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  1. Hey there Everyone, This is my first post in a long while but I've been driven back here for the same reason that originally brought many of us together: I'm looking for a new pen to buy! As the title says I'm looking for a pen that would be good for writing Japanese characters - Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. I'm currently taking a Japanese class and not knowing the writing systems well is crippling as we're already expected to use full Hiragana on assignments and are currently learning Katakana. (After less than three weeks) I'm no foreigner to language classes but this is my first non-Western language and I want to make writing practice a bit more enjoyable. I think we can all agree that joyful writing and fountain pens go hand in hand. I currently own a Lamy Safari - EF, Lamy Studio - F, a F Aurora of a model I can't currently recall but it was about $100 at the Fountain Pen Hospital and a F Parker IM. I like each of these pens but it's been quite some time since my last pen purchase and this is good enough cause for me. Seeing as this will be my go to pen for any and all Japanese writing (and I'll be doing quite a bit of it) I'm willing to invest a bit but am still restricted by a students budget. Something in the $100-$150 range is comfortable and a bit more is possible. I'm looking for something with good line variation. Japanese characters were originally made with a brush and a pen with more variation will give a similar effect. Something a bit lighter than the Studio would be nice. I find my hand tires out when going so slow and concentrating on each character while using it. I always love an elegant nib but that's pretty secondary if the pen writes like a true gem. Other than that I have no preferences. Pen colour and body material are totally open. Thanks in advanced for your insight and happy writing!
  2. Dear Fountain Pen Network, [i've highlighted the very relevant passages for those who can't afford the time to read through all!] firstly, let me introduce myself and what I am exactly hoping to find here. I am a student from Germany, currently waiting for my study pass to study electrical engineering. Therefore I am searching for general advice on extra-fine nib fountain pens, companies who sell those and of course, availability. During my Abitur (probably high-school in US), I was using a simple Lamy Safari with a fine nib, which did not exactly fit my handwriting very well. It is still too big for my taste and I've sometimes heard complaints not about the style, but the tininess of my writing. As I was attempting to fix this issue, I stopped writing script-style and started with the usual "block"-style. Furthermore, I tried to use a different angle on the tip of the pen so that the width further decreased. Western nib sizes could not offer me the width japanese companies have in their products, if you happen to know specialty nibs for a reasonable price which fit on fountain pens from western countries, please contact me! ; ) Ok so I've decided to do some research on fountain pens and came to the conclusion that the european market simply is not suited for those products (at least in Germany), neither Sailor nor Premium sell their products and even Pilot only has a very few products available. I've found those products on the internet, those best describe what I am exactly searching for. Beside the Pilot VP, they offer the normal kind of fountain pen (classy design). Pilot Custom Heritage 912, estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 180€ ($245) Sailor Professional Gear Silver, estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 175€ ($238) Pilot Vanishing Point Fermo, estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231) Pilot Vanishing Point Decimo, estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 132€ ($180) Platinum 3776 #1 Black, estimated price incl. shipping cost and tax: 170€ ($231) all of those feature an extra-fine nib, which I am searching for. If you're curious about the prices: It's the cheapest I found them online. Bear in mind that those prices are calculated differently because tax is added up on top: (Price of product itself + shipping cost) * 1,19 * 1,135 1,19 = 19% VAT; 1,135 = 13,5% customs duty The customs duty is only added if the package (product + shipping cost) cost above 150€ ($202), otherwise "only" 19% is added. All of the fountain pens recommended must therefore be at a maximum price of 150€ ($202), including shipping cost to Europe. As one can see, it is very pricy for me to buy those fountain pens, so I am eager to find one that best suits my purpose which is everyday writing. Feel free to suggest pens which don't appear on this list, in terms of style I would rather like a decent pen in black, silver or dark blue with silver accents. I don't really like gold much, but if the price is right, I may take a look at those, too. Another thing I would like to adress is that I don't know if the Vanishing Point suit me since I am not using the common tripod-grip, my thumb is a lot higher, touching the point-finger between the first and second joint. I am not sure whether I can change that without putting hours in it, I've tried it and unless I am writing very slow, the handwriting does not look good (still readable though). In the next week I can probably test if the clip is a problem for me or not and I am a bit worried about the placement of the nib, too. Regarding the Pilot Custom Heritage 912: I would like to know if someone has experience with the PO-nib, especially in comparison to the EF nib. Sorry for the wall of text guys, but at this price, I have to be very precise at what I am searching for. This is my first post here and I hope that I'm in the right forum section for this kind of threads. If you've came down here, thank you for your time to read through the whole thing! Yours sincerely, R201
  3. Sailor 1911 Profit, Fine Nib, Ivory Body I realize there are several reviews of the Sailor 1911 Profit, but I don't seem to see many pictures of the ivory body. I decided to put in my two cents and also have some reference pictures available for anyone else who wants to check out the pen before buying. The pictures I have seen prior to receiving this pen made it difficult to determine whether or not the pen was a bright white or a true ivory. I can happily say that it's a lovely off white colour and that I am very pleased with it. What follows is my picture heavy mini review. I would highly recommend the pen, and it is honestly my favourite pen overall (I had a burgundy one that I have sadly misplaced). The pen came with a standard Sailor box, that seems price appropriate, a converter, two cartridges, and an instruction manual. The pen was a birthday present from my girlfriend, and I appreciate it a lot. She's far too kind to me and indulges my hobby. The Review: Appearance and Design: 8 The classic cigar shape of the pen is fitting, though admittedly uninspired. I very much like the ivory colour and I think it's a step up from white. It looks like a nice warm pen, and the gold trim only adds to the appeal. The clip is also classic and uninspired, but far from ugly. It fits with the pen and all in all it looks very classy. In my book, it does get bonus points for being ivory coloured. If you don't care for the colour as much as I do, I would say the design is a 7, since it's unoriginal but well executed. The Pen DSCF6769 by makey95, on Flickr The Trim DSCF6774 by makey95, on Flickr Construction and Quality: 9 The pen feels very well made, and is very sturdy. The threads where the cap screws on are smooth and rounded, and they never interfere with the grip. There's not a single loose part in the pen, and it seems sturdy enough to take drops while capped. The resin body feels durable, and nothing about the pen seems cheap. The nib and feed are friction fit, and they can easily be pulled out, but they're not loose at all and are a snug fit. Nib and Feed DSCF6777 by makey95, on Flickr Weight and Dimensions: 10 The pen feels like it's made to be posted, and once posted feels perfectly balanced. Unposted, it is a tad too short for my hands, and feels rather light. Capped the pen measures around 5.25" and uncapped it is about 4.625" unposted. Posted, the pen is about 6" long. The diameter of the grip seems to be around .375". It is a medium-light pen, but I can write with it for hours at a time without my hand tiring. Nib and Performance: 10 Honestly this is my favourite modern nib/favourite non-flex nib. I've tried a few flex nibs that come close to being the joy that this one is, but even they pale in comparison. It is honestly one of the most enjoyable writing experiences that I have experienced. For such a fine nib, it is extraordinarily smooth and has almost no feedback, but still enough to let you feel the paper enough to enjoy the ride. The feed does a superb job of keeping up and it never has any hard starts or skips. The nib wrote immediately, even after being left out to take the photographs. The Nib DSCF6783 by makey95, on Flickr The Feed DSCF6775 by makey95, on Flickr Filling System and Maintenance: 7 The pen uses a cartridge converter system, and despite that has great ink flow. The converter does not hold all that much, but it's certainly enough to last several days of note taking. Having a cartridge converter system makes maintenance easy enough, but the friction fit nib and feed makes cleaning out the pen a breeze. Just take it apart, wash it, dry it, and it's quick and easy to move from a black ink to say a light yellow-orange. Normally I would give cartridge converter pens a 5, utterly average, neither good nor bad, but the ease of maintenance warrants a higher grade. Cost and Value: 10 This tends to be highly subjective, but for a pen that I consider to be the best writing experience, with a marvelous fine nib, easy maintenance, and perfect balance, I would say that the $100 that my girlfriend paid for it was reasonable. I would be personally willing to pay the full U.S. price for this pen (with tax, around 180 dollars). Conclusion: Highly recommended, if you couldn't tell. A word of warning, every once in a while I do see a Sailor 1911/Pro Gear or two out of the box (I've worked with a few over the years) with misaligned tines, but that's usually a quick fix. I have never seen a Sailor 1911 Standard that, once aligned, does not write smoothly. The majority of Sailors that I have seen write perfectly out of the box. Writing Sample/First impression review (Muji Notebook) DSCF6787 by makey95, on Flickr Final Words: Thanks for reading, feel free to mention your own thoughts on the pen, the colour, or my pictures. I tried my best to accurately pick up the colour of the body. I cannot thank my girlfriend enough for the gift, and I know it will see a lot of use. The only thing that I'm worried about is staining the ivory body. I've been looking into leather pen slips/holders for this pen, and I would appreciate any cheap but durable recommendations. I would like around 10 dollars, 15 maximum for the holder. I hope the review was informative.
  4. Hi friends! I received a few EMS packages today, and one of them contained the newest addition to my Sailor rotation. I found it on the famous auction site, where the seller claimed it was from the 1940s, but I have no idea whether that is accurate. Can any of you identify the pen? That knowledge would make me happy. The pen bears the name Sailor in white on the barrel, but not on the nib. It has a plain aluminum or silver-plated cap and a 14K yellow gold wraparound nib reminiscent of S.T. Dupont nibs. The thing I really like about the pen stylistically is the juxtaposition of the white inlay on the section against the black barrel; it reminds me of a tuxedo or piano keys. This pen has an EF tip, and it belonged to someone named M. Ihara, whose name is engraved in cursive Roman script on the barrel. The filling system is a squeeze sac. I had to spend about an hour flushing out decades of dried-out ink from the bladder, feed and nib. I can't even believe how much clumped-up gunk came out. Now that it is flushed, the pen writes a very fine line, but I will take it with me to Tokyo next week to ask one of the nibmeisters to tweak it just a bit. Enjoy!
  5. Hi everyone, This is a review of the vintage pilot elite (full size). I got it through ebay as NOS and it was pretty cheap since it has a steel gold plated nib and it is made of plastic... And very cheap plastic if you want my opinion... But i was attracted by the look of it and it would complete my collection of elite since I already own the small (Big cap) one. The look : It is actually the best part of this pen in my opinion. It is very subjective of course, everybody won't agree on that but I think it is a very nice pen, black and gold, pretty sharp edges but still a little bit rounded. The golden ELITE word under the cap. Very cool, very stylish, wont go unnoticed ! The nib : I got my Elite with a fine nib ( japanese ) wich would be considered as Extra fine. The nib is nice, gold plated stainless steel but It is very scratchy... It is more than just "feedback" from a very fine nib. So this pen is not my favorite for its writing, I don't use it on a daily basis because of that. The feed : Nothing to say about that... Just good, good ink flow, not too wet not too dry : very reliable, starts up every time and keep going through the pages. Weight and balance : It is a very light pen... it weights about 14g with the converter and ink but it is well balanced, pleasant and comfortable to write with. If you like lighter pens you will appreciate it. Conclusion : It is a good, reliable pen... but it is not very exciting to write with it, the scratchiness of the nib is quite a big issue. I would recommend this pen for a "collector" looking for those types of pen but not as a daily writer.. unless you like very fine and scratchy nibs Despite all this, it is a interesting pen that I got through ebay for very litte money, I still think it is a good buy ! *** English is not my first language so please understand if I made some mistakes ! Your comments are very welcomed !
  6. Hello, I came across this gold? goldplated? fountain pen and need help identifying it. It seems to have Japanese or Chinese writing on it. Could anyone tell me what brand this is and how much this fountain pen might be worth? Thank you in advance
  7. tomkeb

    Rakuten

    Hello, does anybody have any experience with this Japanese store called Rakuten? I haven't gone through the website thoroughly, but they offer for example Iroshizuku for $13, which looks absurdly cheap to me… Edit: I see, it's something like ebay with sellers having their info written in Japanese. It will be more complicated than I initially thought…





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