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  1. onfountainpens

    Parker Sonnet Cisele Sterling Silver

    Hey there, I recently reviewed a Parker Sonnet Cisele (Sterling Silver version with gold trims). I do quite like this handsome pen, except it looks a little manly for me (I'm a lady)! Here's the link to my review: http://onfountainpens.com/2014/10/parker-sonnet-cisele-sterling-silver-fountain-pen-gold-trims/ Is this a popular choice when getting Parker pens, I'm just wondering? What is your experience with Parker Sonnets? http://onfountainpens.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/20141005_174058.jpg
  2. Monteverde Invincia Stealth Black Review Introduction I am fairly new to fountain pens, and the invincia was my first fountain pen, which I got for Christmas last year (2012). The reason I am reviewing this fountain pen today is because I used it continuously for 2 months as my only pen, writing 3+ hours a day with it, 6 days a week. As a result, I have a pretty good understanding of its pros and cons. I recently purchased a noodlers Ahab and a Visconti homo sapiens, so I have something to compare it to in this review now, which I have wanted to write for a while. Please forgive me if my terminology is a bit off, and feel free to correct me if I say something wrong. Appearance While very subjective, I thought I might offer my thoughts on the appearance. The pen is of a tapered design, bulging in the centre and slowly decreasing in radius towards the end of the cap and the barrel. It is brass, coated in shiny black paint or lacquer. The cap screws off to reveal a black metal grip section and large, dark grey (think of graphite) nib. On the base of the cap, Monteverde invincia is printed, and the logo is also printed on the top of the cap. Personally I really like the look of the pen. It is not gaudy, and will not catch the eye of those around you like some other pens, but this is perhaps a good thing, and it will not attract thieves either. I love the look of the nib; the slightly lighter colour contrasts well with the rest of the pen. Mine is a little scratched in places, revealing the metal under the paint, but this is not a flaw of the pen, but rather a fault of mine for carrying it in my pocket for two months. The pen is 43g with the cap and 31g without. I think it is a little back heavy due to the thick barrel but overall I like the weight of the pen. http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3801/9234845525_d979f39676.jpg P8140234 by arfien1, on Flickr http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/9237621638_67727d4a9e.jpg P8140238 by arfien1, on Flickr http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7319/9237617218_85cc7d8e18.jpg P8140241 (2) by arfien1, on Flickr Construction: 15.5/25 (combined score) Disassembly :4.5/5 The pen can be disassembled; the section, barrel, the nib unit and the converter can all be removed. The nib and feed seem to be inseparable, though you can screw them out of the pen together for cleaning. I would've liked it of the nib and feed could be separated entirely so the feed could be cleaned better. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7325/9237610682_7b8fb1dbd6.jpg P8140243 by arfien1, on Flickr Barrel:5/5 The barrel seems to be solid brass. It has metal threading for both the section and the cap, which work wonderfully and don't seem to wear at all, even when people like me repetitively screw and unscrew the section during a boring class or lecture. It is very thick and heavy, and would probably survive even the most brutal treatment. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5480/9237619544_b3e4f29716.jpg P8140239 by arfien1, on Flickr Cap:3/5 The cap, like the barrel, is solid brass, meaning it is very durable. It has a plastic lining inside where the nib sits, and screws on snugly. The clip is stiff but still functional, and like the rest of the pen, it appears to be very durable. The biggest problem for the cap is that you cannot post it at all; it will fly off when writing, and could get lost. Personally, I find this to be very poor design. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9237612800_715ac1f5f9.jpg P8140242 by arfien1, on Flickr Section: 2/5 The section is made of metal like the rest of the pen. It is functional, but very slippery and during exams or long period of writing, it can become a pain. I find that it tapers too fast, and is far too thin just before the nib, which can become uncomfortable after a time. The rim just before the nib is a welcome touch, as it stops your fingers sliding down to the nib. The threads connecting the section to the barrel are well designed and durable; the section never becomes loose. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2838/9234843413_2089140532.jpg P8140236 by arfien1, on Flickr Converter: 1/5 The converter that comes with the pen is just awful. It holds about 0.5mL of ink, which is not nearly sufficient for me. I was refilling it about 3 or 4 times a day when I was using the converter. The converter also comes loose of the feed really easily. Several times each day, I would have to open the pen and reconnect the converter to the feed, as the ink would stop flowing. I started using large cartridges which held much more ink and did not come loose. http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2860/9237615016_a5a1b63613.jpg P8140241 by arfien1, on Flickr Writing experience: 22/30 Medium nib The nib is very smooth when writing at a moderate pace. The amount of friction seems to increase exponentially as you write faster however, though I didn't really find this much of a problem, and didn't even really notice until I purchased my homo sapiens. This is a relatively cheap pen, so I suppose it is to be expected. This lessened by switching from pelikan Edelstein to Visconti ink. Skipping is a real issue for this pen. It often skips when quickly crossing "t" or very quick downstrokes on "L". More frustratingly, it almost always skips or railroads on the downstrokes of right brackets. For most, this wouldn't be much of an issue, but in a math exam when writing 3 pages of matrices very quickly, it became a serious issue for me. Because of this, I found myself applying a lot more pressure than should be necessary to try to eliminate the frequent skipping. A strange effect of this pen is that it seems to write with a very faded line. My black inks look very grey and somewhat "soft" around the edges rather than well defined. My blue ink seems lighter too. There is no feathering or bleed though, so this is not necessarily a bad feature, but it may not be what some people are looking for. The pen has a little bit of line variation, but certainly can't flex well. I can make it flex on the downstroke with enormous amounts of pressure, which can be useful when writing integral signs, or to add a bit of flare to a capital letter, but the amount of pressure required for the flex is beyond what would be comfortable for everyday writing. The small amount of line variation makes my writing look quite nice, and it is far more legible than when using a ballpoint pen. Writing Sample http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2892/9234841297_960a7f4bcf_o.jpg P8140238 (2) by arfien1, on Flickr http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7441/9234850009_6714c5bf6c_o.jpg P8140234 (2) by arfien1, on Flickr http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3750/9234826273_a32d6a566d_o.jpg P8140245 by arfien1, on Flickr Conclusion Final score: 37.5/55 (68%) The invincia black is not a bad pen. It looks great, most of the components are very sturdy and the pen is almost indestructible. It wears very well; only a bit of chipped paint over 2 months of solid use. There are a few problems however. The converter does not work, you cannot post the cap and the nib sometimes skips. It also writes with a very faint line and has a bit of friction when writing very fast. I'm not sure if I would recommend this pen to someone. For me, its down sides became too much to bear, and after using it for 4 exams, I went out and bought my Visconti which is almost flawless except for a small ink capacity. For others who do not write so much, it would probably be fine. I would suggest trying it out before buying it, and see if the skipping or the grip is an issue for you.
  3. phillieskjk

    Baoer 701 With Hooded Nib

    First Impressions (8)For a dollar forty, I wasn’t expecting much, but this pen proved to be a great value for the price. It is a true fine nib, and I have not had any problems with it thusfar. Appearance (9)The design of this pen is a gold gridded body with a black cap, black section, and a steel hooded nib. The pen feels less wide in person than it appears in the photos. Construction (8)This pen has seemingly very good build quality for a Chinese pen. It is made of metal and is a little heavy, I don’t have an exact weight but it feels like it is about the same weight as my Jinhao x450. Nib (5)The nib on this pen is a fine hooded steel nib. It has no flex, and is a little bit scratchy, but it is still usable, and I was able to make it a little bit smoother after a bit of tweaking. (Brown paper bag). Although this is not very descriptive, this nib did not seem very wet or very dry, and is in the middle. If I had to pick one side I would say that it is just a little bit wet. Filling System (4)This pen takes standard international cartridges or a converter. It ships with a screw converter. I am not sure whether it is my pen or my converter, but I can never fill the converter more than about 2/3 full, which makes it a lot less practical as it needs to be filled much more often. I will update this once I get a chance to see whether it is the pen or just the converter. Cost and Value (10)This pen is about as good of a deal as you can get, I got mine for 1.40 USD shipped from EBay. The buy it now price is around $7, but you can easily get it for cheaper in in auction with patience. Conclusion (7)All in all, this is a great pen for the price. The nib is a little scratchy, but it is not that bad. The design is excellent and the build quality is great for a pen of its price. For $1.40, it is all you could want and more. Pictures Below (Sorry for small size) http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/ODU1WDEwMDA=/z/DPwAAOSw0vBUc1DN/$_14.JPGhttp://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NzQ0WDEwMDA=/z/aEwAAOSw2XFUc1DK/$_14.JPGhttp://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTAwMFgxMDAw/z/3asAAOSwj0NUc1DT/$_14.JPGhttp://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTE3WDEwMDA=/z/xCwAAOSwAL9Uc1DQ/$_14.JPGhttp://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTAwMFgxMDAw/z/3hIAAOSwj0NUc1DW/$_14.JPG
  4. Hello! Having watched sbrebrown's video "Why aren't you doing reviews?" I decided that I would try my hand at doing YouTube reviews of fountain pens! Here is my review of the Waterman Carène Black Sea Fountain Pen GT Medium Nib - if anyone has any suggestions/tips/tricks to help me improve my videos it would be really appreciated. A review of the Waterman Carène Black Sea Fountain Pen GT Medium Nib All the best, TheTechFish
  5. Diver

    Rotring Art Pen

    Hi There! Following on from my (very) recent review of the CS Belliver Bracket Brown, I thought I would have a little fun and have a go at reviewing a much cheaper and much older pen from my collection pen, one that I have had in my possession for just a touch over 25 years now. Please please please do not take this review TOO seriously, I don't intend to try and get hordes of people going out to buy the pen, but I feel that after all these years, it needed a little review. I have found doing reviews are quite fun if not taken too seriously. Introducing the.... Rotring Art-Pen with 1.1 nib. Oh, where has everyone gone? :-) Purchase Experience 7/10 Trying to remember 25 years back IS a pain, but I remember the stationary shop, not the name. It had two assistants, both indifferent, possibly bored, who knows. I have marked the experience as 7 as I was not put off and nobody stopped me or moaned when I asked to open the box to look inside. Money changed hands, a whole £5 at the time. The extravagance eh? Opening the box 7/10 Having gone from the process of going to school, using any pen one can lay their hands on, pens in blister packs, cheap ballpoint pens and the one parker 25 that was saved slavishly for, as an adult, this came as a nice surprise. A tin box lined with card. Please note that this is NOT the original box, it is from a newer example of the pen (1.5 nib) but have snapped it for show and tell. Inside was a matt black, but very long almost attractive instrument along with a couple of unmarked cartridges. Anyhow, if it is in a box that is worth keeping, 7 is a good start. The pen itself (looks) 7/10 I wasn't too fussy about looks, I did think it was a little bland, but quite attractive in a quirky way compared to fountain pens of the time, but what upped the score was the fact it was quite slender, sleek and old fashioned (I thought it looked like an old fashioned dip pen). Black with a red ring and shiny stainless cap, matt black finish, white end cap. Yep. Not bad at all. The pen in the hand 6/10 Urgh. Too thin on the section, just that bit too thin for my liking. At the time, it was sort of “ok” but not being too experienced in these matters, trying to look back, there was not a lot better at that price point. The length, its light and being so is not off balance, but it just isn't really lighting any fires. The grip section has a series of ribs the section being quite lengthy so the finger position can move up and down for a more comfy writing position. Not perfect but it does the job. It does post, but it looks all wrong, I mean just silly. It also kills the balance dead. Don't do it. Taking the cap off: 7/10 As mentioned above, the grip section has an aha! Factor, but the nib is bland looking. Stamped steel plate, no breather, but shiny and I presumed made of stainless steel. It isn't ugly, it isn't stunning it is quite functional in appearance and it did look as if it would work. A £50 Parker of the time just was not anywhere in my sights, neither was £50 available to spend on a pen! Size: 7/10 Too thin for big fingers, too long to be taken seriously, there really is no need, even for an art pen to be so long. Consider this. If the fingers are huge, then the section is too small in diameter. Which means the length will not help any way shape or form. Or one can just ignore all of that, and do like I did at the time, rushed home, inked it and started writing and didn't give the appearance another thought. I had a new pen and I wanted to write a letter. Fill the pen! 10/10 Cartridge converter, small international cartridges, one in the business end, with one reversed and stored in the body. Brilliant idea, so simple. Never used the converter with it, despite getting one to try it, it just worked perfectly so left it alone. Totally fuss free and hasn't leaked in 25 years. Current ink in use: 10/10 Rotring black cartridges. Have tried others, all are fine, as a pen should be, fuss free. It doesn't seem bothered what diet of ink it is fed, it just lays down ink reliably, never remember it either skipping or flooding. Have only ever cleaned it or flushed it when changing inks and then only with water, other than that it just gets to stay inked. Paper compatibility: 10/10 Now we are getting interesting. This old, basic and inexpensive pen will write on anything except the shiny side of brown paper (did it just to try it). Copier paper, Moleskine, Rhodia, Oxford paper, it lays a line down on all of them. Overall writing experience: 8/10 During it's lifetime, I have always considered this to be a 10/10. However, in the last few years I have been totally spoilt by the introduction of new, higher end pens with various gorgeous nibs etc, so armed with this knowledge, I have to (probably quite unfairly) knock a couple of points off. Had I never had my first ever “posh pen” which was the MB Starwalker Mystery Black, it would have to have been a 10. If we were to then consider again the price point here and lined it up against what one can get for the same money now (writing experience nothing else) then it would better than anything currently out there. Forget the quirky looks, it writes a damned good line and writes on anything. Impressions after use: 10/10 With nostalgia, with reliability, with the fact it has never let me down, despite there being pens out there worth hundreds of pounds with gold nibs etc etc etc, this for me, and has been for a large number of years my go-to pen. It is no longer matte black, it has gone shiny with use. The nib is crying out for its first ever strip down and clean, but it is still shiny! The cap still click into place, the clutch still works, although a lot lighter these days. The nib has no sharpness associated with 1.1 italics, it is literally worn smooth on the corners. It has a nice sweet spot and is forgiving. The pen gets thrown into my work bag or dropped into my top drawer, not abused just laid wherever it may be needed. It is in my regular rotation alongside my new Conway Stewarts, my Lamy Safari etc etc. Epilogue (before I get lots of comments and questions) I bought my partner a new Rotring 1.1 and tried it out. The nib seemed to be of thinner material but it isn't to the naked eye. It seems scratchy at the corners which I never remember on mine. The plastic feels cheaper, the mouldings have a little edge to them, but they are not worn down after 25 years use. Overall it does feel a little cheaper but the price is still in the £15 - £20 region. Not cheap anymore but it is aimed at artists (I think). However. Opening my journal and starting slowly so as not to scare the poor thing. It laid down a line. A black, sharp line. On all the paper I tried. No stalling, no skipping... Welcome to the family “Junior”.
  6. Dear All I purchased a pen long time back on insistence of my wife, yeah there are certain things in life you cant say no to. The pen is Golden Dragon - "Jinhao 1200". I am actually very happy with the pen that i bought for Rs. 350 ( US $6) only thing that sometimes bothers me is the color but yeah it actually wants attention from people some positive some negative. But if you talk about the pen writing experience its a killer. Following is my handwritten review along with some images. The coverter supplied with the pen hold okay amount of ink not great but acceptable. Following are the images: Capped Pen with Clear Branding of Jinhao 1200 at the bottom of cap Dragon clip on the pen had two red small fake stones in the eyes of dragon which have come out after prolong use or maybe not glued properly. top of cap has nice logo or design two tone 18kgp nib writes excellent medium The bottom line is the pen for the price is a superb writer.
  7. dezzick3

    Waterman Carene Review

    The full review with pictures can be found on my new blog https://pentheon.wordpress.com/. I would be eternally grateful if people could provide me with feedback and constructive criticism and follow my blog. I will be posting weekly reviews of pens, inks and papers, next week is a review of Diamine Presidential Blue. Many thanks. Introduction The Waterman Carene was my first proper fountain pen. I’d had Lamy Safaris in the past but this was the first one with a gold nib, first one I a got a converter for and the first one that was over £20! This pen not only introduced me to the world of the higher end pens but also the world of bottled inks, which I truly have come to appreciate. Design The Carene is a classic yet modern looking pen in the subdued “black sea” finish that I chose. There are certainly more extravagant ones available, the “Blue Obsession” model with the engraved gunmetal cap certainly springs to mind. According to Waterman, the Carene is modelled on a speedboat, presumably one that lives on the French Riviera. It’s a slim and relatively light pen, but is still heavy enough to feel solid in the hand, but then again I do prefer a heavier pen, I never really got on with the Safaris. Fit, quality and finish The cap is a pull cap, some disapprove of anything bar screw caps but I’ve never had a problem with it. The ‘click’ when the pen is capped is reassuringly solid. The rest of the pen follows this trend, there is a complete absence of rattling and it feels stable and sturdy in the hand. Filling mechanism The filling system is the standard cartridge and converter mechanism, indeed one can imagine how difficult it would have been for Waterman to fit a piston in such a slim pen. The standard long Waterman cartridges are very generous in capacity and the Waterman inks are varied and rather attractive. The Waterman converter is one of the better converters available, it has a generous capacity and is well put together. Nib The 14k inlaid nib is one of the standout features of the Carene. It is extremely smooth and the gold flows into the grip in a very attractive manner. The breather hole is on the underside of the grip, and this further contributes to the looks of the pen, the gold is smooth and uninterrupted. It’s unusual for an inlaid nib, but I’ve never got ink on my fingers. I chose the medium nib when I bought it, it is available in extra fine, fine, medium, broad and a stock stub. However I imagine finding the less ‘mainstream’ nibs might be quite difficult. The medium nib lays down a perfect line in my eyes, but do see the writing sample below. Value The black and gold version that I bought was just over £100 and at the moment (2 January 2015) that version is available for £75 on Amazon UK. The more ‘interesting’ finishes are a bit more, but the dearer ones are only about £122. I think that around £100 is a brilliant deal for a piece of this quality. Summary and conclusion The Waterman Carene is one of my favourite pens and I highly recommend it to everyone who doesn’t already own one. The nib is excellent, the whole pen is very well put together and the design is very attractive. Some people might not like the absence of a screw cap and a piston but for this price those can be glossed over.
  8. Sorry about the sub-par pictures. It appears I scuffed up the lens on my iPhone and that is my only camera, so I’m doing my best. This is not meant to be a formal review, but rather an overview of a pen that I’m really enjoying. The ink shown in all of these pictures is Noodler’s Upper Ganges Blue, which I have become quite fond of and is great for a demonstrator because it doesn’t look like just black in in the barrel. Overall I think this pen is wonderful and I would gladly buy it again. But, it’s not for everyone… Appearance The Vac is a goofy looking pen, no doubt about that. The cap and filling knob have facets while the barrel does not, the clip is brushed and all other metal parts are shiny, there’s a strange bulbous bit in the middle, etc. But somehow it all winds up just working for me. While some may be annoyed that it is only available in various shades of demonstrator, I am too distracted by watching my ink slosh around to be bothered… Filling Admittedly, the vacuum filling mechanism was a major reason I got this pen. I’m still getting used to it, but it is effective and a fun little novelty. Also, if you want to fill from a small sample it is easy to fill with a blunt tipped syringe without any mess. The pen is also really easy to take apart so that you can thoroughly clean all the little parts out when you change inks. It’s so slick and makes me want to start taking apart other pens… Nib I bought this pen with a 1.1 mm stub which was buttah smooth and very wet. And a bit too broad for my daily writing so I switched to a M. Still very smooth and no flow problems at all except for Salix, which seems to just be a bad fit for this pen. I’m glad that, at least in my limited sample size of N = 2, I have not experienced the horrible flow issues that other people report with TWSBIs. General writing experience I think this is so far my favorite pen to write with. It fits my hand very well (no hint of the issues I feared with step from section to barrel), good weight, nice nibs that are easy to swap, and a big ink capacity. Not sure what else I could ask for! This pen was purchased with my own money and I am not being compensated for this review in any way. All opinions expressed above are my own and you are free to disagree with them if you want.
  9. Hi everyone, Bad Blue Heron is in my opinion an excellent ink. Well behaved, great color and bulletproof. Except the strong odor, which is downright terrible, this is easily one of my top inks. The image is color corrected with ColorChecker Passport. Enjoy! - Daniel
  10. yogalarva

    Rohrer & Klingner Verdura

    I felt that given the festive nature of today, I should do a quick review of the most outrageous green ink I have (to be fair, I only have two green inks, but even still, this one is pretty outrageous): The paper used was a Staples Arc notebook refill. This paper is not as coated as say, Clairefontaine, but I found that this ink bled through a little bit even in my Rhodia. No feathering there though… Anyway, here is a close-up of just after I pushed a bit more ink into the feed: I think that the problems I had with my pen running dry was a combination of writing too fast for the wide nib and that I was writing on my lap, where I wound up with a funny angle happening as I got further down the page. The pen used, by the way, was my Nemosine Singularity with a Goulet 1.5 mm stub. And here is the back of the page: So, that’s that! I bought this ink with my own money and all the opinions expressed herein are entirely my own. I don’t regret buying this bottle at all - sure it’s not a color I can get a ton of use out of, but it’s a really fun, vibrant hue and R&K ink is pretty cheap ($12/50 mL) and good to use for mixing. Also, if you are going to be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a few pints, please do try to make good choices. :-)
  11. Today I'm going to post reviews of not one, but TWO notebooks by Markings by C. R. Gibson! I'll do a compare-and-contrast, along with descriptions of pen-and-ink tests for each. (Sorry, I'm terrible at photos and would only serve to malign the notebooks with my photos). Overview First up, Notebook A, the Markings by C. R. Gibson Ruled Journal in Black Bonded Leather. This is a Moleskine-esque, 5"x8", 120-sheet (240-page) journal with a rear pocket, bookmark ribbon, and an elastic band. It was on sale at the Staples by me for $5, and I bought one to test, thinking "oh, it's a $5 Molkeskine knockoff, it'll probably do poorly." Spoiler alert: it didn't. I may now run back to that Staples and buy every last one I find. Notebook B is Markings by C. R. Gibson's Jumbo Ruled Journal in Black Leatherette. This is a more classically-designed whopper of a 200-sheet / 400-page(!) journal in 7 3/8" x 9 1/2". For those of you keeping score, this is an almost identical size to the composition book form factor (which I am madly in love with), except that this journal measures about 1.5" thick rather than ~3/8" thick. Its only "special feature" is a solitary black bookmark ribbon, but that's all it needs. I paid $13.00 at Staples for this journal, which is MSRP. Design and Construction -A: This is your fairly standard Moleskine-type book. 5" x 8" form factor, elastic band, rear pocket, black ribbon bookmark. The cover is bonded leather (80% leather / 20% non-leather), and seems sturdy. Yes, the pages lay flat! They are advertised as Smyth-sewn, and they certainly behave so. Bonus points right there. The covers don't pick up fingerprints, and I think this will take a fair amount of abuse. (I am not gentle with my toys.) -B: Sturdy construction, questionable cover. The cover is a leatherette, with 0% leather (as far as I can tell, anyway), and I almost wish it had been slightly more expensive and actually leatherbound. I have concerns about the leatherette: it picks up fingerprints very easily, for one, and for another, I'm worried it will damage easily. But it has some interesting stitching, and an homage to old-school bookbinding with 5 raised bars on the spine. Form factor is 7 3/8" x 9 1/2", and is also Smyth-sewn. To my surprise, even a book this thick can lay almost perfectly flat when it's open. It's kind of astonishing. Paper This is what we've all come here to talk about, because we :wub:s our fountain pens on FPN. So here's the short version: They're both great! They're different, but both quite excellent, and behave well with FPs. Both paper stocks are acid- and lignen-free, so they should archive well. Notebook A has ivory-colored pages with 1/4" rulings, for 32 lines per page, while Notebook B's pages are bright white (a turn-off for some, but not me) and slightly larger ruled (college ruled?), containing 30 lines per page. Neither notebook offers a paper weight in their descriptions, and I'm not experienced enough with papers to guess. Performance / Ink Tests -Diamine Ancient Copper / Pilot Metropolitan (Asian M): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -Noodler's 54th Massachusetts / Lamy Safari (Western XF): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Not much. Recto usable? Definitely. -Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun / Lamy Safari (Western M): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: None. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -Noodler's Apache Sunset / Noodler's Ahab (semi-Flex): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: None, except... Bleedthrough: only a few dots when fully flexed, but they bled through onto the next page. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: barely. Bleedthrough: Some. Shading? This is interesting. In Notebook A (Moleskine-esque), Apache Sunset had GORGEOUS red-peach-yellow shading; in this book it's only showing orange. Not sure why. Recto usable? Definitely, apart from bleedthrough areas. -J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey / Noodler's Ahab (semi-Flex): -A: Feathering: None. Showthrough: Minor. Bleedthrough: Minor. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. -B: Feathering: None. Showthrough: Minor. Bleedthrough: Minor. Shading? Fantastic! Recto usable? Definitely. Both papers showed plenty of the glitter in the Stormy Gray, which cheaper papers do not. Overall Impression I would buy either of these again, assuming they hold up to use. They're priced lower than the more-renowned Moleskines, and provide what seems to be pretty great paper, durable construction, and quality craftsmanship for the price point. If you can't afford to drop $20 on a Rhodia webnotebook or similar, this is a good place to spend your dollars.
  12. I asked Paperthinks to send me a few sheets of paper for review, mostly because I didn't want to commit $20 to a journal that might not be FP-friendly. They agreed to send me an out-of-date 2014 planner, but surprised me by sending me a tiiiiny notebook to sample instead. It was a highly classy move on their end. I only wish the paper was as classy as the technique What did I think? Well, read my.... Paperthinks Pocket Notebook Review! Sample provided free from Paperthinks, because I asked nicely. So points for customer / potential-customer service! Item MSRP's at $12.95 on the Paperthinks Site. The Pocket Notebook measures 3.5 x 5.0". The cover is 100% recycled leather, which is nice and appeals to my eco-friendly personality, and the one they sent me is an attractive shade of navy blue. There's an adorable 1/8" wide black ribbon sewn in the middle, and a surprisingly expandable pocket in the back for storing scraps of paper. There's no elastic closure, but it doesn't seem to need one; it seems to want to stay closed all by itself. In terms of branding, the words Paper thinksTM are written, fairly small, on the base of the spine, in an elegant and unobtrusive gray-on-navy arrangement; there is a small logo on the inside of the front cover, opposite a front page that has spaces for Name, Phone, and (oddly enough) emergency contact info. As to the paper, there are 128 sheets (256 pages) of pH-neutral, chlorine-free, acid-free, and "selected recycled fibres", ruled, ivory paper in this notebook. There are 20 lines on the page, with the top 7/16" as a margin, and 3/16" side and bottom margins. The website states that the notebooks are Smyth-sewn and lay flat, which I did not experience to be the case; toward the ends the pages may lie relatively flat, but in the middle it's humpsville, and it's a fight to keep whichever cover has less pages against the desk. This might get better with time, but unfortunately, I don't like the paper well enough to find out. I've only written a few test pages so far, with the 4 pens I have. While my photo-taking skills aren't great, and I've decided not to include them unless someone requests it, here's what I used, and the results: --Pilot Metropolitan (Asian M) with Diamine Ancient Copper: Hairline feathering, which remains quite legible, but some pretty bad bleedthrough at the bottoms of the letters. The reverse side would be basically unusable, but you could get away with using this verso-only. --Noodler's Ahab with J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Gray: All's fair in love and pens, and seeing how a flex pen does with cheap paper is just.... sad. Lots of ink or Ahab's finest receding hairline, didn't matter. The paper still feathered all over the place, and, on the deepest flexes, bled through to the page beyond. Though the ink DOES sparkle nicely on this paper (it doesn't on everything, including Office Despot pads), so that's a plus. --Lamy Safari (Western M) with Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun: This didn't feather particularly badly, partially because I think the nib is just kind of "vague", but it also didn't behave particularly well; the ink is too light-colored for terrible bleed-through, but it still tried pretty hard. Could you use the recto? Probably. But the ink looks "chalky" here, in a way it doesn't on other cheap paper. --Lamy Safari (Western XF) with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts: This was the best-behaved combination I have currently inked (across various papers). The lines don't feather more than the occasional hairline, or bleed through at all, or even show through particularly badly. You could get away with writing on the recto (back of the page) with this pretty easily, if you kept it to the XF nib. With this combination, and this combination Overall: I like that it's recycled and eco-friendly. I want to like this notebook, really I do. But I can't. It doesn't lay flat, it's a little thick for my tastes, and the paper just isn't suitable for fountain pens. As to the paper, with a fine enough nib and a well-behaved ink this MIGHT be a usable journal or notebook. But with most inks and nibs the recto is a complete goner, not to mention its feathering problems. I'm sure it's great with ballpoints, and maybe even rollerballs, but here on the Fountain Pen Network it just doesn't cut it. Spend your $13 on something else. The 3.5" x 5.5" Markings by C.R. Gibson Moleskine-esque notebook sells at Staples for just $7, and, if it's anything like it's bigger sister, it handles FPs MUCH better. Photos: Courtesy of paperthinks.us http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0493/0109/products/PT03558_1_1024x1024.jpg?v=1405440746 http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0493/0109/products/PT91118_02_d80f16e4-8113-4c3a-9026-7d48e3a40861.jpg?v=1405440746
  13. Hi everyone, posting my first ink review, I didn't mean to post it at all, made it for my personal reference but realized it could help someone decide (as numerous reviews have helped me), so here it is. I am sure there is room for improvement so feel free to point out what to adjust in the next one. I've got close to 40 inks so I will be posting more as I go through them again. These of course are only my personal findings and may not be as accurate as someone's who's been reviewing ink for a long time. I've only gotten into inks recently even though I've been using fountain pens for years. This review is on Radece Papir Italia, 80g. The best office paper I've found so far in this part of the world. Excellent for fountain pen inks, very resistant and overall performs very, very well. I've tried quite a number of them by now. I want to stay away from reviewing on Clairfontain or Rhodia simply because I don't use them daily and the ink really won't show its faults as much. Enjoy! - Daniel
  14. Here’s an overdue review of my most expensive fountain pen to date and my very first customised pen. I first came across C.E. Levi pens at my very first pen meet 2 years ago (when I was such a newb and ‘ebonite’ itself was a foreign language), the Nox had such a nice finish, so sleek and unassuming and I was sold (emotionally only then). I am not that keen on his modern wood grains or ripples (no offence, I love my Waterman 52 ripple but only because it came from that period in time right?) and despite the lovely Colossus, the high-gloss finish? I can imagine the pen slipping right through my fingers. A fan of Lamy 2000’s futuristic design and seamless curve extending beyond its piston, I was pleasantly surprised to see a brushed attempt at the Colossus. Conflicted between the Nox and brushed finish Colossus, I went for it regardless. Knowing that it’s a heavy pen, I borrowed my friend’s Lamy 2000 for a couple of weeks to get used to a heavy pen. Sorry about the photos, but I tried: Length: 127.5mm Cap diameter: 12.5mm Material: Brass Design: 4/5 I love the simplicity of the design—sleek and modern, imposing yet unassuming—and the double band grooves on the cap. Not meant for posting though. (This could be an idea for future attempts, but without ugly visible grooves please!) Finish: 3/5 I asked for the filler cap to be flushed to the body as well, but I do not understand why that could not be done. The same for the cap, I can tell he tried his best, but when I run my fingernail across, the kink is obvious. But hey, the 2000 is made on a computer-operated machine and this is by hand-operated machine right? With a nitpicking eye, the brushed lines wavers occasionally, okay wait, it wavers rather much upon scrutiny. The cap closes in about 700 degrees, making it almost 2 complete rounds. It squeaks sometimes, but I like the way the cap closes with an invisible pull towards the end and seals up the nib. You’ll never see the cap come loose on you. Knowing the issues of fingerprints and patina beforehand, I was prepared for it and now I like how my pen has been ‘broken in’ with my caresses. Filling system: 4/5 My second button-filler, and we know button-fillers have less capacity. I’m all for that, since I get sick of the colour pretty quick. My paranoia is changing sacs though, is there anyone capable of doing a repair when Levi is no longer around. Case in point, the filling system is so well-integrated in this pen that I’m not sure how the hell I would get water or dampness in this pen as long as I cap both ends. The button-filler might just last forever without a replacement in this one that’s a comfort. Nib: 3.5/5 Awfully glad another friend jumped on the best nib that was offered, so I got the slightly cheaper, second best. A vintage #2 swan nib that is wet, flexible and sweet. Too wet perhaps, it writes fine but it spills ink into my cap and the stains transfers into the grooves. Being full metal, more careless washing could be done I guess but times like this, I want an ultrasonic cleaner for Christmas. I suspect that it’s the fitting of the feed being less than perfect. A heavier shake is all it takes for ink to spill. Weight: 4/5 It is a heavy pen, but it is metal after all. The solid weight complements its character, though I try to dispel the thought that I spent a few hundred quids to buy a brass rod for my hand. I love the Lamy 2000 design but I kept rotating the pen while I write, which doesn’t happen with other pens. Maybe it’s the hooded nib being too shy, for I do not encounter the same issue with the Levi pen. One check of the nib direction every time I uncap is all I need throughout any length of writing. During prolong time gaps between note taking, moisture gathers on the hands and the pen is prone to slipping. Instead of keeping it in a writing pose, I tend to place it horizontally between fingers nowadays. The weight rests quite well in the flesh between my thumb and index and there is hardly any writing fatigue with the pen at its cause. 2 months into its usage and I see micro scratches but they are like the faint patina and micro dirt settling itself into the tiny weeny brushed surface, I embrace this pen as my last purchase of the year but I can’t promise it won’t get itself a cousin in the future. Meanwhile, you can see occasional appearances of it in my Instagram.
  15. TWSBI Mini in Rose Gold Review First Impression (10/10) So, there are two reasons why I got this pen. First is that I really wanted a piston filler, the second being that I wanted a shiny white pen. The pen is nicely packaged as any other TWSBI pen, with the cardboard box and plastic shell, completed with wrench and silicon grease. This pen looked beautiful out of the box, it is a little smaller than I expected, but I do like smaller pens so it’s a plus for me. Appearance and Design (8/10) Again, the Mini is a really beautiful pen when empty. However, it does look somewhat worse when it is filled with dark black ink, but it still looks good nevertheless. I would warn you that it does give off a feminine feel, which may turn off those who prefer manly-man, black on black stealth pens. The design is excellent; I especially enjoy the ability to take it apart for cleaning and maintenance. Weight and Dimensions (10/10) The pen is small, and since I have smaller hands it is perfect for me. The pen does post pretty well with the screw on cap, so it’ll fit those with larger hands as well. Nib and performance (6/10) As a student, I always go with the fine nib for best performance on cheap paper. The nib is beautifully coated with rose gold. The nib did not start off being the smoothest, but got much better after a little bit of adjustments with my writing angle (small sweet spot). I do have a big complaint with how dry this pen is. This pen is beyond just causing a little bit of hard start: it completely stops working when kept in an upright position, causing a lot of frustration for me needing to prime it each time. Now I keep the pen flat on my desk and keep it half full to make sure it works every time when I pick it up. This is not best choice for use as a student pen. Filling system & Maintenance (10/10) The filling system is easy to use, and holds a lot of ink. Maintenance is superior because I can take apart the pen easily to clean out the pen really quickly. Cost & Value (6/10) Ok, this pen looks nice, but you can get an identical pen with just a different color (the regular TWSBI Mini) for $15 less. So if you’re not looking for a white and gold pen, getting this pen is low in value. Reliability wise it is disappointing for the dryness mentioned above, thus obviously lower in value than other pens like Lamy Safari as a work pen. Conclusion (8/10) This pen looks really nice and writes smoothly now, which is why I’m sure to be keeping it. I do have complaints of its dryness, but it is nothing that I can’t overlook easily, just problematic for taking notes. Overall I like this pen and accept its flaws.
  16. Hi everyone, this is my first review. I'm doing it because I have purchased a pen that has a history and also has emotional significance for me because of where the material used to make it came from. Name: York Minster 13th Century Firewood Oak handmade fountain pen Price: £49.99 from www.yorkandbeyond.com (no affiliation) who also have an ebay store. The pen is also available from www.yorkminster.org Overall performance: quite smooth (fine nib) Video of my review at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03Nf0kFbO48 The pen is made by a Yorkshire craftsman using 800 year old wood from York Minster that was reclaimed after the fire there in 1984. York and the Minster mean something to me and so that is what motivated my purchase. The pen came in a large white cardboard box embossed with the seal of the Archbishop of York. Inside the box was a book (and I mean book) about the Minster and the fire as well as a certificate of authenticity from the Dean of York Minster. The pen came with a standard international cartridge and a standard international converter, a velvet pen-slip and a spare nib (so I have a fine and a medium gold-plate iridium-point german nib for this pen). The pen is capped and posted via a screw mechanism (the capping process was a little stiff). There is a large polished black, pointed finial (stone or metal?) on the cap which also has a large cap ring with a thin piece of the same black material embossed on it (it may be 2 thinner cap rings separated by a thin piece of the black material. The section is gold-plate to match the rest of the trims (which are also available in chrome and gunmetal finishes) and is a lot thinner than the barrel and cap (but not as thin as on my Waterman Hemisphere 10 which I find to be too thin). I have compared the fine and medium nibs supplied with the pen. Both are fairly smooth. The fine nib offers a bit of feedback which I find helpful but felt a bit on the dry side when using Waterman Florida Blue. The medium nib is considerably smoother, wetter and a joy to use. It feels a privilege to be touching history every time I use this pen and it was purchased for its history and to pass on when I'm not here. The fact it is so pleasant to use is an added bonus. Friendly and fast service when buying this pen and which helped make a contribution to the ongoing restoration and upkeep of one of the UK's finest cathedrals (no affiliation). Best wishes James
  17. poisonedpen

    Papier Plume - Burgundy Ink Review

    First review. This is of Papier Plume's hand-bottled ink, Burgundy, which can be found at papierplume.com or in their shop in New Orleans. It's a nice ink that performs well in italic or flex nibs. My review was color-corrected to represent an accurate scan of the ink. Feathering of the ink is actually zero to very minimal, but my image resolution makes it look a little higher, unfortunately.
  18. TimTheZaj

    Diplomat Classic Review

    A handwritten review with pictures:
  19. I received my Parker Urban Premium in Metallic White, M nib, last Christmas, and have been using it regularly for close to a year now. Right now it's inked with a mixture of Diamine Yellow and Pelikan Brilliant Red. These are my thoughts on how I feel about the pen! Appearance and design http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk80/hockairu/randoms/IMAG0128.jpg http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk80/hockairu/randoms/IMAG0129.jpg The Parker Urban Premium is a beautiful pen. I love the streamlined hourglass shape, the lovely pearly white finish. The crisscrossed lines on the barrel and cap add a touch of elegance to the look. Being made of metal, it feels well built and has some weight to it, but not so much that it causes hand fatigue easily. The clip is an unusual, arrow shape, and it feels quite tight. However, one thing I'd like to mention is that the pen scratches very easily, despite the care I've taken to keep it looking as new as possible. You can see the big paint chip on the cap and little scratches on the end of the barrel. The grip is made from shiny black resin that tends to pick up fingerprints easily. The pen posts, but posting makes it top heavy so it's not something I usually do when planning to write for long periods of time. Unposted, the balance is alright. The nib is unusually small - one of the smallest nibs I own. http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk80/hockairu/randoms/IMAG0121.jpg Filling system The Parker Urban Premium uses a c/c filling system. The converter that comes with the pen is solidly build and holds a decent amount of ink. What I especially like about it is that, instead of having to twist to draw in ink, all you have to do is pull up a plunger (I'm not very sure how to describe it, so I'll just post a picture below). There also happens to be a little ball bearing in the converter that you can shake when ink gets stuck at the top. http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk80/hockairu/randoms/IMAG0124.jpg http://i277.photobucket.com/albums/kk80/hockairu/randoms/IMAG0126_1.jpg Performance The nib is a steel, M nib. The medium writes slightly narrower than the other mediums I have. It is quite stiff, with no flex or line variation. However, mine is very smooth, reliable and wrote perfectly out of the box. I have yet to experience any skipping or hard starts. Flow is somewhat drier than my other fountain pens. Overall impression Despite some minor minus points, all in all I'd say the Parker Urban Premium is a pretty reliable pen with a fantastic design. I'd recommend it to anyone who's looking to get an eye-catching yet functional pen for a reasonable price. Thanks for reading my first review! (:
  20. "Dear god, not another Lamy 2000 review" you must think. Well, I thought that too ! However I find interesting to see the consistency of the reviews over time. I've noticed that there are review on this forum of this very pen from 2008, 2010, etc. So, in my opinion, it's interesting to have another one, especially since Lamy said they reworked on the Lamy 2000 nib a few years ago. Be aware that I'm still a newbie to the fountain pen world, I've been using for 3 years a cheap cartridge waterman and a Twsbi 580 since this summer. Concerning, the review, there will be no pictures nor handwriting scans as I don't have anything to take decent pictures. I've bought this pen at pengallery as it was the cheapest, it just arrived today (just 4 days from Malaysia !) and I've been playing with it for some hours now but enough talking, let's get down to the actual review. Appearance and design : 9,5/10 10/10 Oh boy ! What a beauty ! I'm a fan of bauhaus design and this pen is pretty much the epitome of it ! It's elegant, modern and functional, what could you ask more ? The material is quite interesting to the touch, not your typical plastic body and I find it very pleasing. The machining is just brilliant, it's very neat and tightly machine, it screams german quality. The design in itself is genious, the round lines that follow the curve of the nib, the metal part at the front creating a nice touch, contrasting with the black makrolon body are things that make the Lamy 2000 a design masterpiece I could write pages on the design itself but I'm not proficient enough in english to do so. The cap system is quite nice, there is some kind of spring mechanism to secure the cap. Some people warned against the two metal pieces that are on both side of the pen to secure the cap as they would be uncomfortable for some people but they're so small you don't even feel them. My only critic will be against the ink window which isn't very readable and that would be the only weakness of the pen's design. It's actually very readable and does the job as expected Piston filling system : 7/10 The piston filling method is well-done, it's working as intended and the separation between the part you turn and the body is seamless. I can't tell yet if it holds enough ink but previous reviews have showed that it can. So why 7/10 ? It's because you can't easily grease the piston itself and it's wuite stiff, however the goulet pen co showed it was possible using some q tips Nib and pleasure of writing : 6,5/10 9/10 Considering all the pen I have, it's the wettest, the nib just glides on the paper and it's very pleasant to write with. The pen feels nice in the hand, not too small nor too big and has some decent weight. It was smooth straight out of the box so no problem here on QC nor the flow of ink. BUT, and I don't understand why they don't change their standards, the nib is far too big for an EF ! It really is like a japanese M and that really bothers me, it's just too big and thus I find it difficult to even try to make some hairlines. Even if it's not the main purpose of pen, I always find pleasant to make some for capitals but it seems also that the nib isn't flexible at all. Because of this, I plan to send it to a neibmeister in order to grind the nib. So my advice people who look for thinness to look for something else if having a big ink capacity is not their concern. EDIT : Now I understand my mistake. You see I'm always used to apply some pressure on the pen and that's why my Lamy was doing such a broad line, Now a gentle touch dives a very elegant line that follows your hand like a charm. The pen respond to the pressure you make so you have to think about that when writing but that means you have a lot possibilities. Conclusion : I have mixed feelings towards this pen, it has strenghs and weaknesses. Its strengths being the gorgeous design, the quality of manufacturing and the piston filling system however the nib is quite a disapointment although it's super smooth advertising it as EXTRA fine, instead of let's say fine, is a lie to me. Now that I understand the pen better, it is clearly a no brainer for me and perhaps the ultimate pen you could find.
  21. KreepyKen

    Knox Galileo Review

    Knox Galileo Fountain Pen Price: $15.00 Nib: Extra Fine Filling System: Piston / Cartridge (International Standard) Knox is an interesting brand. They're only available from one retailer (XFountainPens out of Pittsburgh, PA, USA). They appear to be commissioned from a Chinese manufacturer, but outfitted with German nibs. I heard some great things about the Knox nibs and noticed that the Galileo came with a free bottle of ink. For $15, I figured I'd take a chance on it (okay, the fact that it comes in a nice, shiny orange may have had something to do with it, too). With the exception of one rather large flaw, I absolutely love this pen. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_01.jpg Appearance I find the pen to be beautiful, if not a little simple in design. It's a sleek, clean design that has just enough chrome accents to give it a little sparkle. I have two pens, each with a different finish. The orange pen is glossy and shiny; the black pen has a matte finish. Both finishes are extraordinary, although the glossy one is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. The cap and barrel are metal, and the pen has a bit of heft to it, although I wouldn't say it's heavy. It feels solid; sturdy. The finial and endcap are simple chrome adornments, as are the clip and cap band. The clip reminds me a little of Pelikan in style, but it's shaped in a wave pattern that adds a little bit of flare to it. The nib is gold colored, which I think is a strange choice, given the pen's silvery chrome accents. It would have looked much nicer with a silver-colored nib instead of gold. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_02.jpg http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_03.jpg Build Quality (5/5) The Galileo feels like a solid, well built, good quality pen, and it performs very well. Both the glossy and matte finishes are beautiful and feel durable. The snap-on cap secures tightly in place with a loud and satisfying click. Although sometimes the cap doesn't close. You can push on it pretty hard, but it won't snap shut. I don't know if it's slightly misaligned or if I'm pushing at a minute angle that it doesn't like. When this happens, I just separate the pen and cap and try again, and it always snaps into place the second time. The section is very smooth and somewhat slippery. I can't tell if it's plastic or metal, but the threads on the section are metal and well machined. The section screws and unscrews from the barrel very smoothly; the metal-on-metal feel of the coupling makes the pen feel nice and solid. The converter is a standard screw-type piston filler that slides in and out of the section. It would be nice if it screwed into the section, but the hold is pretty firm. I have no fear that the converter will dislodge from the section accidentally. And the converter comes with a small plastic or glass ball in it to agitate the ink for better flow into the section & feed. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_07.jpg http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_05.jpg Dependability (5/5) I had quite a few skips early on, but the pen seems to have settled down quite a bit. I generally don't have any problems with it writing. I've noticed that if I let the pen sit open for more than a few seconds, it may take one or two strokes for the ink to start flowing to the paper, but otherwise, the writing is beautiful and consistent. The cap is very secure on the pen. I have no worries about it coming off by surprise. And I have had absolutely no issues with the pen leaking or dripping, although I've found nib creep to be pretty prominent. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_09.jpg Comfort (3/5) The pen is pretty comfortable to write with for short periods of time, but I've found that my hand tends to cramp up when writing with the Galileo for an extended period of time. The section is very slick, and it's not uncommon for my fingers to slip around a little bit when writing. It hasn't been a huge problem, but it's noticeable. One gripe of mine with the pen is that the cap doesn't post. I'd very much like to try writing with the cap posted to see if it changes the balance of the pen and alleviates the hand cramping. I've heard of other people successfully posting this pen by forcing the cap onto the end of the pen, but I'm afraid if I push too hard, I'll break the plastic sleeve inside the cap. I'd rather have a pen that doesn't post than a pen that doesn't close. And speaking of the cap, because it's a push-on cap, there is a slight lip where the section meets the barrel. These lips tend to be a little sharp and can cause discomfort if you hold the pen higher up the section. But honestly, I don't notice the lip at all when writing. I think they did a great job of designing it to not be a nuisance. The slick section and hand cramps are enough for me to dock the pen a couple points for comfort. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_04.jpg Writing Experience (4/5) Now that the skipping business is out of the way, I have to say that I'm very impressed with how this pen writes. The nib is fantastic: super smooth and consistent. There is no line variation, but the flow is great. It's a pretty wet writer. My only problem with the nib is that it's supposed to be an extra fine, but writes closer to a medium. I have very tiny handwriting and am dying to find extra fine nibs that are actually extra fine (I wish Pilot sold standard #5 and #6 nibs!). The pen writes awesome, but it's a bit too thick for my taste. I did try a bit of reverse (upside down) writing. The line is super fine...just beautiful, in fact. But the nib is wicked scratchy in that orientation. It makes me nervous, so I don't do it. http://www.gizmosauce.com/img/galileo_10.jpg Value (5/5) This pen is an amazing value for $15. When I ordered it, it came with a free bottle of ink. It comes with a converter, but also takes international standard cartridges. One thing I really like about the Galileo is that there are a ton of nib options available. It takes a Knox K26 nib, which comes in EF, F, M, B, OB, and OBB for under $10 each. So for a pretty small price overall, you can get a solid, dependable pen and various sized nibs to swap out. If the EF nib was a true extra fine, the Knox Galileo would rival the Pilot Metropolitan for value and sheer awesomeness. Best Qualities: Solid Build Great Nib Attractive Design Worst Qualities: EF nib is not an EF Cap does not post Cap does not always snap into place Overall Score: 22/25
  22. yogalarva

    Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo

    This is a more subdued color because I’m hoping that if I stop using bright, summery colors, fall will hurry up and get here. It is my favorite season after all… This ink was sent to me by a very generous member on FPN, who I will not name for privacy (thanks again!!!). It’s a blue black that I think looks just like Diamine Registrars right after you put it down on paper. So, if you wanted that blue/black/grey color of an iron gall but you don’t want the upkeep requirements of an iron gall, this might be a good choice for you. As you can see, it’s not completely water resistant, but I would say there’s enough left there that you could decipher what’s written if you really needed. Otherwise it’s a really nice ink, just like every other Iroshizuku I’ve tried. Very well behaved, no real issues with feathering or bleeding and no hard starts. This is a hard one to recommend. The color is nice, but to me it’s not that exciting. Like I said, if you are looking for a classic blue-black, I think this is a good one. On the other hand, pretty much every brand has a blue-black and there is probably one to be found that would be cheaper than this one, at ~$28/bottle in the States. My advice would be to try a sample first so that you can ensure it will be worth the investment for a full bottle. I have a few other blue-blacks in my sample collection, so I’ll try to do a comparison between the ones I have this weekend. :-) This ink was provided for the purpose of review and I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions above are my own and you are free to disagree if you like.
  23. yogalarva

    Noodler's Apache Sunset

    This is one of those inks that is legendary in the FP world. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of someone who absolutely hates it, and I don’t know that I’ve heard that much about people who are relatively indifferent to it. I wish I could be one of those people, but sorrynotsorry, this is going to be another gushing review for this ink. Like I said above, at first I didn’t see what all the hoopla was about. Then I switched to the notebook I have started using for my ink reviews and the beautiful shading really started to show itself. In case you are super new to fountain pens or have been living under a rock for, like, ever, Apache Sunset is known for being an ink that has some serious shading. And I love shading, so this was a wonderful treat to write with. As I expected, this ink does not have a ton in the way of water resistance. Which usually irks me, but then again this ink is not something that I would be using for writing important messages. While it is definitely dark enough to stay readable, I would never use this as my all-purpose daily user. However it would be fun to have loaded up for marking up a document or just writing for the sake of writing. This ink worked well on all the papers I tested it on, but I found that it performed the best on the notebook paper making up the bulk of the review. Nice bright white to bring out the color, smooth for a good writing experience, and no troubles with bleeding or feathering. Overall, I would definitely recommend this ink. I will be getting a full bottle once my finances recover a bit from some recent ink buying binges. The nice thing is that, as a Noodler’s ink, you can get a lot of it for not too much money - roughly $13/100 mL here in the States. How can you say no to that? This ink was provided for review by a generous reader. I am not being compensated for this review in any way. All opinions expressed above are my own and you are free to disagree with them if you like. The full page scan of the review, in case anyone was curious:
  24. Let's talk about a pen which is seldom mentioned here (or anywhere else for that matter...). The Gate City Belmont Syringe Filler. 1. Appearance & Design (9/10) This is the caribbean version, which looks pretty amazing, under my lamp the material sparkles like metal flake paint on cars (I tried to capture that in the first photo following this paragraph), the material is resin as far as I can tell. The pen tapers towards the end of the filler cap and the section, with the biggest circumference at the thread of the filling 'mechanism'. The ink chamber is translucent with a slightly blue/turquoise hue. It has a black section and a two-tone steel nib (it's possible to order the pen with a gold nib) and a pretty big cap with some engraved text on it. All in all, a pretty looking pen. Three things which bother me: The threads at both ends of the ink chamber look somewhat rough, the cap is build from two parts and I don't like the seam between them and finally the clip, which is too small for the cap and looks like a joke. ] 2. Construction & Quality (6/10) Not sure if I wanna go down even further to 5 points. This is a 160,- US $ pen and it just doesn't feel the part. The whole thing and its components feel flimsy. There was glue (or pretty old silicone grease) at the threads, making the thing feel sticky. Nib wasn't correctly aligned to the feed and now for the thing which drives me nuts: The filler cap sits slightly askew on the barrel (see photo below), I can feel a ridge with my thumb. Maybe this is because I'm German and precision craftsmanship is something we germans like very much, but I could rant for hours about this... Addendum: For folks who think a Ford Lightning pickup truck is nicely build, this won't be a problem, you can add 2 points to the score... 3. Weight & Dimensions (8/10) Not much to say, it's light (that's nice, at least in my opinion) and a bit bigger than a Pelikan M200. For me (6'2 guy with small hands) this is the right size. It posts pretty well, if that's important for you. To add a bit more text to this paragraph I've made three photos of the box, as you can see the pen seems to be made by Bexley. 4. Nib & Performance (9/10) Now for the important part: The nib is a two-tone steel nib and it would look nice if there was just a Bexley-logo and not this big, ugly "Iridium Point Germany" text... This was a broad, which Richard transformed into a 0.8 stub nib. After aligning the feed and a bit of writing it skipped, a lot. After some extreme flushing/cleaning/scrubbing/cursing this was solved and now the pen writes as it should. The line is easily as wide as my Lamy 1.1 and shows nice variation. I've ordered a 6/10 wetness (Richards default wetness) and the pen lays down beautiful wet lines. It's smooth and writes with minimal feedback, but it's not as smooth as my TWSBI 1.5 stub, which glides without any feedback at all. 5. Filling system & Maintenance (9/10) System or mechanism is a big word for something which is essentially a simple syringe. Unscrew the filler cap and you can move the plunger up and down. That's it... Great for fast flushing and it holds a ton of ink, around 1.8ml! If you are into nifty filling systems, buy a piston or vacuum filler, this here is easy, fast, reliable and pretty simple. Everything can be disassembled for cleaning and re-greasing. Nib and feed are friction fit and pull out easily. I would give it 10 out of 10, but there's a thread insert which holds the plunger and is screwed into the ink chamber. The filler cap also attaches to that insert and the thing is pretty difficult to remove. If this could be unscrewed with -let's say- a TWSBI wrench, this would be pretty close to perfect... 6. Cost & Value (7/10) It looks really nice, I love how it sparkles in bright light, it writes really well and it's a syringe filler, which is something you don't see that much. But it's also a pen with a very simple filling mechanism, mediocre build quality, average materials and an ugly steel nib to put it very bluntly. I know that Bexley isn't the biggest manufacturer and that I shouldn't compare it to mass production pens, but in the end a 60,- $ TWSBI seems the much better deal than the 160,- $ Belmont. 7. Conclusion (48/60) I'm sure that in some parts this review sounds like I hate the thing. But no, I like it, really! It looks really great, it's a great writer and the filling system is special (even if it's as simple as it gets). I'm disappointed with the quality, I've expected something that was built like a tank but I've got a paper plane...made out of thin paper... I hope this was useful to some of you and if you have questions/unsolicited criticism/useful info/bitter rants/etc. please voice them below
  25. MSchneider

    Ink Review - Diamine Blue Black

    Here is a quick writing test on notebook paper from a Mead five start notebook. The feathering that I mentioned Is extremely hard to see and is in no way a hindrance to its use. The ink has a very nice color with some shading, the scan does not show the full range of color. The ink lubricates the nib well, it can be a little scratchy on 20 lb copy paper but it is smooth on about everything else I have tried. It has a nice even flow and rarely has any starting problems. Diamine Blue Black is a Wonderful ink and a perfect choice for students, and everyone else! Ps. I know I misspelled Written.





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