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Lamy Al-Star Ocean Blue - new review


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Ann Finley

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 20:50

Lamy Ocean Blue Al-Star




First Impressions:

Besides being an attractive pen, what impressed me the most (and has impressed me with other pens in this series) was that the pen wrote immediately, just as it was from the factory…No cleaning & rinsing or fiddling with the EF nib was necessary for it to start up and write without skipping!

Pen Design:

It was a smart move on Lamy’s part to design this pen to accommodate both larger and smaller hands. This is a considerably larger pen, both in length and girth, than I normally use. No problem. The light weight aluminum Al-Star (which is only barely heavier than the plastic Lamy Safari) is comfortable in my small hand.

I’ve found the unusual looking triangular, flat-sided grip section to be easy and natural to hold, including when I’m using an italic nib for italic writing.

The flat sides of the barrel both give the pen it’s unique look and keep the pen from rolling off of your desk if you set it down with the cap off. The barrel has open slots for ink level viewing. When I first saw the clip in this series of pens, I didn’t think I liked it—but it has grown on me.

Another clever and useful design feature is the slide-off nib. I use the side of a fingernail file at the base of the nib to push it forward & off, and slide another nib on with my fingers. Since this can easily be done while the pen is inked, it’s especially handy! This is what I did in the example shown.

Converter’s are sold separately for these pens, but the designer had the presence of mind to put little bumps on the sides of the converters which fit into slots in the section so that you can tell if you’ve seated the converter properly. It’s the little details like this that make it quite apparent that a lot of thought went into the design. For the most part, I’ve avoided c/c pens in recent purchases, preferring piston fillers, but these Lamy’s are a happy exception.

Nibs:

The EF nib that came with this pen was “just right”—neither too dry nor too wet. In general, my experience has been that their pointed nibs seem to write on the dry side and their italic nibs seem to be wet writers—sometimes too wet for me. On an older pen I carefully heated the feed and pressed it toward the italic nib, and this has helped. Only one (out of three) of my EF nibs was somewhat scratchy when I got it, and it easily smoothed out on 3M crocus cloth. I’ve never had a Lamy nib that didn’t write.

In Conclusion:

I wanted this pretty blue Al-Star because, already owning a couple of Safaris, I simply felt that I could trust that the pen would work well. It did not disappoint! I got mine from one of our new FPN members, Lily, at JetPens. You can take a look at what they’ve got in their JetPens ad in our pens for sale section in our marketplace. It was very pleasant to deal with Lily and the shipping was very prompt. (Usual disclaimer—I have no affiliation with JetPens.)

It still amazes me when an inexpensive pen works better OTB than some expensive pens do. And it’s a definite plus when an inexpensive pen is loaded with design features that other inexpensive pens lack. For sure, this pen is a winner!





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#2 HDoug

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 21:02

QUOTE(Ann Finley @ Mar 24 2008, 10:50 AM) View Post
It still amazes me when an inexpensive pen works better OTB than some expensive pens do.


Ditto! That's why I'm a fan of the Safari/AL-stars. Great review, especially the graphic combination of two of your wonderful handwriting styles, the pen, and the frame. Ooo blue...! Thanks much for posting.

Doug


#3 Ann Finley

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 14:56

Thanks, Doug--I've read your "color change" Al-Star review review. Hope I get to see one of those in person sometime. I know, I could just go ahead and buy one, but I'm trying to focus more on filling in "usage" gaps with pens to match/go with inks. smile.gif

Best, Ann

#4 Takehiko

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 15:13

Hi Ann, I just bought my first Safari and am wishing I had gotten the F nib instead of M. Is it possible to purchase just the nib and change it yourself? Where would I get it if such a thing were available? Thanks!

#5 Ann Finley

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 15:30

Three places that I can think of that sell the nibs separately are: Pendemonium, Swisher's, and Pear Tree Pens. The nibs are about $11. or $12.

Hope this helps! smile.gif

Best, Ann

#6 Shiny Pink Pens

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 21:05

QUOTE(Ann Finley @ Mar 24 2008, 04:50 PM) View Post
Lamy Ocean Blue Al-Star




First Impressions:

Besides being an attractive pen, what impressed me the most (and has impressed me with other pens in this series) was that the pen wrote immediately, just as it was from the factory…No cleaning & rinsing or fiddling with the EF nib was necessary for it to start up and write without skipping!

Pen Design:

It was a smart move on Lamy’s part to design this pen to accommodate both larger and smaller hands. This is a considerably larger pen, both in length and girth, than I normally use. No problem. The light weight aluminum Al-Star (which is only barely heavier than the plastic Lamy Safari) is comfortable in my small hand.

I’ve found the unusual looking triangular, flat-sided grip section to be easy and natural to hold, including when I’m using an italic nib for italic writing.

The flat sides of the barrel both give the pen it’s unique look and keep the pen from rolling off of your desk if you set it down with the cap off. The barrel has open slots for ink level viewing. When I first saw the clip in this series of pens, I didn’t think I liked it—but it has grown on me.

Another clever and useful design feature is the slide-off nib. I use the side of a fingernail file at the base of the nib to push it forward & off, and slide another nib on with my fingers. Since this can easily be done while the pen is inked, it’s especially handy! This is what I did in the example shown.

Converter’s are sold separately for these pens, but the designer had the presence of mind to put little bumps on the sides of the converters which fit into slots in the section so that you can tell if you’ve seated the converter properly. It’s the little details like this that make it quite apparent that a lot of thought went into the design. For the most part, I’ve avoided c/c pens in recent purchases, preferring piston fillers, but these Lamy’s are a happy exception.

Nibs:

The EF nib that came with this pen was “just right”—neither too dry nor too wet. In general, my experience has been that their pointed nibs seem to write on the dry side and their italic nibs seem to be wet writers—sometimes too wet for me. On an older pen I carefully heated the feed and pressed it toward the italic nib, and this has helped. Only one (out of three) of my EF nibs was somewhat scratchy when I got it, and it easily smoothed out on 3M crocus cloth. I’ve never had a Lamy nib that didn’t write.

In Conclusion:

I wanted this pretty blue Al-Star because, already owning a couple of Safaris, I simply felt that I could trust that the pen would work well. It did not disappoint! I got mine from one of our new FPN members, Lily, at JetPens. You can take a look at what they’ve got in their JetPens ad in our pens for sale section in our marketplace. It was very pleasant to deal with Lily and the shipping was very prompt. (Usual disclaimer—I have no affiliation with JetPens.)

It still amazes me when an inexpensive pen works better OTB than some expensive pens do. And it’s a definite plus when an inexpensive pen is loaded with design features that other inexpensive pens lack. For sure, this pen is a winner!



#7 ajaxline

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 00:00

I love my Lamy AL-Star Ocean Blue (M). It is an incredibly smooth writer, feels great in the hand, and looks fantastic. I loaded mine with PR Midnight Blues, and it's become a favorite for writing time.

Cheers,
A.J.

In an infinite universe, everything must exist.

#8 Shiny Pink Pens

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 07:07

Great Review of a pen that writes better than most costing 10 times the money. And, finally, Lamy has added some color to their minimalist ways. Looks great and I will be getting one. Thanks for a great review...and I do mean GREAT. Best of Luck.

#9 pcolbeck

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 10:03

QUOTE(Shiny Pink Pens @ Apr 8 2008, 08:07 AM) View Post
Great Review of a pen that writes better than most costing 10 times the money. And, finally, Lamy has added some color to their minimalist ways. Looks great and I will be getting one. Thanks for a great review...and I do mean GREAT. Best of Luck.

Oh boy have they added colour! I have one of these and it's bluer than a very blue thing. I might have to get the red as well.

#10 Ondina

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 07:05

The pen and the ink choice is just lovely. One of the strongest points of the Lamy is that you can change nibs so easily and affordabily that is no way other company can beat that. Now, if they only made a flex nib.....

I really love Herbin inks, and that blue is close to divine, matching the pen to perfection.

Thanks for the review.

#11 Falcon user

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 21:49

Very nice pen

#12 streeton

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 08:08

Gorgeous pen and beautiful writing.

3 points of issue when comparing with the safaris. The ink window is not as nicely chamfered on the Al-star and I would love this with the black clip like the previous model safari - black clip with deep deep blue is a real stunner. The other difference is that the safari cap and barrel make a perfect round seal but with the Al-star there is a flat part of the barrel that extends to the black o ring and when the cap is placed on there is a flat part on 2 sides against the round cap so a perfect "round" is not formed between cap and barrel. But of course I'm just being minutely picky.

Edited by streeton, 17 November 2010 - 08:23.







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