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Esterbrook J Transitional with 1555 nib

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5 replies to this topic

#1 JeffTL



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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:52

Today, to see how much they actually put in there, I decided to empty out a Parker cartridge into a film canister. Not much there compared to an ink bottle, but enough to fill up one of my Esties and take it for a spin.

This was my first time writing with a fine-nib fountain pen or an Estie-- are they generally this dry, or is it just the shorthand nib?

As for writing quality, as a 1555 the nib is of course scratchy; since I don't know shorthand I can't really evaluate its performance for such, but for small printing it's pretty nice -- rather dry for my tastes, and had tipping materials have since the heyday of Esterbrook trickled down to comparably-priced (inflation adjusted) pens like the Parker Reflex, but it's lightyears ahead of a ballpoint at any rate.

The pen itself, a black J with one jewel (of the type used on the double jewel pens) and no registered-trademark symbol, fits my hand very comfortably. I'll be on the lookout for a 9xxx tipped nib, though; a medium would be particularly nice, but the fun thing about Esterbrooks is that the nibs can be changed so easily.

Final grades:
Nib (Esterbrook 1555 Renew-Point): B; it feels dry to me, but great at what it does well, small printing.
Pen (early Esterbrook J): A, rock solid writing instrument with a good feel to it.

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#2 JeffTL



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Posted 08 September 2005 - 02:02

I've been writing a bit more with the Gregg nib and I think I've finally gotten the hang of fine nibs -- and good thing, since they are good for feathery paper.

#3 KendallJ


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Posted 08 September 2005 - 03:17

Jeff -

I hate the 155x series. I've managed to grind a few into fine stubs which are much better points.

Kendall Justiniano
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#4 Brian Anderson

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 04:27

The 1555 Gregg nibs are generally bad news, usually scratchy, and called the "paper shredder" in some circles for good reason. Definitely NOT representative of how an Esterbrook writes.

The 1551 nibs, however, are medium width student nibs, and are the younger sibling of the 2668. My first Esterbrook had a 1551 and was one of the smoothest nibs I've ever seen. It was one of the reasons I decided to collect them, it was high performance for not a lot of money.

www.esterbrook.net All Esterbrook, All the Time.

#5 JeffTL



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Posted 08 September 2005 - 05:34

Thanks for the information, Kendall and Brian.

Looks like I'll be looking for more nibs, whether they include the rest of the pen or not :) The chase is on. Your tips as to good nibs to look out for will be most useful.


#6 Ann Finley

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 07:33

Jeff, just to confuse the issue, my 1551 nib isn't quite as good as my 1555 nib!

My favorite is the 2556. :)

Best, Ann

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