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  1. chingdamosaic

    Pilot Iroshizuku Konpeki 紺碧

    Pilot Iroshizuku Konpeki[紺碧] in Nooler's "Creaper" flex nib http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/02_20151030223804ef8.jpg On beige grid paper: http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/08_201510302238244a7.jpg close-ups: http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/09_20151030223826aa5.jpg http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/10_201510302238265e1.jpg On AQUABEE 6075(sketch paper made in Canada):[/size] http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/11_2015103022410580a.jpg[/size] With dip pen(Blue pumpkin):[/size] http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/12_2015103022411070b.jpg[/size] Close-ups/sheen:[/size] http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/13_20151030224109daa.jpg[/size] http://blog-imgs-84-origin.fc2.com/c/h/i/chingdamosaic/14_20151030224110417.jpg[/size]
  2. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - 54Th Massachusetts

    * originally posted on my Instagram. Ink Review: Noodler's Ink, 54th Massachusetts. Grade: 62.50%. Paper: Norcom Composition. My mother, when she first got into fountain pens, bought 54th Mass. because she thought it was going to be her 'go to' work horse ink. I don't she she wrote with it for even a day before she decided she hated it. She was expecting a blue black ink, but instead got what I call a blue gray. I think that the deep blue gray color makes it unique, but I can understand her sentiment. As I've used 54th Mass., I've both loved and hated this ink. I think the ink was aptly named; the color certainly brings to mind the uniforms the Union wore during the American Civil War. Not a pristine and clean museum piece, but rather a worn in and heavily used soldiers uniform. I can't help but think of the uniforms the Union army wore in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly when I see this ink in person. 54th Mass. is a Bulletproof/Eternal Noodler's ink. You may not be able to tell, but I decided to put this ink to the test. On the words WATER and HAND SANITIZER, I put drops of, you guessed it, water and hand sanitizer onto the ink. From what I can see, 54th Mass. didn't move an inch. However, I can also tell you that it will take some effort to clean this ink. I got some one hands last night and I'm still slightly gray almost 24 hours, and several hand washes, later. 54th makes up for its clean up issues in my mind by being a very fast drying and smooth writing ink. Just be aware that this also means that the pen will dry out quickly if you leave the cap off of your pen for too long. 54th Mass. may not be a very well rounded ink, but I think its Eternal properties, unique color, and resistance to bleeding through cheap paper make it a great office or EDC ink.
  3. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - Widowmaker

    *originally posted on my Instagram. Ink Review: Widowmaker. Grade: 78.75%. Paper: Norcom Composition. Noodler's Widowmaker (WM) is an ink that I think that Dracula would be proud to use. Or worse, an 11th grade English teacher. It's a deep red ink that I don't think can just be considered a standard red. I would call it either a scarlet or carmine. I think it's safe to say that WM does remind me of fresh blood, especially when it's wet. Dracula jokes aside, I've had ink on my finger at work and have been asked if I'd cut my finger. WM is a smooth writing ink that flows well. Like a lot of smooth and wet inks, it can take a little time to dry, but I wouldn't consider it to be terrible. Especially an ink this saturated. WM is not labeled as an Eternal/Bulletproof ink, but I've been very happy with its performance so far. You can see that it will definitely smear if you use a highlighter on it (the words I used it on were over a week old), and water almost washed the letters away. But nail polish remover and hand sanitizer didn't push it out of place. It may be hard to see, but I love how this ink shades. It's subtle, but it adds a lot to flex writing. I've also been very impressed with how little WM feathers and bleeds. I thought for sure that it would, but other than some echo on this cheap paper, it's performed very well. The biggest question is what to use WM for. I've mostly been using it in calligraphy, which I've thoroughly loved. I'm not a teacher, but for some reason it makes me wish I could write some A's and F's on someone's math test. It's not an ink that you can sign office documents with, but this would be a great draft review ink. And with the levels of permanence I've seen, it would make some great ink washes. Based on its amazing color, permanence, and writing smoothness I would highly recommend this ink. I just need to find more uses for it.
  4. Hello! I looked through a lot of posts about ink recommendation on fountainpennetwork.com but most of the threads were posted and answered several years ago (early 2000s) so I wanted to see some new updated responses about few inks that I assume would be good with my Lamy Safari fountain pen. (I read all the ink reviews on the giant Index - Ink Review collection post and also watched tons of youtube videos, visited various fountain pen websites, etc.) Information about my pen: Lamy Safari (2015) with Fine nibList of characteristics I would like in the ink: Blue-black ink, more of a "black with a touch of blue" kind of ink. Or very dark blue color inks are good too.Does not bleed through cheap paper. (As a student I would like to use my fountain pen to take notes. I use Mead FiveStar notebooks and I read on few posts that this notebook's paper quality is not so terrible.)Doesn't have to be absolutely bulletproof or waterproof. Partially is fine. As long as the ink does not completely disappear or becomes completely illegible when coming in contact with water.Good for almost every day usage (note taking, writing journals, essays, letters, etc.)Affordable on a student budget (Preferably under or around $15)List of Inks that I think would be good: Noodler's 54th Massachusetts (Beautiful and the ideal blue-black color I am looking for. But how does this behave on a cheap paper? Does it bleed through? Is it good with Lamy Safari pens?)Noodler's Blue-Black (Another great color and overall very positive reviews. Will it behave well on a cheap paper and with my Lamy Safari pen?) Noodler's Bulletproof Black (Heard lots of good things about this ink. I am a bit concerned though because I read reviews and posts that said nib creeping were issues. However I also read great comments that said this ink is a perfect workhorse type of ink and works well on cheap papers. It's really too bad this is a black ink. I would love to write in blue-black ink. Will this be a good fit for my Lamy Safari w. Fine nib?)Noodler's X-Feather (This one is a good ink from what I've seen and read. However it does not dry as quickly. I tend to write very quickly and I'm afraid I will smudge my notes constantly. Feathering, to me at least, is not much of a big problem compared to bleeding through papers and clogging the pen)Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black (Saw this one appear frequently on other ink recommendation posts. However I also read some water resistant issues with this ink.Waterman Blue/ Waterman Black/ Waterman Blue-Black (Waterman inks were also very frequently recommended. So same questions: Does it behave well on cheap papers and with Lamy Safari pens?) Personal note: I found Noodler's Air Corp Blue Black too green and Noodler's Navy too blue for my taste. Noodler's Eel ink series are too lubricated for me. Thank you for your help!
  5. white_lotus

    Noodler's (Fph) Henry Hudson Blue

    Living a few hours from NYC I am very fortunate to be able to personally shop at Fountain Pen Hospital. Sadly a city of 8 million can only support one fountain pen store. Well, perhaps my pocketbook is happier that way. They do have some custom Noodler's inks, one of which is this one: Henry Hudson Blue, an eternal security ink. I'm not sure what that means, but this ink is totally waterproof. It may also be "proof" to a lot of other things as well. It's also a very nice color, not totally saturated, but slightly greyed blue, but not in a bad way. It's just not as bright on the page as say Aurora Blue, J. Herbin Eclat de Saphir. It's a very professional looking ink. I like it quite a bit. The papers used were MvL=Mohawk via Linen, Hij=Hammermill 28lb inkjet, TR=Tomoe River. There is another review on the forum that's very good and shows this ink as well. If you're interested in getting this ink you might want to check it out. The ink in my bottle doesn't seem to lean as far towards the red as that review. https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/288711-noodlers-henry-hudson-bluea-handwritten-review/?p=3329914 Not sure how well I've captured the color. Seems a little more saturated in the images. There is a very slight wash of red from the ink when placed under a running faucet. But the main body of the ink is totally permanent.
  6. white_lotus

    Noodler's Liberty's Elysium

    Noodler's Liberty's Elysium is a custom ink for Goulet Pens. I picked up a bottle a couple a couple years ago as this ink is commonly recommended on various forums. And then never got around to trying it. Now is that time. Some folks say NLE is a good substitute for vintage Parker Penman Sapphire but the bottle I have does not conform to that notion. But still it's a very good ink. In looking back over my review seems like I had a little trouble with it drying out while uncapped, so it might have been a little fussy for me in that pen. At the time I was comparing it to PPS, and that probably wasn't fair to NLE. I'd say the color is a bit greener than shown in these images which is too close to middle blue. There is decent shading on the Tomoe River. Fairly water resistant.
  7. butangmucat

    Converted An Ahab

    I always wanted an Ahab that has the excellent rubber feed, but a nib that is not that springy. Finally got it, using a Meisternibs 18k nib. The nib seems to be unsuitable for an Acrylic Konrad or normal Konrad.
  8. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - Apache Sunset

    Ink Review: Noodler's Ink - Apache Sunset Grade: 60.00% Paper Tested On: Norcom Composition, Staples 20lb, 85g Clairefontaine, 90g Rhodia, Post-it Note. Apache Sunset(APS) is an ink that most people that are into fountain pens have heard of. Even those that won't give Noodler's Ink the time of day acknowledge that APS is one of the best shading inks available. APS isn't prone to feathering or bleeding in a fine nib, but when used in a pen with a wet nib, it will easily. Which is a little easier to run into than you might think. This is an ink that is famous for a its shading, so it makes sense that you would want to use it in a wet pen. I put APS into my Noodler's Ahab that I adjusted to be wet and entire letters would bleed into one another. APS at first seemed dry to write with, but after giving it some thought I believe APS only seemed that way because I normally use highly saturated inks. Compared to Noodler's Bad Blue Heron or Black, this ink may seem very thin. It makes sense. A highly saturated ink with a lot of pigment, like Bad Blue Heron or Black, will not provide much shading. APS isn't a permanent ink and is easily cleaned with water. APS has an average dry time. Not too long; not too short. Right about in the middle based on its other properties. APS is not what I would call a work friendly ink. It's not a traditional blue or black ink so you can't really use it on official forms. APS can also be hard to read from a distance. I find that I have to read the page closer than normal when I'm trying to read notes written in APS. But I don't see that as APS's primary role. APS is ideal for artistic purposes and for experimenting with flex writing. And in that role, it excels. In the end, APS is not really well suited to being "well rounded ", but it is still a lot of fun.
  9. Noodler's makes a few custom inks for Fountain Pen Hospital in New York City. One of them is Old Dutch Colony Sepia. Apparently meant to imitate the ink used back in the day of the 17th century Old Dutch Colony of New Netherlands. It's not a bad imitation of some sepias. It is very similar to the Hakase Real Sepia, though a bit redder. My guess it is vastly less expensive, and no animals were harmed in the making of the Old Dutch Colony sepia. I've been using it on Moleskine notebook as my work log book, and it seems to be pretty OK there. And on better papers, it behaves very well. This time round, I found a Clairfontaine notebook, and so have included writing samples on that paper as well. The ink blot didn't really photograph well. To my eye, it is a bright greenish yellow halo around the brown center. But the photos all show yellow. I'm guessing my eye is generating some simultaneous contrast there. The regular pictures here are showing the ink a bit darker than it really is. The ink is quite similar to Sailor Ishida Bungu Hakodate Curry, but redder/more neutral than that ink. They are almost identical in value. Interestingly, when blotting water droplets, a rose color was left behind. When washing the ink, the yellow was what washed away, leaving some the brown.
  10. Thank you to MHosea and others who have sent me inks. I'll be sending these sheets out shortly. http://sheismylawyer.com/album/Ink/slides/2015-10-08-17-15-48.jpg
  11. My obsession with fountain pens began with a 25 cent Wearever circa 1954, but really took hold in junior high school when I purchased one of the first Parker 45 convertibles in 1961, which I still have. In the intervening years I've owned a lot of Parkers: 45, 51, 61, 75 and lost, replaced and repaired those a couple of times. These were follwed by a couple of Scheaffer's, two Watermann's with 18K nibs (neither of which I like, and never use), a couple of Aurora's, Namiki, Cross, and Pelikans of various models and price points. My two favorites have been that Parker 45 and a Pelikan M200, until about two weeks ago. I saw something online about the Pilot Metropolitan. I hadn't bought a fountain pen in several years but why not I thought. It was under $20. And now I find myself utterly entranced again. I am in love with this pen! I've been glued to Youtube videos and pen sites ever since. I never realized that I could actually fiddle with my pens to adjust them to me. Who knew there are so many cheap pens that are so excellent and there are so many people online who also write exclusively with fountain pens. In the last 72 hours, I've purchased a Jinhao 450, Serwex 1362, and a Noodler's Ahab Flex based upon those videos and sites and the information I've learned. I've also bought extra nibs and ebonite feed, and a pilot converter for the Metropolitan, and spent less money for all of that than I did for one of those Watermann's I hate! I'm looking forward to receiving each and playing with all of them.
  12. A strange thing happened when I put Noodler's V-mail North African Violet in a pen which I knew to be a very wet writer, a Pelikan Silvexa with an OBB nib: the pen hardly wrote anymore. I had to push the ink forward from the converter which resulted in a light purple; after about one line, the colour turned into a very pale purple and after two lines, the pen didn't write anymore. First, I thought, the the feeder might be clogged, even though I had cleaned it before filling the pen with this ink. In the end, though, I understood that it was the ink's fault, not the pen's. So I tried to get the ink flowing by adding some distilled water to it, but that didn't help at all. Therefore I decided to use another ink and filled the pen with Waterman Tender Purple. Now it writes like a garden hose again, just like it did before when it was fillen with ink from J. Herbin, and lived happily ever after. Two of the North African Violet reviews mention flow problems, whereas the others speak of good, if not wet flow. So I wonder if I am the only one to have made this experience.
  13. Ink Review: Noodler's Ink- Bad Belted Kingfisher Grade: 81.25% Paper Tested On: Norcom Composition, Staples 20lb, 85g Clairefontaine, 90g Rhodia, Post-it Note. Bad Belted Kingfisher (BBK) is now the 2nd Noodler's "warden" series ink that I have tried. If you're not familiar with this series, you should know that it is an ink that was designed to be forgery resistant. It's designed to resist water, bleach, and even UV light. At first I wondered if BBK would be any different to Bad Blue Heron (BBH). Both are "warden" inks and both are blue, but I think that they are definitely different enough that trying both has been enjoyable. BBK has a wetter flow that makes it a smoother writing experience. BBH seems to be a slate blue color that comes across as chalky to me, but BBK comes across as a more true blue. Honestly I can't help but think that it reminds me of the denim on a new pair of jeans. BBK performed very well in the permanency tests I put it through, but I was happy to see that it did make some nice ink washes. So just don't expect it to not move from the page at all. It's resistant, not permanent. BBK dries quickly and cleans up well and without too much hassle. The drawback to it being a fast dryer is that it won't shade readily. It will shade on good paper with a wet pen, but on other paper it can look like a dark navy color and you may not see any shading at all. BBK isn't prone to bleed through and that can be very useful if you're using it in an office setting. And because it's a blue color it's a appropriate color that won't turn any heads and attract any unwanted attention. So which do I like more? BBH or BBK? That's hard to say. I like the color on BBH more, but I prefer the flow of BBK. After that, both are nearly the same, and you may just end up picking which shade of blue you like more. Overall, BBK is a great ink that has a lot of special properties, but is still easy enough to use without a lot of special maintenance. If you've never tried a "warden" series ink from Noodler's, I'd say this would be a good introductory ink for you to try.
  14. Introduction My journey began on a fateful day a few months back when I finally hit my limit with using crappy pens. I was so fed up, in fact, that I began an obsessive quest to find the "perfect pen" to accompany me through the rest of graduate school, a job that requires progress notes, journaling and (hopefully when I have time to breathe) letter writing. This search inevitably landed me in your midst, where I was confronted with a well of pen knowledge I had hardly fathomed, and a den of insidious enablers who would spurn a new addiction. (I'm looking at YOU) And addiction it became. As I researched and learned and spiraled into the fountain pen abyss, my ebay account began blowing up and my bank account swiftly drained. I wanted to find the best starter/every day carry pen for me, so of course the logical thing to do was to buy all of them! And once the dust had settled and I sobered up enough to clear the kitchen table of pen paraphernalia and scrub the ink off my fingers, I had to make sense of it all. Yes, I thought, perhaps there are those who can learn from this experience. OK. Melodrama aside, I figured that perhaps I could contribute a little something to this community for those who also have OCD and are new to "the scene" and are looking for the "perfect" EDC pen. Of course, it all comes down to personal preference and fit, so in the end everyone must embark on their own journey down fountain pen lane. And then there's the unfortunate fact that "perfect" is an illusion and that every time you think you've bought your last pen there's another one right around the corner, waiting in the shadows, ready to sabotage your delusion of fiscal responsibility, and the cycle continues until you find yourself drawing spirals in the ground of a padded cell muttering to yourself.... but hey, at least the spirals have some nice flex to them! I digress. Bottom line: maybe I can help folks narrow down their choices. Bear in mind this is not meant to be all inclusive by any means, more so just a random smattering of pens that fell into my lap before I found a few I really liked, which I will briefly compare here. My Criteria 1. Under $100 · This wasn't really premeditated, it just ended up this way. Somehow I justified spending hundreds on pens as long as each individual pen didn't go over $100. Ok then! At least my strong sense of denial is satisfied! This includes used prices. 2. Suitable for Every Day Carry · This one was really difficult to stick to. I caught the "collecting" and "vintage" bugs very quickly and had to stage an intervention on myself to stop. I reminded myself that a: I'm a broke grad student who really just needs “on the go” utilitarian pens, and student loans are not, in fact, monopoly money, and b: I am going to be traveling and not settling down any time soon, so starting a collection of pens that will sit in a storage unit is silly at this point in my life, and the ones I keep need to be able to travel with me. 3. Larger and/or Heavier Pens · This also wasn't premeditated, but ended up being the result of me figuring out exactly what I like and don't like in pens. I have large hands with long fingers, so small and/or light pens don't settle well in my grip. There have been exceptions (especially in the "light" category) but overall these preferences might differentiate me from many readers. The Pens Modern Pens 1. Lamy Safari Appearance: 7 Nib & Performance: Variable – 7 for my EF, 9 for my F, 10 for my 1.1 Design: 10 Filling System & Maintenance: 7 (with converter) Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 10 Weight & Dimensions: 9 Conclusion: 9.5 What can be said about the Safari that hasn’t already been said? Between the easily swappable, butter-smooth nibs, the intuitive design that results in a light, comfortable writer that never skips and always flows even when left uncapped, and a durable and no-brainer maintenance pen, what’s there not to like? OK, some folks don’t like being put into a box when it comes to the grip section, and I personally prefer the more classic look when it comes to fountain pens so the Safari isn’t what I’d call a “beautiful” pen, but it gets the job done. Makes the EDC cut? YES I was originally planning on grabbing an Al Star, but really liked the texture of the matte black Safari – has that satisfying rough-but-smooth feel to it that lends aid to gripping it. While this pen is certainly light, it is rather large and long, and fits and balances nicely in my hand. The converter is a must to open up the world of bottled inks, and with that and a range of nibs – there’s really no reason to not have one of these lying around. Of note – the 1.1 nib in particular is amazing – utterly smooth and transformed my writing for the better with some nice line variation and expression. I take this pen with me every day and am never worried about whether it will write well or if I’m going to damage it by banging it around. My only gripe besides the QC on their nibs is the small capacity of the Safari converter, but it’s a minor gripe. Call me converted to the cult of Safari/Al Star. 2. Pilot Metropolitan Appearance: 8 Nib & Performance: 9 Design: 8.5 Filling System & Maintenance: 7 (with converter) Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 10 Weight & Dimensions: 8 Conclusion: 9 The Pilot Metro is the pen I would give to someone as an all around representation of a quality entry-level fountain pen. It’s got a subtle, classic design, an incredibly smooth and wet nib, a lovely balance and weight, and it just feels high quality despite its dirt-cheap price. Pilot certainly could have charged a lot more for this pen and I would have been happy to pay. The downside is the pilot converter situation with its small capacity, and the fact that it only comes in one size (M) with little room to customize unless you swap nibs from other pens. Makes the EDC cut? YES I love the Metro. I recommend it to pretty much everyone. It’s just a great pen at an amazing price level. The nib is buttery smooth and produces a consistent, wet line, it’s got some heft to it so it sits well in my hand, and it’s just a pleasure to write with. I have found, however, that I’m not as drawn to write with it as I am the Safari and it often sits unused in my briefcase. It’s just not as interesting of a pen as the Safari, and I like the grip and length of the Safari and the finer nib sizes and stubs. I will be purchasing a Plumix to swap its stub nib onto the Metro, and see if I can work it back into my regular rotation. 3. TWSBI Mini Classic Appearance: 9 Nib & Performance: 7 Design: 9 Filling System & Maintenance: 9 Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 8 Weight & Dimensions: 6 (for me) Conclusion: 8 This pen is a little badass. TWSBI has become associated with a big bang for your buck, and for good reason. A solid piston filler with swappable nibs and easy customization that will fit in your pocket and is nicely posted that costs around $50? Awesome. I LOVE the look and design of this pen. It’s just so freaking cool and NIFTY. My main gripe besides the fit is that the fine nib I had did not impress me. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything to write home about either. I would definitely recommend some custom nib work or a nib change. The other gripe and the deal breaker for me, which I realize is a personal issue as a lot of folks love this pen, is the balance and weight did not work well for me. I have also heard about issues around the quality of materials and the plastic cracking, though I did not own mine long enough to experience those. Makes the EDC cut? NO I really really wanted this pen to work for me. So much so that no matter how sure I was it wouldn’t work for me I kept coming back to try it again. However, I have very large hands with long fingers, and the bottom line was it just didn’t fit well for me. It didn’t balance well in my hand, and because of that, the lightness of it made it slip around in my grip. I found that I had to grip tighter and tighter to hold on to it which led to sweaty fingers and even more slippage. Just wasn’t a pleasant writing experience. A little too small and too light for my tastes. I think for many, though, this can be the EDC pen. You’ll just have to try it for yourself. 4. Namiki / Pilot Vanishing Point (used) Appearance: 9 Nib & Performance: 9 (for my F) 10+ (custom ground) Design: 10 Filling System & Maintenance: 7 Construction & Quality: 10 Cost & Value: 9 Weight & Dimensions: 9.5 (for me) Conclusion: 9.5 Ah the illustrious VP. OK, so yes, this is cheating as the VP exceeds the $100 price mark (at least the versions with the 18K nib), but I picked up a VP on a whim used for $75. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much. The whole capless click fountain pen thing seemed like it could be a big gimmick. Oh how I was mistaken. More and more I am finding that Pilot = consistently high quality. This pen is really “all that” and more. An incredibly innovative design that works and works well without sacrificing any quality in materials, a very nice nib (as pilot’s tend to be), wonderful weight and dimensions (for me – I love the extra heft, and the clip location I like as a grip aid and guide for keeping the point straight)… if you like modern fountain pens at all, you just gotta try this pen at some point. The filling system is a little lacking, using either a pilot converter or refilling cartridges by syringe, but hey, you can’t have –everything- in one pen… (or can you?). I will say though that I wrote a long letter to a friend and started to feel the pen’s weight as a possible detractor for the first time, so if you tend towards light pens this may not be for you. Makes the EDC cut? YES The ability to click a pen and have a lovely fountain nib come out might seem trivial, until you carry it around with you and use it in action. You can’t really beat this as an “on the go” fountain pen, whether for signatures or for impromptu longer writing sessions. Add a custom ground nib by a reputable nibmeister and you’ll be hard pressed to be wanting for anything in your pen. This pen balances very well for me in my large hands, and again I really like the weight of it. I love the Fine nib that came with my VP – a true Japanese fine that's finer than western EF's – with the preciseness of the point and those thin lines it just feels… tantalizing. However, I wanted a more versatile nib in addition and I took my VP to the next level after installing a custom ground Medium stub-italic by Pendleton. I now have a full on love affair with this pen. So much so that I’ve bought another (this time matte black), and will be putting a Binder CI in it this time! Modern Flex 5. Noodler's Konrad Appearance: 7 Nib & Performance: 8 (when it works) Design: 6 Filling System & Maintenance: 7 Construction & Quality: 2 Cost & Value: 7 Weight & Dimensions: 7 Conclusion: 4 What I will say about the Konrad is – great idea, poor execution. A modern flex pen that –really- flexes that’s cheap and customizeable? Yes please! I recognize that this pen was “made to be tinkered with”, but there is a fine line between “needs tinkering” and “bash my head against a wall in frustration”. When I first took it out and attempted to pull the back cap off to access the twist nob for the filling system, the cap, nob, and stem that leads down to the plunger came with it. Looking closely at the internals, I could tell right away that this was a CHEAPLY made pen. Also, a pen should work. Mine dripped from the feed and I could not, or perhaps I simply did not have the patience to, remedy it. Makes the EDC cut? NO Bottom line: I love Noodler’s ink, and I love the idea behind this pen, but I found the reality of it to be an incredibly low quality, frustrating pen that smells like vomit (yes, vomit), and not worth my time. Even if it worked perfectly the smell alone made me want to toss it. Back to the drawing board with this one. Vintage Pens 6. Parker 45 Appearance: 9 Nib & Performance: Variable, overall 8 Design: 9 Filling System & Maintenance: 8 Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 9 Weight & Dimensions: 8 Conclusion: 8.5 I have a huge soft spot for the 45. It’s a classic, it’s my favorite thin pen, and one of my favorite vintage pens. It’s not fancy by any means, but I just love their look and design. I binged on collecting a number of these very quickly right off the bat. Each one has had its own personality, and the nibs have been variable in their writing, but overall if I had my druthers I’d own about 50 of these. They’re light, well balanced, durable, easy to clean and maintain, as well as swap nibs, and like most Parkers, they just work! The squeeze filler is.. well... let’s just say it’s “classic” as well. I didn’t have a heart to rate it low because it really does its job well for this small but mighty pen. Makes the EDC cut? NO (barely) The 45 is a perfect pocket carry vintage pen. I have, however, sold off all of my 45’s save for the first one I bought. The reason being? I just don’t see this pen being in rotation as my EDC when I have my other modern pens as options. This is partly because of the fit, it being a thinner pen than I like, but also because, to be honest, functionality-wise, as well as quality of materials-wise, my modern pens offer more, with better quality plastics and metals, easily gained nib sizes (especially stubs and CI’s, which I am obsessed with now), higher ink capacity, and an overall more comfortable writing experience. But, again, I love the 45. And having a vintage 45 in one’s shirt pocket is so much cooler than having a modern (save for maybe the VP). 7. Parker 21 Appearance: 7 Nib & Performance: 9 Design: 8 Filling System & Maintenance: 8 Construction & Quality: 7 Cost & Value: 9 Weight & Dimensions: 7.5 Conclusion: 7 I know the 21 is the red-headed stepchild of the Parker line, but this was a $4 pickup at the flea market and I’ll be damned if wasn’t one of the most buttery writers I have ever experienced. It seems to me this is the cheaper version of the legendary 51, and I gotta say, cheap or no this pen writes and works great! Quality may be a little lacking (I’ve heard about issues in cracking), and it was a bit too light for my tastes, but it’s still a fine writer, and that’s the most important part, eh? No need (or really ability) to dissemble, piece of cake to clean and maintain, simple squeeze filler. Parkers are really no-brainers that do their job well. Makes the EDC cut? NO “I’m just not that into you” would be phrase here. This pen could make a great EDC. It never skipped or had trouble starting (the hooded nib does wonders for functionality), wrote buttery smooth, no leaking issues, and was light as a feather. However it just didn’t jive with me, felt a bit too cheap, and to be honest (and I know I’m in the minority), I don’t like the look of the P21 and 51’s hooded nib style. 8. Sheaffer's Sovereign Snorkel Appearance: 8 Nib & Performance: 8 Design: 10 Filling System & Maintenance: 10 / 3 (awesome but complex) Construction & Quality: 8.5 Cost & Value: 8 Weight & Dimensions: 8 Conclusion: 8.5 Snorkels are pretty standard buys when it comes to quality vintage pens. It can be a standoff between these and P51’s (I think "both" is the correct answer here) and for me it came down to the fact that I preferred the look of the Snorkels better, plus who doesn’t want to try out that rad filling system!? I rated the system and maintenance 10/3 because its complexity comes at a price – it is not the type of vintage pen that you can feel comfortable with just picking up used and filling – restoration is almost a requirement before use to make sure you don’t gum up its works. This, to me, is a significant detractor for those who are not well schooled in restoration work or don't want to have to ship their pen off to be restored. However, restored and in working condition, these pens are fantastic – smooth, high quality gold nibs, an nice weight and balance, and overall some serious style points. Makes the EDC cut? NO I opted not to keep this puppy because I found it too thin for my tastes, as well as a little on the light side. Also the complexity of its filling system can border on being a boon if the pump malfunctions or the seals give out, and this system did seem a little fragile to me. Again, this comes back to my personal preferences and criteria as listed at the beginning of this post. I recognize that Snorkels are spectacular pens, and would be well suited for many as EDC pens. Just not for me. 9 & 10 Waterman Laureat & Pro Graduate Appearance: 9 Nib & Performance: TBD Design: 8 Filling System & Maintenance: 7.5 (converter) Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 7 Weight & Dimensions: 7 Conclusion: TBD Some of you Waterman folks may have a fit, but I am going to lump these two pens together for convenience, as they are similar (to me) both in design and in quality, with the Lareat edging the Pro Graduate. Overall, I find these thin waterman pens (laureate, pro graduate, executive, etc.) to be very pleasing to the eye, and they are pretty high quality too, with a nice weight to them and gold or gold plated nibs and 23K gold accents. I can’t yet speak to performance (which I realize is the most important factor), as one arrived new and I wished to keep it that way once I decided I wasn’t going to keep it, and the other arrived with a bent nib. I will update this with performance once I receive the new nib for the pro graduate in the mail. However, while I love their looks and their weight and balance, and I like their grip sections, they are simply far too thin for me to use comfortably. Makes the EDC cut? NO (see above) Vintage Semi-Flex 11. Eversharp Slim Ventura Appearance: 7.5 Nib & Performance: 7 (needed adjustment) Design: 8.5 Filling System & Maintenance: 8 Construction & Quality: 8.5 Cost & Value: 8 Weight & Dimensions: 8 Conclusion: 8 This was a chance pickup at the flea market that turned out to be a little piece of gold. A sterling silver and gold cap, a nice 14K semi-flex nib, and a quality design made for a cool vintage semi-flex pen. The filling system was a squeeze filler with a large bladder. Overall this pen didn’t make the cut because of its thinness (hence slim), and because this pen’s nib was very toothy. Looking back it clearly needed some work to write smoothly, and if performed, I think it would make an excellent keeper. Makes the EDC cut? NO (see above) 12. Garant Alkor Appearance: 9 Nib & Performance: 9.5 (nib) 7 (feed prior to work) Design: 8.5 Filling System & Maintenance: 9 Construction & Quality: 8 Cost & Value: 8 for what I paid (rare) Weight & Dimensions: 9 Conclusion: 8.5 This was another chance pickup, this time on ebay. And wow what a catch! A rare pen from East Germany, this is a sharp looking piston-filler with an ink window, a huge ink capacity, and a sweet buttery smooth and semi-flexible 14K gold nib. It’s a solid design with a wonderful weight and balance and a surprisingly high quality. I am convinced this buy was a steal. The one issue I’m having is the feed is not keeping up with the nib when flexing. I have not had the time to do a thorough soaking and/or adjustment of the feed yet, and if it came down to it, this pen is so rad that I would definitely send it to a ‘meister to have the feed adjusted professionally. Makes the EDC cut? YES This was a surprise joy. I really like this pen – its looks and style, its incredibly smooth and silky nib, its flexibility, its piston filler and large ink capacity, its weight and balance, and I gotta say, I like knowing that I’m one of the only folks on the block with this pen. A keeper for me, though I will most likely be sending it in for some work, before filling it with some Diamine ancient copper and having some fun! Conclusion So of course I couldn’t choose just one. I wholeheartedly believe that that is simply impossible when it comes to fountain pens, and to force oneself to do so is a form of masochism. I had a fun little journey exploring pens on my quest to have a solid lineup worthy of EDC, and it was very hard to narrow it down and “get real” about which pens would really be used and travel with me, and which pens I wanted to keep from a collector’s standpoint. I still haven’t completely gotten “real” in this regard and may unload more pens before I travel, but hey, it’s a start. Needless to say the journey is not over. I am still purchasing custom nibs for my keeper pens (I am in love with stubs and CI’s), and admittedly still considering adding a few more to my collection, because it ain’t a proper addiction without a relapse! But nonetheless, here is my current lineup that survived the trials: And the winners are..... #1 #2 #3 #4 A note about EDC Ink: By far the best and most obvious EDC ink I've sampled would be Noodler's Black for its bulletproof, fast dry, and well behaved qualities in every pen I've put it in. It is the ink best suited for every every use and all conditions you might find yourself using a FP. However, leaving it at that is boring, so I'm going to add Iroshizuku Shin-Kai as my second EDC ink for a wonderful and well behaved blue black. I am still on the lookout for other "bulletproof" blue's and blue blacks, and have not ventured very far into the ink world as of yet. Untested Honorable Mentions / Wish List 1. Parker 51 Yes yes YES! I hear you! I realize the P51 is perhaps the biggest gap in my sample, and even though I’m not a fan of the look of the hooded nib, I still would like to give one a try. I looked around for a 51 for a long while, but fate simply didn’t deliver one for me. Having liked the 21, if the 51 is as big a step up from the 21 as I understand it to be, I can see why folks love this pen. Some day, perhaps. 2. Chinese Pens There a ton of quality Chinese pens out there that can offer a great EDC writing experience. However, as a personal preference I steered clear of them. 3. TWSBI 580 I would have liked, and still would like, to try a 580. I am thinking that perhaps with it being a larger pen, I would have a different experience in regards to the fit problems I was having with the mini. However it is not on the top of my priority list at this point, the main reason being I’m afraid I’ll have the same issues around weight and grip (it’s actually lighter than the mini unposted), and I really prefer to post my pens. 4. Parker Vacumatic I absolutely love the look of this pen. It has been on my wish list for a while, but I am hesitant to pull the trigger on one, simply because I am going more for utility and subtle looks now considering I would like to be able to bring my pens to foreign countries without worry of them being stolen. I think if I purchased a restored Vacumatic, I would inevitably have nib work done on it to make it the perfect pen, then I would never take it out because I would be too protective of it. First-world problems, eh? 5. Lamy Al Star It’s a Safari, except aluminum and a bit heavier. Like I said in the Safari review, I was originally planning on an Al Star but really liked the texture of the matte Safari. An Al Star, either Blue or Purple, is currently at the top of my wish list, and will most likely be swiftly purchased considering its affordability. 6. Lamy 2000 I tried a 2000 at a pen shop, and was put off by its lightness, but am now leaning back toward giving it another chance, especially after I found the VP to be a bit heavy in longer writing sessions. With its low key looks, its excellent design, and perhaps most notably its huge ink compacity, the 2000 is a prime candidate for EDC. I can’t say I’ve really done my homework without at least giving it a shot. My plan is to purchase one, give it a trial run for a couple weeks, and if I end up liking it enough, having the nib reground by Pendleton. The end (for now..)
  15. visvamitra

    Bad Blue Heron - Noodler's

    Noodler's is one of the companies that don't need introductions. Nathan's Tardiff work is unimaginable. The guy must be a vampire who doesn't sleep and feeds on developing ideas: new inks, new pens. Bad Blue Heron has cool name, intriguing and complex color and awesome properties and basically it's bulletproof. I like it a lot. Noodler's inks rock. Bottle http://imageshack.com/a/img909/1213/mbtW5t.jpg Ink splash http://imageshack.com/a/img901/6098/QuHhte.jpg Drops of ink on kitchen towel http://imageshack.com/a/img910/815/Mv7TnV.jpg Software Id http://imageshack.com/a/img909/2959/e1JXRE.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img911/6578/HADS2X.jpg Tomoe River, Kaweco Sport Classic, B http://imageshack.com/a/img909/8829/zPjp7W.jpghttp://imageshack.com/a/img909/3883/243SNm.jpg Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Sport Classic, B http://imageshack.com/a/img910/8936/DmDYzf.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img901/6140/DSuZxK.jpg Oxford, Kaweco Sport Classic, B http://imageshack.com/a/img909/331/T2ILs7.jpg Water resistance (after 30 minutes of soaking) http://imageshack.com/a/img633/5679/HOyLQF.jpg
  16. visvamitra

    Prime Of The Commons - Noodler's

    Noodler's is one of the companies that don't need introductions. Nathan's Tardiff work is unimaginable. The guy must be a vampire who doesn't sleep and feeds on developing ideas: new inks, new pens. Prime of Common's was made for english market. I find this ink interesting. Addidtionally it's bulletproof. Sample was kindly sent to me by Michael R. Thank you! Ink splash http://imageshack.com/a/img911/9638/rH8905.jpg Drops of ink on kitchen towel http://imageshack.com/a/img905/1042/e0Krlj.jpg Software Id http://imageshack.com/a/img901/4989/CBKFbt.jpg Tomoe River, Kaweco Sport Classic, B http://imageshack.com/a/img910/4968/zcMYxi.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img633/6200/zM0SF3.jpg Oxford, Kaweco Sport Classic, B http://imageshack.com/a/img911/2672/asdVEq.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img910/504/R1MNYv.jpg Water resistance (after 10 minutes of soaking) http://imageshack.com/a/img633/4958/RpPJLl.jpg
  17. visvamitra

    Cactus Fruit Eel - Noodler's

    Cactus Fruit Eel is highly saturated magenta (?) that offers nice writing experience. Ink Splash http://imageshack.com/a/img909/4718/qbifil.jpg Drop of Ink on Kitchen Towel http://imageshack.com/a/img539/7876/re9M7C.jpg Software http://imageshack.com/a/img540/5805/tVd5ak.jpg Dry Time http://imageshack.com/a/img661/2560/0A7Zna.jpg Calendar http://imageshack.com/a/img540/3628/Ww5JDY.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img540/1899/sg5bTR.jpg http://imageshack.com/a/img746/3111/jCjDZQ.jpg COPY PAPER http://imageshack.com/a/img537/736/MUNkHo.jpg \ http://imageshack.com/a/img904/594/ErULgg.jpg
  18. nomadhacker

    Noodler's Bad Green Gator

    I'm trying to make up my mind on this ink. On the one hand, it's a nice green color, a little different from other greens that I have. It's waterproof, bulletproof ink, so it's not going anywhere. And it dries really fast. On the other hand, there's the feathering. It soaks into the paper so fast it spreads and feathers and bleeds through to the other side. Now I'm pretty much always using a fine nib in my pens. If you are a flex/stub/double broad type pen user, this is probably not your ink. It managed to stay where I put it with my fine nib, but there was some spreading of the ink as it went down on the paper. Just means it writes a broader line than you intend. An extra fine nib or maybe some higher end clairfontaine or rhodia paper would probably tame this bad gator a little. Hmmm...
  19. Is anyone else defeated by the small increase of noddlers' Ahab and Konrad. Looks like they're going up three dollars or so. Hate to be suspiciously minded but I feel like this is how it begins. Slowly the prices of goods increase, but in small incremental amounts. At first everyone shrugs and goes along with it. Then a little while later another increase under a similarly auspicious ruse.
  20. sup ppl. So I got an Ahab and my oh my! Those 20 dollars are worth every cent and more... I even love the smell. Reminds me of my grandpa's Vacumatic. I swapped the stock "flexi" nib for Zebra G and the thing became insane! Couldn't be happier. One question to other Ahab owners though... I first filled the pen with Sailor Jentle Green (ever so exquisite!) but noticed that it stained the section as well as the reservoir. After subsequent fillings with the same ink and a transition to Platinum Carbon Black Ink (ftw) it seems unlikely that the now amber-colored demonstrator plastic in the section is ever going back to its original clear (yet with a tinge of purple color). Is this normal? I will be going eyedropper style as soon as the stores open tomorrow (so I can get me some silicone grease) and I just want to know for sure if the staining I described above is the regular Ahab behaviour so I'll be prepared to get a permanently stained barrel too. Not that I care too much, to be honest Just wanted to ask. Thanks for looking at my post! cheers S
  21. AgentVenom

    Noodler's Ink - Zhivago

    * Originally posted on my Instagram. Ink Review: Noodler's Ink - Zhivago Grade: 52.50% Paper Tested On: Norcom Composition, Staples 20lb copy paper, 85g Clairefontaine. Zhivago (Zg) is an interesting ink. At first glance Zg looks completely black, but if you look closely you'll see that Zg is actually a very dark green. You could even call it a green-black ink. This shade of dark green reminds me a lot of moss or water clouded with algae. Zg is a very smooth writing ink that flows easily through every pen I've put it in. It's very wet, and ideal for doing flex writing, even with a long drying time. It's too bad that it doesn't shade heavily. In my Noodler's Ahab it performs very well; but it's not until you put large amounts of ink on the page that you see some nice color variations. On cheap composition paper I have been very impressed with how little Zg feathers or bleeds. However, on 20lb copy paper, and even 85g Clairefontaine, it seems to feather and bleed heavily. Zg is listed as only been partially bulletproof. I've used Zg in ink washes, and the green portion lifts off the page pretty easily. What's left is a black color that resists removal well. Zg's a very subtle color, and I find myself liking it more each time I use it.
  22. Hello! I've purchased a Noodler's Konrad a while ago, and although it's a great writer (smooth and well balanced in my hand), I find it to be extremely wet. I've tried maximizing the distance between the tip of the feed and the tip of the nib, with no palpable results. I must mention that I've only user Pelikan Blue Black with this pen, which is a rather dry ink. Also, I'm not interested in flex writing with this pen; I enjoy the slight line variation that I get with normal writing, but it is quite enough for me. What else could I do? I haven't modified the feed itself in any way (cutting new channels etc). Thank you. Cheers.
  23. Just seen on Purepens that they now have a wider range of noodlers, including the infamous Bsb, at £12.50. Good deal ? I may have posted this in the wrong place, feel free to move it ! Just a heads up for any UK lovers of Noodlers....
  24. So recently I went to Greece on Holiday. I wanted an fp with me, so I decided to experiment with my new Eco. I inked it full before the flight with Noodlers Black. The nib was kept up during climb to the cruise altitude of ~35,000ft(obviously the cabin pressure has a significantly lower 'altitude'). During the 4hr flight I used the pen in the cruise and saw no leakage in the cap or ink on the nib. After descent and landing into a hot climate (33C) I saw no troubles. After my stay in Greece the pen had been used a fair bit and a good amount of ink had been used (1/3 ish). This is where I was hoping for some leaky fun on the plane. I decided I'd go all out; I'd be brave and go against my morals and my guy instinct. I went nib down. And, well, and. Nothing happened. No spontaneous combustion, no high energy explosion, not even any ink spillage. The TWSBI Eco is a pretty good flyer, and didn't get air sickness and spill everywhere.
  25. eloquentogre

    Do Any Of Noodler's Inks Sheen?

    I have always loved inks which had a sheen quality when dry. Not the gimmicky metal flake stuff we are seein with J Herbin's Rouge Hematite, Emerald of Chivor et al. or diamine's shimmertastic set, but the natural sheen that you get in darker/slower to dry regions. There was a huge, wonderful, picture heavy thread on sheen here https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/198510-inks-with-a-sheen/ if you are unsure what I am speaking of. One thing I am noticing, as I am amassing ridiculous numbers of beautiful inks, though, is that those of only one brand seem reliably not to show this quality. Specifically Noodler's. Noodlers has namy beautiful colors, and I have a pretty good pile of them already, (Liberty's Elysium, Blue, Blue Eel, Midnight Blue, Walnut, Golden Brown and Kiowa Pecan), but none of them dry with a sheen like I can get from say, Diamine Majestic Blue Private Reserve Electric DC Blue, Sailor Yama Dori and many (honestly most) others. Even on Tomoe River paper, which greatly facilitates the appearance of sheens due to the slow drying times of inks upon it. \ Instead Noodlers' inks seem to dry to a dull, sheenless state. Am I just having bad luck, or is this simply a particular quality of the brands' inks? I understand some (soulless monstersb ) aren't into sheen so this could be viewed as a feature but I am finding that while the colors are beautiful, in the right lighting conditions to see some gloss, shine or sheen on inks, Noodlers' are all more matte, which leaves me disappointed.

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