my thumb up or down the body of the fountain pen. I do use the 'forefinger up' hold.

I do post, in I seldom use Large pens. (Snorkel being thin is a great posting pen in it is thin and is a great balanced large pen.)

Even my Kugal nibs (Geha and Osmia KMs)  I hold low...but can hold it vertical  like a ball point or a pencil as an alternative, in such nibs were made for that.

 

In some like holding a fountain pen like a ball point pen is one of the reasons Pelikan makes double kugal/ball nibs today...as normal.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#9 Honeybadgers

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Posted 29 December 2019 - 08:39

Yes, as in steeper and closer to vertical when I write.
 
By the way, just to be clear, I held both the Lamy 200 and the cp1 at similar angles when I did the comparative samples above.
 
<EDIT>
I just filmed myself writing with my Lamy 2000 in both Chinese and English, and did some measurements in GIMP on a number of frames. I typically hold my pen at 62°±4° when writing to fit 5mm spacing. (Not that easy to hold the camera in my left hand so that the orientation of the lens is perpendicular to the slit on the nib when viewed from above!) On the steeper end of that range when writing in Chinese kaishu, and on the shallower side when writing in English cursive script.

fpn_1577323234__the_angle_at_which_i_hol

 
That incidentally seems to match how Platinum gives its chart of line widths against different nib width grades, but I certainly wasn't trying deliberately to make it "fit".
 

 
Such a shallow angle is largely irrelevant to my applications that employ fountain pens, unless I'm pushing a Fude nib or Zoom nib (or something along those lines) to create "special effects". I can't even write properly (in English cursive script) for more than one or two short lines at a time when holding a pen like that.
 

fpn_1577315749__comparison_of_lamy_ef_ni

The lines put down by my Lamy 2000 blue Bauhaus certainly look broader to me. You're of course welcome to disagree.

 

That explains it. The Z5x would run a proper EF at the high angle you use. Lucky, you can actually take advantage of the nib that way to get the cool architect effect when you want it and normal EF when not. I have a much more traditional western pointed pen style of hand and it's right in the fattest spot on my dialog 3, so I am having to get it ground.

 

My 2000 EF is pretty close to my other lamy EF's. But it is wetter. And it's more square and definitely doesn't have that architect like foot that my dialog 3 has (which can give my cross strokes and cursive a flat out western medium overall line) But they're also hand ground and known to vary quite a bit, so who knows. I'm looking at it from a computer screen, you have it in person. 


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


#10 A Smug Dill

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 14:01

I just tested another Z50 EF nib, and it was as scratchy as the one used above. Alrighty then, micro-mesh it is.


I unboxed and inked up a new LAMY cp1 for my wife tonight, and its Z50 EF nib was also scratchy and wrote noisily, especially with cross-strokes (in both directions, but more so going right-to-left).

The Z50 EF nib on my LAMY Accent isn't quite as bad, although I can still definitely hear the cross-strokes made with it on a Rhodia Dotpad. I had it in mind for a while now to fit a Z53 EF nib on that pen anyway, so I swapped out its Z50 nib and put it on my wife's new pen while I was at it. The Z53 — designed to fit on a Aion — nib writes much more smoothly and less noisily, notwithstanding being slightly stubby in character (but still puts down acceptably narrow lines), and in my opinion looks a lot better on the Accent than the Z50 does.

By the way, I was pleasantly surprised that in spite of not having uncapped my Accent for seven weeks — since 12/11/2019, according to my log book — not only was the pen ready to write as soon as the cap came off, but the ink hasn't darkened at all. When I unscrewed the barrel to inspect the ink level in the converter, it's remains nearly full; I verified that is the case by moving the piston mechanism slowly until a bead (not bubble!) of ink emerged from the square hole on the underside of the feed, then back to full-fill position, and then repeating the exercise again to drive out all the air inside the converter. That is very impressive cap effectiveness for a LAMY pen; the cap of my beloved cp1 in black is acceptably good in that regard, but this is definitely better.

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.


#11 Jamerelbe

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Posted 30 December 2019 - 23:52

I unboxed and inked up a new LAMY cp1 for my wife tonight, and its Z50 EF nib was also scratchy and wrote noisily, especially with cross-strokes (in both directions, but more so going right-to-left).

The Z50 EF nib on my LAMY Accent isn't quite as bad, although I can still definitely hear the cross-strokes made with it on a Rhodia Dotpad. I had it in mind for a while now to fit a Z53 EF nib on that pen anyway, so I swapped out its Z50 nib and put it on my wife's new pen while I was at it. The Z53 — designed to fit on a Aion — nib writes much more smoothly and less noisily, notwithstanding being slightly stubby in character (but still puts down acceptably narrow lines), and in my opinion looks a lot better on the Accent than the Z50 does.

By the way, I was pleasantly surprised that in spite of not having uncapped my Accent for seven weeks — since 12/11/2019, according to my log book — not only was the pen ready to write as soon as the cap came off, but the ink hasn't darkened at all. When I unscrewed the barrel to inspect the ink level in the converter, it's remains nearly full; I verified that is the case by moving the piston mechanism slowly until a bead (not bubble!) of ink emerged from the square hole on the underside of the feed, then back to full-fill position, and then repeating the exercise again to drive out all the air inside the converter. That is very impressive cap effectiveness for a LAMY pen; the cap of my beloved cp1 in black is acceptably good in that regard, but this is definitely better.

 

I think you may have more Lamy EF nibs than I do, but my limited experience (and anecdotal reports from others) suggests these nibs are *more* likely to suffer from scratchiness than others - Lamy's QC leaves a bit to be desired!  I did a bit of nib adjustment to mine (including a light 'polish' of the tip with micromesh), and it now writes quite smoothly.



#12 A Smug Dill

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 00:58

I think you may have more Lamy EF nibs than I do,

 

 

Probably. I have maybe seven LAMY Z50 EF nibs all up, and as you can see above, one or two units of each of the other steel and gold EF nibs. It's only with the Z50 nibs that I have the problem of scratchiness, it seems; the Z52 and Z53 EF nibs are hard and smooth. Even after micro-meshing the Z50 nibs, the cross-strokes are still relatively noisy, but as long as they aren't tearing the surface of the paper and ripping up fibres, that's not a big deal.


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.


#13 Intensity

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 20:19

My 2 Lamy 2000 EF nibs -- both purchased in 2019 -- were quite different.  Both were well-aligned and symmetrical, looking at them in high magnification.  First had no sweet spot whatsoever, and I wasn't sure what the whole "sweet spot" discussion was even about.  It wrote well at any angle with the vertical and rotation.  My second one had a problem of skipping and running dry unless I rotated and tilted the pen just right, and even then it was difficult to maintain the pen in that position so it would start skipping quickly.  It had the famous "sweet spot" and was very unpleasant to write with.  I did try different vertical angles as well as different inks.  It also wrote a bit wider than the first one, with more noticeable architect grind.

 

Moral of the story is: 2 nibs, few months apart, new batches, same user, very different experience.


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#14 MuddyWaters

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Posted 31 December 2019 - 20:32

for truly EF nib, get a Wing Sung 6359 replacement nib.


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




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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: gold, steel, ef, z50, z52, z53, z55, z56, z57, lamy 2000



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