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  1. truthpil

    Jinhao 991 Review

    Hello again to all my FP-friends, Allow me to introduce to you the Jinhao 992’s oddly named and somewhat homely younger sister—the 991. This pen comes in both an EF (0.38) hooded nib and F open nib version. Since the nib, feed, housing, and converter on the F nib version are identical to that of the 992, it goes without saying that the 991 writes just as well and has the same smooth nib and flawless flow. All I had to do was put ink in the converter (I don’t like sticking my pens in bottles), put the converter back in the pen, and within just a few seconds the pen was writing a juicy medium-side-of-fine line. I can’t speak for the EF version because the black hooded nib was just too ugly to look at. Nib options: (Taobao) Color options: (Taobao) Appearance & Design There is no question as to where the design came from: The appearance is my least favorite part about the 991. Who would want to own a fountain pen that looks just like a disposable roller-ball?? The only saving factor is that it’s a demonstrator (and, of course, a fountain pen). The coffee brown tint on this model gives it an extra bit of class over the dull black Uni-ball. Looks aside, the matte finish on the cap and barrel adds a nice tactile feel. The whole pen is notably thinner than the 992 and almost as long as the X750. If you wanted a significantly thinner and lighter alternative to the X750, then you’ll probably enjoy using the 991. The section is long and slender and will be comfortable no matter where you grasp it. The design is utilitarian and comfortable, even if boring and unoriginal. I could easily write with this pen for hours on end with no fatigue. Construction I was at first concerned about the durability of the 991. The plastic is noticeably thinner and has just a tad more “give” to it than that of the 992. The thickness and strength of the plastic reminded me a lot of a Platinum Preppy (see below). In fact, I’d say the 991 is Jinhao’s answer to the Preppy (and a more cost-effective answer at that). Despite these initial concerns, after much squeezing of both barrel and cap on the 991 and a Preppy, the 991 is clearly more durable. If you like Preppies and use them regularly without cracking the cap or barrel, then you’ll love this pen! I’m just slightly more apprehensive with this pen than with the 992 about throwing it in my bag unprotected, but I don’t think you’ll have to wrap tape around the joints to prevent cracking the way I always have to with my Preppies. Jinhao 992 and 991: Jinhao 991 and Platinum Preppy barrels: And now the million yuan question, “Does it come cracked like the 992?” After examining the whole pen with a loupe for quite some time over two days, I can assure you that at least my specimen has NO CRACKS whatsoever. [What might appear to be cracks in the photos below are injection molding seams and a few scratches in the plastic.] I’ll give you an update after a few weeks of use, but I don’t foresee cracking as a problem. The end of the barrel does have a plug in it, but it is quite different than that of the 992. The plug takes up the whole end of the barrel, as is also the case with the finial on the cap. If you’re one of those brave souls who likes to eyedropperize pens, then this pen is worth your consideration. The seal on the barrel plug is airtight. I also filled the barrel with water and shook it vigorously for a while and there were no leaks. My only hesitation about using this as an eyedropper filler is that the pen is very slender and will probably heat up quickly from hand warmth and start burping, as might occur with a Preppy. Also note that, unlike the 992, this pen does not come with an O-ring, so you’ll have to supply your own and probably apply some silicone grease to the threads just to be safe. One nice point is that the threading is much finer than on the Preppy and thus provides a tighter seal. Weight & Dimensions Numbers mean little to me when I’m thinking about what is comfortable in my hand, so here are some comparison shots with other common pens to give you an idea of the physical dimensions of the 991. From left to right: Jinhao 992, Jinhao 991, Platinum Preppy 02, Jinhao X750, Parker 45, Parker 51, Lamy Safari The 991 is a very light pen. It has no heft at all when unposted and feels back-heavy and unbalanced when posted (at least for my small hands). Concluding Remarks Although the 991 lacks much of the appeal of the 992, it also lacks its problems. I’m not fond of the shape and general appearance of this pen, but it’s a pleasure to write with and extremely comfortable to hold (unposted, in my case). This pen was designed to write and write and write effortlessly, although some may be uncomfortable with the slender body and light weight. Nib options are limited to EF and F, but you can easily remove the nib on the open nib model and put in another. TWSBI ECO nibs fit well and perhaps a standard #5 would work as well. I’ll have to get back to you on that once my JoWo #5 architect grind arrives. I recommend the Jinhao 991 over the Platinum Preppy for the following reasons: (1) its nib is just as smooth as an 05 Preppy; (2) its material is sturdier; (3) it comes with its own converter that holds a lot of ink; (4) it comes in several colors with no painted on branding to remove; (5) it’s about half the price of a Preppy, depending on where you live. This pen is a perfect choice for your “fountain penvangelism” efforts and is just nice to have around for trying funky inks you may be afraid to put in nicer pens. This pen is so affordable that, if you can tolerate its underwhelming physique, it’s worth at least owning a couple.
  2. Hi folks, This year for the holidaysI decided to treat myself to a tiny Pelikan! There was a seller on amazon offering the 101N for less than $300. I'd been fancying one for a while, but of course they are usually pretty spendy. At that price, though, game on! The pen is not very large, being the same size as a vintage 100n. I like this size a lot, having a few 400s and other older pens. I have pretty big hands, but love the way the small pens balance and handle when they are posted. I also enjoy larger pens as well, such as my Scribo and M800. I can see the size would be an issue for people who like to write with a baseball bat, but I imagine most folks would enjoy the portability and elegance of one of these in the toolkit. It comes in a posh "I'm so fancy" sort of box: I worked out the box is actually 130 times the volume of the pen, which seems like a lot. Especially when it doesn't hold very much: Or, to put it another way: Hmmmm. One of the things I admire about Germany is the progress they have made on environmental matters. Not so much here. So, to the pen. Honestly, it's a beauty. Here it is sitting on its fancy box: Super styley hang-tag! Here are a couple of details. First the binde, which on mine is perhaps a slightly bluer blue-grey. A very pretty colour with a nice shimmery effect. I can't tell for sure if it's a binde or the body, by the way, but the construction looks really like a vintage Pelikan. If forced to guess, I'd say that it's a cellulose binde over a body made of the same stuff as the ink window. When you look "up" the body towards the piston it is really quite translucent and the binde has that slightly "draggy" feeling I associate with cellulose. Here is the top of the cap. I LOVE the engraving here (sorry about the fluff in the picture. That was me, not Pelikan!): Here are a couple of beauty shots! So how about filling and writing? The piston action is simply superb, smooth and positive. I know people say this all the time, but the Pelikan piston really is the best in the game. Here's a picture of the nib. It's a terrible picture, but I wanted to show the cool 1940s nib engraving! It looks like the nib is scratched in the picture, but it's not. Just needed a wipe! The nib was terrific right out the box. Not a lot of line variation, but a nice spring, very smooth, no hesitation, skips or any other naughtiness. It's one of the nicest nibs I've tried in a long time. Here's a writing sample, with apologies for the scrawl: So there you go. A very elegant, handy little pen, with rock solid construction and really impressive vintage references (and a "free" bottle of ink and a box your cat can live in after you take out the pen). The cat in the room is, of course, the price. At $500 or €500, this is not a bargain. It's cute, it's fun, it has a lovely nib, but really! For $300 or €300 it's a solid deal, with character, reliability and not a little flair. I'd say that if you were thinking of one, at any price up to $400 or €400 you will feel you got your money's worth and a wee bit more! Thanks for reading, and take care, Ralf
  3. Wing sung 3003 Really like the body on this model , much better than other fountain pens .. Just feels more robust - stronger - not fragile at all . The NIB on this one is NQR , but I tested it in anyways .. Very scratchy , canted 45 deg right it became horrible , tore into the paper ... Same thing using the pen inverted ... Doing circles the pen ran dry on one side ... 24 Hours latter .. It started fine , but I got out the 2000 wet and dry and started polishing the NIB .. It did write better but was never really good .. So I just kept polishing till I destroyed the NIB ... I did have a spare nib , unfortunately it was another fine NIB so write scratchy , but I let this one be ... Not sure the review is fair as the NIB was NQR , but hey , this is how it was sent to me .. I really wish I could buy 0.7 NIB's , but I have ordered some spare NIBS ( medium I hope ) ... Such a shame that a nice body is attached to a rubbish NIB ..
  4. LizEF's recent question/thread in this forum section – and the fact that I frivolously ordered and picked up 26 new bottles of different inks yesterday – have me pondering, how does one go about systematically reviewing inks, from planning to execution, so that the ‘work products’ out of the expended effort (and resources, including the inks themselves) are meaningful and useful? Yes, I've read the pinned topics at the top in the Ink Reviews section, including specifically ‘Suggestions For What To Include In An Ink Review’, and read many great and helpful reviews of different inks by esteemed fellow forum members, from which each I glean bits and pieces of what I want to know about an ink. visvamitra and crahptacular, as (notable, but of course not the only) exemplars of seasoned and thorough reviewers, obviously have well-practised procedures and systems for doing ink reviews. But do most of the rest of us just fill a (spare?) pen up with a new ink, start scribbling, and let our thoughts and impressions come to us? Right now I'm pondering buying extra pens – and other equipment and incidental consumables – for testing, but part of me thinks it's going over the top, while another part of me thinks it actually goes against the spirit of a user review, not the least in consideration of: Would my review have been the one-stop-shop that would have covered at least 90% of what I want to know about an ink, the next time I consider when, on what and in which pen to use a particular ink, or whether I want to buy more of it if (say) a special retail offer for it comes onto my radar? (Getting ink samples in retail or commercially is, for all intents and purposes, not an option readily available to Australian fountain pen users, so I'm always thinking of a financial commitment of A$15–A$45 a bottle of ink delivered.) In particular, it's almost as if the only ‘fair’ and meaningful way to test for ‘wetness’ is to use something like a cheap (Platinum/Pilot/Sailor) desk pen with EF nib – that I suspect none of us use seriously and frequently, not for any shortcoming in product quality – as a de facto standard (from the perspective of a particular individual reviewer) to see whether the ink flows decently down the feed and the slit, and to compare the line width laid down on a particular type (or even batch) of paper, since there is no practical, objective metric the average reviewer can use for measuring ‘wetness’ or viscosity, with or without a specific use case in mind. I'm not going to keep a duplicate or second unit of my ‘favourite’/‘EDC’ pen for ink testing and review purposes only, and I dislike flushing and cleaning a ‘fine’ fountain pen after 30 minutes of intermittent use during testing, and wasting time, effort and ink through inevitable unproductive loss in the process. In any case, I know from experience that, say, my two new Platinum #3776 Balance pens with F nibs (in the same model, just of different barrel colours) seem to behave noticeably differently, so it's just so difficult to isolate what is the characteristic of the ink itself (as opposed to variation in the nibs, pens, paper, ambient temperature, etc.) as opposed to making a forecast for a specific future use case. Then there are things that I'd like to know about, but not by engineering a situation where it could happen, just to see whether it does or not. For example, whether an ink would stain the white surface of my writing desk. I do have eight or so demonstrator pens, but I don't want to use them specifically to test whether an ink would stain a clear demonstrator, 1. because (I believe) nobody in his/her right mind wants to stain a clear demonstrator pen he/she owns and most likely paid for; and 2. choosing to use a demonstrator has inherent risk, and so I only buy cheap demonstrators (the most expensive being a clear Sailor Lecoule). I have no interest in whether an ink would stain a $200 Platinum #3776 Century Nice Pure, and I don't really want anyone else to have to find out through first-hand (but unwanted) experience either for the purpose of a review, either. How to strike the right balance of effort (and risk) against value (and meaning) in doing ink reviews still evades me.
  5. Disclaimer: I enjoy doing mini ink reviews for my personal reference, and I'd like to share them with others if they might be of help to gain an insight into the ink's appearance and performance. I generally don't have time to put together super comprehensive reviews, like some of our fantastic reviewers here do (thank you so much for your hard work!), but hopefully these mini reviews will still be useful as another point of reference. Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-Yo Much has been written about Pilot Iroshizuku inks. It is a highly popular line of Japanese inks that comes in [mostly] vibrant and saturated colors, with rather wet-flowing consistency, some translucence, a good deal of unobtrusive sheen for some colors, and generally some water resistance. Tsuki-Yo is a popular blue-black, and I probably won't add more than what's already been written and photographed, but better more than less information for prospective buyers. This is a rather vibrant blue-black. As opposed to more muted and vintage looking blue-blacks such as Sailor Jentle Blue-Black. There is a good deal of teal in this ink, but it's not necessarily jumping out at you from the page if you use bright white paper. Some paper makes it look less teal and more navy, and some paper enhances the green notes. I personally prefer the more teal look and like it on ivory toned paper more than on more neutral white paper. There is magenta-red sheen around the edges of wetter writing on good paper. The ink has some water resistance: a slightly fuzzy blue line remains and the text is still legible after dabbing a wet page with a paper towel. Water resistance increases slightly with time. In my experience, Iroshizuku Syo-Ro has the best water resistance and legibility of the three tealy Iroshizuku inks: Syo-Ro > Tsuki-Yo > Ku-Jaku. In terms of saturation and vibrance, Tsuki-Yo sits in between Ku-Jaku and Syo-Ro. Ku-Jaku dries a more bright turquoise-teal with red sheen, Tsuki-Yo has some gray and muted tinge to it but still saturated, and Syo-Ro is more green and even more muted and grayed than Tsuki-Yo. Because of how free-flowing Iroshizuku inks are, they might feather on some paper--even on fountain-pen-friendly paper if they are left to sit in a pen and concentrate. They will increase line thickness and will not give the finest hairlines. But they do provide pleasantly gliding experience for lower fatigue in long writing sessions. Tsuki-Yo is not a particularly exciting ink to use with a water brush. It's fairly monochromatic in practice. Papers used in this review are: Fabriano Bioprima 4mm dot grid - a kind of ivory color, lightly textured, uncoated Kokuyo Campus A5 lined - white Japanese paper, could be lightly coated as it's quite smooth Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook - coated and super smooth ivory-toned Japanese paper, shows things like sheen and hue variation pretty well Nakabayashi Logical Swing "A" B5 paper - lightly coated(?) ivory-toned paper which shows sheen and hue variation pretty well but is also quite soft Photographs: Scans: Ivory toned Fabriano Bioprima: Kokuyo Loose Leaf A5: Nakabayashi Logical Prime A5 notebook: Nakabayashi Logical Prime A5 notebook: Further comparison with Syo-Ro and Ku-Jaku:
  6. Greetings, fountain friends, I’ve been an offline observer to this wonderful community for some time now, and it has influenced me in many of my pen decisions and handwriting expansions. I'm an Irish doctor working in England, and in my spare time, I am a keen German language user, chess player, philosophy and psychology enthusiast, and now beginning to dabble in the world of writing. I’d like to begin to give back with my own opinion regarding an undoubtedly biased view on my favourite fountain pen purchase to date – the Lamy 2000M Stainless Steel (my model is a fine nib, and I like to rotate between Diamine Oxblood, Teal, and Montblanc Toffee Brown). Excellent reviews for this well-known model – most prominently the original makrolon edition – already exist in this forum, and further afield. However, I would like to write something about the SS version of this pen, which has attracted mixed-to-negative reviews regarding it’s 1) weight, 2) similarity without difference, and 3) price. I do not pretend to be impartial regarding this particular piece, and I must suggest that this is an opinion primarily for those who are closer-than-not to a purchase regarding this model with the attributes I will discuss, later, and go some way to defend the model fit enough to be considered both distinct and worthy of purchase and recognition. 1). Weight. The most notable set of specifications is the weight of this pen – both in-and-of-itself, and in contrast to the lighter, original version. For convenience, the total (54g), body (34g), and cap (20g) weights are significantly heavier than the makrolon version (typically 25g, 15g, and 10g, respectively). Particularly when the cap is posted, this can be a considerable contributor to writing fatigue, back-heavy imbalance, and an uncomfortable writing experience with poor stamina for even those with larger hands. I think this is an unfair area of criticism, and rather, should be a binary factor for those who like heavy or light pens. Consider a fountain pen reviewer who takes on a ballpoint pen – by the very nature of the pen’s mechanism, this will be reviewed much more poorly than it’s capillary counterparts by the nature of what makes the pen a writing instrument. I believe that weight – as well as dimensional size – are factors in review that should be areas of distinction, rather than comparison, when considering models of pens (even when such models are within the same branding). Therefore, I think that those who favour heavier, metal pens should take interest in the Lamy 2000M as distinct in interest even from those who use the original makrolon Lamy 2000. Whereas the first example I provide is clearly an extreme version of the issue described, here, I think that the factors of size, weight, and filling system are considerable enough to be whittled down to pens that address those precise categories rather than having (e.g.) a Kaweco Liliput scolded by a user who’s daily driver is the MB 149. 2). Similarity without difference. Apart from the material use and the weight of the pen, criticism is offered by reviewers who perhaps borrow too much influence from these paradoxically drastic differences, by finding nothing new offered by this version once the novelties are stripped away. I believe this is an easy mistake that we all can make when we overanalyse versions with heavy influences in one area or another and seeing it as a simple marketing rehash. I’d like to offer the opinion that these two factors bring about differences in performance and suitability in preference that are drastic enough to address an entirely different audience to attract those that were perhaps failed or disappointed by the Lamy 2000 in its original format. The material and weight provide a unique writing experience that is (I’d argue) much more palpable than the difference between modern steel and gold nibs. It is difficult to capture the sensory, tactile, and phenomenological experience in the differences between both versions without robbing the reader of an hour’s time, but there is something tremendously satisfying about the gravity and industrial nature of this instrument. I think it more excellently captures the Bauhaus movement than it’s makrolon parent, but aesthetics aside, even the differences in brushing material and the lack of a two-tone/material compartment provide a different experience to those deliberately sensitive enough to notice a difference. Clearly, there are differences which I think are rather miniscule (the plating on the hinged clip, or the placement of the Lamy logo, for example), whereas others are perhaps discriminatory to those who prefer other attributes (the removal of the ink window seems to be a sore point for many consumers, as is the smoother metal finish of the grip). However, when it comes to the ultimate endpoint of a writing instrument – the writing – then this pen deserves a mention distinct from the original as being paradigmal in it’s feeling, experience, and output. Everything else is style and preference. 3). Price. Finally, the Lamy 2000M is noted as being approximately 50% more expensive than the original*. This is an area of criticism, compounded further when the two areas addressed, above, are neglected in final consideration. One could talk endlessly regarding the economics of price, but I believe there are a few more objective factors to consider before discussing the differences in the intangibles: Stainless steel is a difficult material to manufacture, and clear that it is at least a significant percentage of the pen that this instrument is fashioned with (I have yet to see a demonstrator video in which the pen is sliced in half at various angles for a more accurate opinion on this, though the innards are made from essentially plastic on disassembly). The weight specifications should be enough to reassure most to a reasonable standard of this. Lamy is also a brand of (at least in my experience) good and efficient quality – perhaps the Ikea of manufacturers when it comes to template design with the odd-revolutionary product. With this comes a certain level of brand investment, especially as an edition of an item that sits on permanent display in an art museum. More subjectively, those wishing to purchase something metal, heavy, and made by a manufacturer such as Lamy, will find themselves justifying this purchase (rightly or wrongly), as it is a widely-recognised and reliable model of a pen that has already been proven to survive over long periods of time, but utilises their preferred categories of material choice and weight. Stainless steel is also tremendously robust, and provided that the user is aware of the interplay between it and the more sensitive innards, then this pen should act as its own safeguard against wear, damage, and accidents that will inevitably creep up in the coming years and decades. C). A worthy purchase for those who can discern it. The conclusion may seem as weak as point 2) that I make above – clearly, this is a pen that will satisfy those who will be satisfied by it just as much as it is the same pen without its differences. But I write this piece (which is also my first – constructive feedback would be very much appreciated from the community) in biased defence and justification to what is a wonderful writing instrument that I believe has been treated unfairly even in favourable reviews (who towards the end may conclude that the makrolon version is better simply because it is essentially the same, and more affordable). I argue here that these are two distinct pens that should not be compared any more than a small and a large pen be reviewed by an individual who is more/less suited to one or the other. That is not to argue the Lamy 2000 out of hands who love it – I merely stress that there are differences that are more significant in the review of such pens than are given credit (some which are not even available in filters for online pen retailers, e.g., weight) that will eliminate certain pens from consideration even if they are identical in other superficial aspects. Furthermore, I wish to offer the opinion that such differences then go on to contribute meaningful changes both in hand and on paper, and that these should be noted as both distinct, and as incomparable to pens with category differences such as weight that are paradigmal. Lastly, this is a pen that will suit some, and not others. For those that it will suit, however, will depend more on attributes and qualities of pens that make it knowingly or unknowingly both more appealing and satisfying in acquisition and use than variants (Lamy 2000) and competitors (when considering weight, e.g., Faber-Castell Basic Metal). Clearly, other factors also play a role (i.e., price, availability, European nib sizes, etc.), and some which I have not noted, here. But for those who can discern their ideal pen yet find themselves a little underwhelmed by the community’s reaction despite its pedigree and performance, I hope this piece can help to explain some of the feeling on both sides. Thank you for your time. Schreiber *Thank you to 1nkulus, who corrected my original gross approximation as being double.
  7. I am reviewing a Dryden Designs “Modern Classic Limited Collection”, only available with a Medium Nib, available both on Amazon and directly from their web site. https://www.dryden.design/ I have a strong preference for pens with a fine nib, and this particular model is only available with a medium nib. I bought the pen anyway because I really like how the pen looks. I thought about this purchase for a few months before finally buy one to test. I should also note that I spent most of my life using a slim ball-point pen, which is at odds with most fountain pens; which are usually much thicker. The first thing that I did with the pen was use the included converter to fill the pen with Pelikan 4001 Turquoise ink. I have used the pen for a few weeks and I have used up the ink in the converter; I need to refill it. I filled pages of text in both extended multi-page writing sessions as well as short, one or two word, writing sections. The pen might site for days without use before its next use; I have about 10 pens inked right now. The converter worked well. I had no issues filling the pen. I have not used it long enough to discuss longevity; I have only owned the pen for a month. The pen has been very reliable and enjoyable to use. I did not experience skips or other problems related to starting or writing. The nib is reasonably smooth... Not as smooth as my Lamy Studio with a Gold EF nib or my Lamy 2000 with a Gold EF nib, but those are exceptionally smooth. I have a strong preference for fine nibs based on my years of using fine point writing devices in Mathematics. I use EF nibs on my Lamy pens and F nibs on my Pilot pens. One of my Pilot pens has an EF nibs, which is very fine compared to any other nib that I own. I compared the writing of the Dryden pen with a Jinhao X750 with a medium nib and the resulting writing width looks the same to me. It is surely narrower than my Parker with a broad nib. In other words, it acts like a Medium nib. I do not like the clip. The clip has a small ball on the inside, which has a tendency to catch as I put the pen into, or remove my pen from, my pocket. Bottom line, I don't like the nib. Pretty much everything else, I really like. The “threads” that appear to be in place for a cap to screw in place are not helical in nature. In other words, it would not be possible to use the threads to screw something to the pen. They are just grooves that go in a circle around the pen. When I use the pen, my fingers are touching these grooves in the pen. The grooves are not sharp and I never noticed that my fingers touched them until I specifically looked. Your comfort level using this pen is more a question of your preference to a thick pen versus a thinner pen (in my opinion). I find the pen very comfortable and easy to use. The cap has a very positive click when it locks in place. I am not concerned about the cap coming off when it should not. The nib is small, smaller than the nib on my Pilot Custom 74, and significantly smaller than the nib on a Jinhao X750 (see picture, top to bottom is the Jinhao, Dryden Designs, and Pilot Custom 74). I sent an email to Michael Dryden, the CEO and founder of Dryden Designs and I asked him about this pen. He mentioned that all of their nibs are made by a company in Germany. The nib contains the text “GENIUS IRIDIUM” and looks remarkably similar to a nib that I saw on a Hero 901 pen (in terms of markings and coloring), but usually I see this also including “GERMANY” on the nib as well; for example, their bamboo pen. Some of their pens have pictures showing this on the nib. I am taking Michael at his word that this nib was made in Germany and this is not the same as the IPG (Iridium Point Germany) debacle, which means pretty much nothing about the country of origin for the nib. My best guess is that the nibs are made by Schneider. Michael also told me that although the nib is NOT user replaceable, some users have managed to replace the nib. I did not pursue this, nor did I attempt to dismantle the pen (even though I like to do such things); I like the pen too much, and it writes to well, for me to risk $20 just to have a little fun taking the pen apart and finding out that I broke it in the process. For now, just assume that if you destroy the nib, you buy a new pen. On the other hand, I purchased some spare nibs that I can drop into a pen such as the Jinhao X750, and those nibs cost me about $15 each, which is about the same cost as the pen. Michael Dryden did say that they were looking at the fact that the nib is not replaceable; I speculate, threefore, that this may be possible in the future. If the only available nib is Medium, it is less important that the nib is user replaceable given the low price point on the pen. I will admit, however, that I was very upset when I dropped a $15 pen and the manufacturer (Pilot) did NOT offer replacement nibs at any price. That particular pen is now using a compatible $1 Chinese nib purchased on ebay. What else did Michael Dryden tell me? • All of their pens are designed by them in the USA. • Materials for the pens are sourced from 5 different countries of which the USA is one. • All of their nibs are made in Germany. • Finally assembly is done in their warehouse in China There are many reviews on Amazon for this fountain pen, very highly positive. Most of the reviews do not strike me as though they were written by people who know much about fountain pens. What is notable, is that people who had problems, indicated that Dryden Designs made it right. This is the only pen that I have tested from Dryden Designs. Some of their other pens have nib sizes other than Medium. Based on my experience with this pen, I would say that if a pen from Dryden Designs catches your fancy, give it a try. I have been very pleased with mine. If you have used one of their pens, especially one of their other models, I would love to hear about it.
  8. Platinum 3776 Century Black with a Soft-Fine nib Is the Platinum soft-fine a 'real' flex nib? I seek to answer that question... I can trace my purchase of this pen to a seed planted by Leigh Reyes and her enthusiasm for the Platinum SF. She named it one of her 2012 pens of the year, and then posted this writing sample, which really impressed me (of course, she has good handwriting...). There are no shortage of reviews of Platinum pens. There's even a great review of this exact pen by APHK. Not only that, but I think APHK's review is spot-on and really well done (in fact the pens were even purchased from the same ebay seller, kendo-karate). The information I'm trying to add here is how this nib fairs against a variety of 'flex' pens. I'm also going to add my own photographs (since APHK's review doesn't have macro shots... and macro is how I roll). Therefore, this is a review with my perspective of this Platinum followed by a comparison between this pen and a bunch of other pens. I will be comparing the Platinum Soft-Fine nib to these pens: http://suramar.org/fpn/flex_platinum/intro-1.jpg From left to right: Stipula Duetto Lemoncello, Parker Victory, Noodler's Ahab, Waterman 52, Pendleton Brown bad boy with angel wings, Pilot/Namiki Falcon, Eversharp Symphony 713, Pyralin, Non-stop, Ambassador. http://suramar.org/fpn/flex_platinum/intro-2.jpg For these tests, I used a Rhodia #18 pad and Iroshizuku Syo-ro. http://suramar.org/fpn/flex_platinum/intro-3.jpg I used these supplies because I think they are fairly mainstream and well behaved. The ink also does a good job of showing how thick it is on the paper with both sheen and shading. Plus it's one of my favorite inks (at the moment). I've decided to break this up in to multiple posts to function as a table of contents. Review: Platinum 3776 Century SF Stipula Duetto Lemoncello Parker Victory Noodler's Ahab Waterman 52 TWSBI 540 with a Pendleton Brown bad boy with angel wings Pilot/Namiki Falcon Eversharp Symphony 713 Pyralin ball flex Non-stop extra fine Ambassador extra fine Conclusion
  9. Disclaimer: I enjoy doing mini ink reviews for my personal reference, and I'd like to share them with others if they might be of help to gain an insight into the ink's appearance and performance. I generally don't have time to put together super comprehensive reviews, like some of our fantastic reviewers here do (thank you so much for your hard work!), but hopefully these mini reviews will still be useful as another point of reference. Lamy Petrol Lamy releases limited edition color inks and accompanying Safari or Al-Star pens annually. Petrol was a 2017 special edition color for textured Lamy Safari with black hardware and nib, and this ink. Because Lamy only made a fairly small amount of this ink, it quickly sold out and became somewhat of an unobtanium (in truth it is still available, but be prepared to pay 3-6 times the original $12-per-bottle price of this ink on eBay or classifieds boards). I hope Lamy will eventually bring this ink back. I have 3 bottles stocked up and sadly had to pay extra for each one, but I believe this is a great ink that should be made freely available to anyone who is interested--not only because of its color, but also because of its performance. This ink is a saturated green-teal-black with a matte finish on paper. It has some shading in broad or dry nibs, but mostly it is fairly uniform in fine nibs. There is a red-black color-shift where sheen develops, and the metallic component of the sheen is a kind of light pink in color. In practice, it is very difficult to see the metallic sheen from this ink, unless you are writing with a wet pen on Tomoe River, and even then you will not see it much. The red-black color shift is more readily apparent in larger concentrations. The degree to which this ink will look more or less green is highly dependent on illumination and paper used. This ink has moderate flow, one can produce fairly fine hairlines with this ink. It is well lubricated. In my experience it has tamed some difficult nibs and poor performing pens (generally they have something wrong with their nib grinds or alignment) that skip much less or not at all with this ink. One of the properties of this ink that I like is that it removes staining from converters and cleans ink windows, if you let it sit in a pen for a couple of weeks. Water resistance is moderate: a legible black-gray line remains, but there's some smeary wash of dyes that are lifted, so be careful to dab wet paper quickly. No feathering on good paper. I think this ink also makes a good candidate for water brush art. As you can see on the water test rectangle, there is some range of hues that the ink can produce in [more] capable [than mine] hands. Papers used in this review are: Fabriano Bioprima 4mm dot grid - a kind of ivory color, lightly textured, uncoated Rhodia Dot Pad 5mm dot grid #16 - bright white (perhaps with a slight lavender tinge) Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook - coated and super smooth ivory-toned Japanese paper, shows things like sheen and hue variation pretty well Tomoe River 52g "white" - off-white slightly ivory Japanese paper which shows sheen and shading very well Col-o-Ring sample paper - bright white and thick Photographs: Scans: Fabriano Bioprima: Rhodia Dot Pad: Color comparison on Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook paper:
  10. Disclaimer: I enjoy doing mini ink reviews for my personal reference, and I'd like to share them with others if they might be of help to gain an insight into the ink's appearance and performance. I generally don't have time to put together super comprehensive reviews, like some of our fantastic reviewers here do (thank you so much for your hard work!), but hopefully these mini reviews will still be useful as another point of reference. Graf von Faber-Castell - Deep Sea Green Recently I became interested in GvFC inks. They seemed overpriced before, and I was severely disappointed with my first encounter with Deep Sea Green. I had bought a set of DSG cartridges for a trip, and when I popped one into a pen in my hotel room and saw the watery, pale tealy green, I thought "This is not what I expected". This is a very dry ink with low lubrication, so that did not predispose me toward it either. I went to a local fountain pen shop next day, bought a set of Visconti Sepia cartridges, and did not look back. That was over a year ago. Fast forward to a few months back. I kept looking at the writing made with this ink as well as at reviews. I have also since become more enamored with inks that 1. have a kind of watercolor look with color complexity (can see constituent dyes separate a bit) and 2. inks that are not so wet that they can provide high line definition with very thin hairlines. To that extent, high lubrication and wet flow are generally exclusive of good line definition and are more synonymous with increased line thickness. There was a good sale on GvFC inks around Black Friday, and so I ended up with 5 bottles of various colors, including this one. I'm very happy to own this ink and other Graf von Faber-Castell inks. It is true: the bottles are absolutely luxurious--the best I have experienced to date of any brand. The way the bottle cap opens so smoothly and is very heavy is just so pleasant. I even love the scent of color print dyes in the cardboard packaging. It's all just perfectly appealing and tactile. The inks themselves tend to be dry, with varying degrees of lubrication depending on color. Deep Sea Green in particular is not well lubricated. However, it is a sacrifice I am now willing to make given the aforementioned conditions. What's cool about this ink is that it is not monochromatic, and it really does look like watercolor. It can be more or less gray or blue, or green depending on concentration, paper, and illumination. Drying time is very fast to super slow--depends on whether you've let it sit and concentrate in a pen. At the end of this review, I am attaching a photograph of how this ink looks once it sits in a pen for a month and becomes fairly concentrated. The periods take close to half an hour to dry at that point (or even longer), until they stop smearing easily. That's an extreme case, but some inks do this more than others. Another ink that behaves like this in concentrated form is J. Herbin Lie de The, which can take multiple hours to fully dry in the dotted spots. Water resistance is quite good: well-defined gray line remains. This ink is an excellent candidate for watercolor-type drawings. While Deep Sea Green can look somewhat similar to J. Herbin Vert de Gris, the two are very different in details. Vert de Gris has a very chalky pastel finish with some watercolor wash, Deep Sea Green looks like watercolor with more in-line hue variation. Bottom line: A+ art and specialty ink. Beautiful and soothing for personal journaling for those who appreciate nuances of color and finish on good paper. I would not recommend it for note taking or professional environment due to lack of lubrication, dry flow, and rather pale appearance when fresh. If you let it concentrate, you will encounter long drying times, which is also not good on-the-go. Papers used in this review are: Fabriano Bioprima 4mm dot grid - a kind of ivory color, lightly textured, uncoated Kokuyo loose leaf A5 - lightly coated white Japanese paper Nakabayashi Logical Prime notebook - coated and super smooth ivory-toned Japanese paper, shows things like sheen and hue variation pretty well Photographs: Scans: Fabriano Bioprima, ivory: Highly concentrated version that took forever to dry in the "dots"; paper is Kokuyo Loose Leaf A5. Ignore the comment about using this for notes and professional environment -- that's before I realized just how long it takes to dry like this..
  11. Bigeddie

    Montblanc Permanent Black

    Hi all, I've been slow on the uploading, but here is the third of three reviews of the new (Oct '13) Montblanc inks. Some of the text on the background is copy and pasted, this is in grey should you want to skip it I see some of you have already checked out the Flickr album! Montblanc seem to be shaking up their line a bit, Midnight Blue is no longer listed as being a permanent ink and two new permanent inks are being introduced. The packaging is the same format as the existing inks with new graphics, All white with blue and black text. The bottle is the same shoe as we are used to with the existing line up (with the nice two part filling arrangement). http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5477/10108346353_779b6d73ca_z.jpgIMAGE_1.jpg by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Included below are samples of the new ink, and some from Mystery Black for comparison. My scanner is now older than some forum members, that is to say rather tired. I have taken photos in direct sunlight for comparison. Both inks were in Lamy Safari pens with medium nibs. http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7381/10116588723_c5577df8a6_z.jpgMontblanc Permanent Black on copy paper by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3788/10116533925_da7d9bebf0_z.jpgMontblanc Mystery Black on copy paper by Bigeddie100, on Flickr http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2820/10116512226_fa55819151_z.jpgMontblanc Permanent Black on Rhodia by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm8.staticflickr.com/7380/10116525525_6451b35e04_z.jpgMontblanc Mystery Black on Rhodia by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Analysis: The new black has a much heavier flow than Midnight Black and a more intense depth, it is truly black. I would rate it on blackness with Noodlers (bulletproof) Black or Sailor Kiwa-Guro, whereas the Mystery Black has quite obvious shading, to me the sign of a not black black. Performance is good despite the heavy flow, even on cheap paper; the same caveats as the Permanent Blue here, it looks like single sided use only due to the bleed and show through, but there is very little feathering. Performance on Rhodia is superb, with a deep black, good lubrication. Water resistance:These new permanent inks from MB are the first that I have seen with an ISO certification for permanence, here I am only testing water resistance when dry. The inks proved to be very water resistant, I would be hard pushed to detect the difference between inks before and after soaking. Certainly this ink along with the new Permanent Black are the most water resistant inks out there, unlike the pigment inks nothing floats off of them. But the black does rub off, a little bit. After a two hour soak (photo to be added) I could rub some of the black off, legibility is still excellent, far ahead of that of the old or new Midnight Blue inks, and miles ahead of Mystery Black (which disappears after a 5 minute soak, as below). http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/10116653463_80c76125ea_z.jpgWater resistance in progress by Bigeddie100, on Flickrhttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3764/10116561223_bec75a871d_z.jpgWater resistance by Bigeddie100, on Flickr Conclusion: This is a nice black. The down side, as with the Permanent Blue, is that it's £19 a bottle. For a good permanent black ink I would go to Noodlers black (90ml currently £12.50 from Niche Pens) or Sailor Kiwa-Guro (50ml around £16, The Writing Desk or Write Here). It's nice enough but not very remarkable for the money, and both of the other two have better performance for use double sided. I look forward to your opinions
  12. Ebonite And Ivory

    Namiki Emperor Vermilion Review

    Hello fellow pen enthusiasts, So far I have seen just one review on the internet for this pen and I strongly felt it merited another look. The comments about it being a baseball bat are, though funny and mostly in good humor, about as appropriate as saying Babe Ruth's bat was but a twig to be burned with the chaff. This pen is spectacular, and not just because of it's size. Yes, it sports the #50 nib, which if I understand correctly is the largest production nib around. Yes, its Mount Fuji engraving on the nib is breathtaking to behold, and it also writes smooth as butter. But, seldom have I had a pen where what's outside the cap rivals what is under the cap. This pen is vermilion red urushi. This is not just a "big red pen." This is not a "red injection molded plastic pen." This is a work of art--specifically, the technique is called Roiro Urushi. I suggest searching out youtube and other video or Japanese print sources to admire this technique as a Westerner's written explanation would not do this work justice. In short, this pen begins as a black ebonite barrel and, after countless hours of applying, burnishing, smoothing, and finely polishing the red-pigmented urushi, this whole process is repeating ad neuseam with clear urushi lacquer coats--that is, if my rudimentary understanding is not misinformed. This pen is dazzling to the eye and to the touch. I have red pens. This is not just a red pen. Below are as many photos as FPN size limitations will allow me to post. Pictures truly are worth 1,000 words. The only pic missing due to size limits is the first picture I took that showed the boring outer box (cardboard). Nothing really missed there... I don't want to take away from the photos with endless text. But I will offer these words as first impressions and by way of explanation on a few matters: 1) I liked the simple wood box with the elegant and soft purple tie-strings. Very elegant and very Japanese... 2) I knew the pen was big. When I opened the box I smiled because it was even bigger than I expected--in a good way. The simple elegance of this pen is unmatched. I have chosen the ringless version, but one can get this pen with gold bands around the barrel. 3) Comparison pens left to right are: Namiki Emperor, MB149, Yard O Led Grand Viceroy, and the Pelikan M1000--all very large pens. 4) The red feed is awesome. That is all on that subject. 10 out of 10. 5) There is a brilliantly crafted velvet-ish lining to the cap so if one posts the cap (WHY WOULD ANYONE POST THIS PEN?) it will not scratch the urushi barrel. 6) In the photos I challenge you to find the place where the end cap unscrews from the barrel. This craftsmanship is un-improvable. 7) Once you locate the invisible end-cap, one needs only to hold the pen vertical and unscrew it apx. 1.5 turns to let the ink gush out into the feed. 8) Yes, this is an eyedropper. It should be called eyedroppers as I literally gave up filling it after 4 full droppers. Please see the up close photo of the inside of the section to see how this comes together to form an impressive, leakproof seal. 9) One complaint. In the final pen-photo I posted a picture showing the threads. You can see a small hint of black there where the vermilion urushi was either not applied perfectly or where, perhaps by the unavoidable friction-nature of how threads function, the urushi is rubbed off right out of the box. I'm slightly unhappy about that and submit this as a charge to Namiki to look into that problem if it happens more than on my pen. However, I am so happy with this pen that my enjoyment is not reduced even a little by this minuscule problem. 10) Shout out to Chatterly Luxuries for a good price. This is a beautiful pen and I recommend it highly. Did anyone actually read the writing sample? Conclusion/Scores: Appearance & Design: 8. Small deduction for the black-thread issue. Stunning with a truly "blind" cap--no visible slits on the barrel. Threads do not hurt to use. I personally think it's a 10, but recognize there is not detailed makie-e work, etc. It's the best single color pen I have ever seen. It is not the most beautiful pen I have ever seen. Construction/Quality: 9.5 for the thread issue. There is no perfect pen and they can't all be high scores. But so far there is no squeaking or weak-fitting parts and urushi coverage is stunning. Clip works well. Rare and ingenious felt-lining inside cap for posting (which no one would ever use--but it is there). Weight & Dimensions: 10 or 6.5 6.8" capped length. 0.7" diameter, and a weight of 46.6 grams un-inked. 6ml of ink capacity. The reason for this high rating is that this is an incredibly big pen for those who like that sort of thing. It is not too heavy or too light in the hand and is just-right for people with medium or large sized hands. Clearly, this pen scores a 2 or worse if the subjective criteria is, "how this pen fits small hands." If you hate big pens, this one is terrible. If you want a true rating on the weight and dimensions of this big pen from a big pen lover, it's a 10. For long writing (over 5 pages) I must drop this pen to a 6.5. It's more than a signature pen, trust me, but a 5 page letter may get ridiculous and crampy. Nib/feed: 10. I realize all the high ratings. This pen is that good. Zero scratch. Nib flow is unhampered with any amount of speed writing or even scribbling. No "tapping" to get things moving after opening up the eyedropper end cap each use. The nib is also a little springy, too, because it is gold and huge. If you want flex pen performance, buy a flex pen. This is a wet writer but not out of control. My 10 rating is based on smoothness, flow performance, and superb performance right out of the box. I have many pens and none of them have performed like this right out of the box. Filling system/Maintenance: 8 Friends, I intend to review more pens with lower ratings, I promise. But this one is sweet. The eyedropper filling system is awesome. I wanted to give this a 10 but decided for the sake of some credibility to say something critical. The fact that this holds 6ml of ink is baller. The fact that it takes over 5 pipets full of ink is slow. So, my feeble attempt at a criticism is that this pen should come with a bigger and more efficient pipet. I cannot fault the huge ink capacity. Love it. I will circle back and adjust the score if maintenance becomes an issue. Cost and Value: 7 There are plenty of worse pens out there priced much higher. And yes, it is a work of art. But at its retail price this pen is a bit pricey. If you can get a good deal and appreciate large urushi pens, the value is a 10. If you pay full retail, you will love this pen; however, you will have a lot of money into it. Value is in the eye of the beholder I guess. Conclusion: 8.46 total score. Regrets: 0
  13. A few weeks ago I picked up an Airmail/Wality 69eb, marketed as the Airmail Ebo from Fountain Pen Revolution, because I needed some silicone grease and because I wanted to take advantage of FPR's 20 percent off sale. I only paid 16 dollars for this pen, and I have really enjoyed it. It has been a great workhorse these last couple of weeks and has earned a spot amongst my favorites. I really enjoy the pen's styling. Its cigar shape and ebonite body give the pen a vintage feel. Indian pens, specifically the handmade ebonite eyedroppers, have always invoked nostalgia. This pen is no different. The Airmail 69eb is a large, but not oversized pen. Here it is next to a Metropolitan, Al-Star, and Ahab. It is a comfortable pen to use posted or unposted and is very comparable in size to the Ahab, just slightly thinner. I have read mixed things about Wality/Airmail nibs. My nib gives decent feedback but is not at all unpleasant. Sometimes it feels like writing with a nice pencil. Sometimes I enjoy the feedback on a workhorse pen as I am usually writing quickly and the feedback helps keep my writing more legible. The nib is marked "Special Wality, Tipped Fine" It writes a very fine line with Pelikan Royal Blue. The only other eyedropper I have experience with is an Asa I Can and that is a rather wet pen. Royal Blue tends to be a dry ink so I thought it would be a good choice. The Airmail 69eb does not seem to be a very wet writer and with Royal Blue is a great choice on cheap, absorbent paper. I scrubbed the nib and feed before I inked it and I haven't had any flow issues, hard starts, or skipping. It writes a consistent fine or extra-fine line. The build quality of the pen is good. All of the threads are nicely cut, the nib and feed were nicely set, and the clip works fine. Mine has some small fit and finish issues. The cap band extends below the ebonite material of the cap and is fairly sharp. Sometimes it gets caught on my pen case when I try to slip it in and I am afraid it is going to ben and scratch pen's body. Also, the threads, though nicely cut, must have a sharp edge or bur because they gathered some paper towel material when I wiped them. That is really not a big deal because they feel fine on my fingers. Moreover, while I have read that the pen is handmade, the section is not made of ebonite. It has the feel and odor of vegetal resin. I am not sure how much of this pen, if any, is hand turned. It was only 16 dollars. I do wish the section was made of the same ebonite material as the body. Overall, I really like the pen. For 16 dollars, something like the Pilot Metropolitan gets you a pen with nicer fit and finish, a smoother nib, and a lot less character. I really enjoy Indian pens. Perhaps it is an unfair association, but they evoke feelings of nostalgia and adventure. I bet Indiana Jones used something like the Airmail 69eb to document his travels *This is my first pen review. I apologize for the bad picture quality and the sloppy handwriting.*
  14. Cursive Child

    Diamine Terracotta (150Th Anniversary)

    Love the shading in this ink. Very well behaved and vibrant color.
  15. Lamy Al-Star Graphite I have been using this pen almost everyday for the last 6 months. This is an impartial review aiming at determining this pen's strenghts and weaknesses within its price range [sub €50 (euros)]. Packaging was a standard blister pack including a Lamy blue ink cartridge. Certainly not one of the strong points of this product, especially when compared to the Pilot Metropolitan metal casing. If this was an evaluation attribute, I would have rated it 5/10. 1) Appearance & Design – Graphite finish suits this model quite well by complementing the original ‘industrial’ look. All aluminum apart from the grip section, cap top and barrel top, which are made of good quality plastic. LAMY is engraved near the top of the barrel. The ink window looks nice and complements the overall design of the pen. I am not a big fan of the clip aesthetically speaking. The grip section will divide opinions. As a ‘forefinger up’ user, I can live with the grip, but it is not a favorite of mine. Overall, I prefer a classical fountain pen look. 8/10 2) Construction & Quality– Very sturdy. It has only minor scratching which is rather imperceptible in this finish. Body is quite slick though. 9/10 3) Weight & Dimensions – Medium sized, reasonable balance uncapped. Balance is improved quite a bit when posted, IMHO. Light to moderate weight (12g unposted, 22g posted). 9/10 4) Nib & Performance – M nib is quite reasonable. Dry writer but consistent flow. I do need to apply a small amount of pressure in order to write, which prevents me from writing in a lighter manner. F nib presents basically the same line thickness but is much worse when it comes to other parametres. It is scratchy and the sweet spot, besides being smaller, requires a different writing angle than the M nib. I believe this nib to be flawed. I had a lot of issues with ink flow when the pen was in new condition, even after flushing twice. Writing with it has seem to have solved the issue over time. The pen may still rarely run somewhat dry depending on the ink used though. 7/10 (M nib). 5) Filling System & Maintenance – Standard proprietary C/C system. I use the Z28 converter. It holds a good amount of ink (up to 0,8ml). I did not enjoy the included Lamy cartridge. The converter is hard to disassemble for cleaning behind the piston. 5/10 6) Cost & Value– I paid €28 at a technology store. I think that there are stronger competitors on the market for the price (some above, some below). 6/10 7) Conclusion – 7/10 It might look like that I am being quite harsh on the Lamy Al-Star. The pen certainly has its merits: an interesting design, solid construction quality, nice weight and balance. However, I believe Lamy’s nib QC is substandard or simply just insufficient. In addition, the packaging and the converter could be further refined. Rivals include the Pilot Metropolitan (which I prefer overall), the Faber-Castell Loom, the Pilot Kakuno, the Platinum Preppy and Plaisir, the Pelikan Stola and even the Lamy Safari itself, the latter competing internally at a lower price point. I do like my Al-Star and do not regret purchasing it but, if I had to replace my deceased Pilot Metropolitan today, I would have made a difference choice. I hope you enjoyed this review and hope that we can have a civilized and interesting interchange of ideas concerning this pen. Pictures follow (I would update these with better quality, but I do not know how to aside from attaching them to the post. Any input on this is greatly appreciated). Cheers P. S.: This was my first review so do not be shy and provide input so I may improve future reviews!
  16. 5thhistorian

    Click Aristocrat Review

    I recently ordered a Click "Aristocrat" fountain pen from a seller on Ebay. I have purchased and used many different Indian fountain pens in the past few years, both from overseas Ebay sellers and from Fountain Pen Revolution, and am usually impressed by the value they deliver at their price point. With a Leuchtturm pocket notebook for comparison. The Click Aristocrat (for some reason, the packaging I received calls it a "Tulip", but since I'm familiar with that model from FPR's house version (the "Indus" piston-filler, I don't think this is really the Click Tulip) is a plastic cartridge-converter pen, designed very closely along the lines of the earliest Parker Duofolds. There are a number of colors available, and I chose the orange with black finial and section, since it reminded me a lot of the Parker Big Red. The build quality is of course pretty basic, but I did not see any defects. The cost, with international shipping was 10 USD. Posted. It is a lightweight pen, 16g altogether and 11g unposted. The cap posts readily on the barrel, and being plastic, has a good grip on the material of the barrel. It has no heavy metal components to throw the whole pen off balance. The nib is a fine-medium, somewhat toothy but I found it wrote well out of the box and did not need any polishing. The length is 5.25 inches capped, 6.5 inches posted, and about 5 inches unposted. The filling mechanism is a standard international cartridge converter system. Note the number of threads securing the section to the barrel. The filling mechanism was nothing much to note, as the pen has a standard no. 6 nib (I think) and plastic feed, with a nipple that accepts a standard international cartridge or converter. The manufacturer provided two long intl. cartridges of blue ink, and a basic slide-plunger converter. After trying the generic ink and finding it a bit washed out, I filled the converter with Chesterfield Zircon and got better results. The nib would be easy to upgrade but is good enough that I will probably continue writing with it for the foreseeable future. The number of threads connecting the section to the barrel invites eyedropper filling, but I'm not sure that the barrel would be insulated enough to keep ink from expanding and burping out the feed. The feed has not yet given me hard-start issues, such as I have had with other no. 6 nibs. The imprint and detail of the finish gives some idea of the material texture of this pen. It isn't hard rubber or acrylic but the plastic used feels fairly good despite its light weight. I would compare it to the Nemosine Singularity or the FPR Indus in terms of the feel of the material. In conclusion: a very distinctive workhorse pen for the price, which I intend to keep in regular rotation.
  17. Sailor Ink Studio is a relatively new line by Sailor, composed of 100 different hues! I will not attempt to classify and categorize the line, as it is done in great detail in this excellent overview of the full line: https://macchiatoman.com/blog/2019/1/23/sailor-ink-studio-overview-100-inks I had my first exposure to these inks only briefly on-line when I had seen the interesting multi-hue inks #123 and #162, which are probably the most popular two of the whole line so far. On my recent trip to Japan, I was very happy to find that most of the large stationery store departments had the full Sailor Ink Studio line; some even with pre-filled demonstrator tester pens and paper pads to test the inks! Thus I was able to try out most of the line (it did take multiple trips to try out all 100 inks from this line, not to mention inks by other brands). With that said, the downside of having prefilled pens was that many had been sitting and gradually concentrating the inks contained in them for a week or two. And so some of the more saturated inks to begin with were super-concentrated by the time I was testing them, quickly sheening over on paper. It was not easy to imagine what some of those inks would look like in normal use back at home. Thus I focused on the less concentrated inks that showed more complexity--something different. Please note: the colored stripes across bottle labels are NOT accurate representations of the inks (unlike, for example, Pilot Iroshizuku labels). Ink Stidio #573 caught my eye right away. It was actually quite a surprise, as I was initially going to buy #273 instead. It turned out that #273, while being very nice, is just not as complex in writing as I had expected it to be. #573, on the other hand, is interesting indeed! #573 is a relatively translucent ink of lower concentration, and so it has excellent shading properties, able to produce a wide range of hues from very pale faded terracotta to a deep off-black. There is a dark outline around dried ink lines which is readily visible and gives an extra oomph to the writing. For sheen lovers--you will not see this ink sheening in normal writing. You have to practically dump a lot of ink onto a page to finally see metallic green around the edges. But in all other circumstances, even writing on Tomoe River, you won't see this sheen. Instead, you will get a complex muted terracotta with an outline effect and a somewhat matte, chalky look. I seriously love this ink--it's simultaneously understated and very exciting. Drying time is fairly quick, feathering is very well controlled, and there is even a good degree of water resistance without obscuring smearing. My regular camera is having its sensor repaired, and unfortunately I don't know when I will get it back. I wanted to wait and do a more proper review, but my current fill of this ink was running low, and I decided it was better to put something together sooner rather than later. So this is a quick mini-presentation. I am certain this ink would be great for doing watercolor-style drawings because of it separating into very different colors in chromatography tests.
  18. 5umedh

    Parker Frontier

    Parker Frontier Intro Now this is one of the oldest pens I have in my fountain pen collection. When you are at a initial stage of your fountain pen obsession, Parker is the brand you end up having 90% of times. The Packaging This pen comes in a regular cardboard box provided with most of the Parker pens. Nothing fancy here. But I have also seen a same product in a different tin box packaging. The Body The variant I happened to choose was the chrome one. I like the body of this pen. There is noothing going much with it. Simple yet works best. Clip & Pocket Looks When you carry a Parker in your pocket, everyone around knows what brand you are carrying (if they are into FP world). That’s because of the clip of the pen. Parker’s trademark arrow clip. Works great. Spring loaded. Looks awesome. The Cap Cap is friction fit. Not anything more with that. Filling Mechanism This is a cartridge converter pen with standard international cartridges. The box comes with a cartridge and Parker converter. Writing Experience I don’t know about the current league of Parker Frontiers, but this particular pen I have is too scratchy. I had to work a lot on this pen over last 6 years. Had to tune the nib to suit my writing style. Overall, not a very good experience. Posting Posting makes this pen too long (15.2 CM) but not top heavy indeed. I don’t find any difference in writing experience whether you post it or not. Cost This pen costs you around ₹600 in India and I saw it on Amazon US for $9. General Info Locking Mechanism: Friction fit Filling Mechanism: Cartridge Converter Posted: 15.2 cm Capped: 13.2 cm Uncapped: 12.3 cm My Ratings Nib: 4/10 Looks: 6/10 Pocket Looks: 7/10 Writing Experience: 4/10 Wetness: 3/10 Scratchiness: 1/10 Cost: 9/10 Overall Rating: 4/10 Do let me know how you like the review. Follow my blog: https://pen5um.wordpress.com Thanks, 5umedh
  19. jhylkema

    Pilot Iroshizuku Shin-Kai

    This is my first go at an ink review, and my first entry in my ink journal, so please be gentle. Also, sorry for iPhone photo.
  20. Has any member taken the time to review the 'own brand' cartridge pen offerings from W.H. Smith Ltd the well - known stationary chain-store. Apart from the Parker range and Lamy pens they have their 'own brand' that are obviously made in China. They all look to take a short International cartridge. But I wondered if any would take a converter.
  21. In this post I will review the Waterman Expert Deluxe Fountain Pen. The one which I have has a fine nib. Official Product Link of the pen Flipkart Link from where I bought the pen Background: I have been using the Waterman Expert for more than 3 years. It is my second waterman pen. Prior to this I had owned the Waterman Phileas and being really satisfied with that I decided to go in for another waterman. This pen also has the fine nib like my Phileas. This was also the most expensive pen in my collection at the time of purchase. In short I had a lot of expectations from this pen even before I had tried it out. Appearance & Design (1-10) - 8/10 - An appealing design. I went in for the deluxe version in black colour. It has a metallic cap with chrome finish. It has five horizontal bands and has a sloping top. The clip has a slit in the middle just like any other waterman. You can also find waterman and paris written at the base of the cap in white over a black band. The barrel is black lacquer over a metal body and has chrome bands to match the cap. It has a steel nib which also matches the cap colour. Overall the pen has only two colours - chrome and black and they are well-coordinated. As a whole the pen follows a cigar shape with it being wide at the middle and narrower at the ends. The grip section is comfortable to hold with the width increasing just above the nib to prevent your fingers from slipping. The pen looks upmarket and has a good design. Construction & Quality (1-10) - 8/10 - The pen is solidly built. The construction quality is good and the pen feels solidly built. There is nothing much to complain and the pen can handle some abuse. (I have never this pen so I don't know what would happen).Even after 3 years of fairly regular use this pen is in good condition. I am happy with the construction. Weight & Dimensions (1-10) - 9/10 - Balanced when unposted. The weight of the pen feels just right. It is neither very heavy nor can you call it light. I have fairly big hands and the pen fits in well posted as well as unposted. This pen is thicker than its sibling, the waterman hemisphere. Personally I find the thickness of the pen to be just right and the hemisphere is too slim for me. This pen has a very heavy cap so I prefer to write with the cap unposted. Having the cap posted seems to alter the balance for the worse and it feels as if you have to hold the pen in your its position rather than it naturally resting in your hand. Nib & Performance (1-10) - 10/10 - Wonderful Nib. The pen I have is with a Fine nib. The nib is made out of steel and there is nothing fancy about it. It is a relatively small in size. What you expect from a nib depends from person to person and this is subjective so one should always take this with a pinch of salt. Here is my opinion... Of all the fine nibs that I have ever tried this is the best. I bought this pen after using the Waterman phileas. That was also a fine nibbed pen and I went for this with similar expectations. The nib is smooth and fast. There have been no issues with any of the inks that I have used with this pen. Being a fine nib the inks are very quick to dry. However off the box the nib was not as smooth and you need to give it some time, write some pages with it and then it shows its true colours. Being a fast and a quick to dry nib it is ideal for note-taking applications or where writing speed is an important factor. I really love this nib and this pen has always remained in my circulation thanks to the nib. Filling System & Maintenance (1-10) - 9/10 - Classic reliable converter. The filling system design and the overall maintenance effort involved with the pen is same as that of any other converter based pen. The converter is the standard waterman converter which can be used across almost all their pens around this range. Since the nib is fine it does not use a lot of ink and a single top up can last a fairly long time. Cost & Value (1-10) - 7/10 I bought my pen online in India from flipkart.com. It cost me around Rs. 5400 that is around USD 80. Depending upon the other pens in your collections you may categorise it as average or an expensive pen. I don't think you can call it cheap in any way. At the time of purchase it was the most expensive pen in my collection. For what it costs it is a pretty simple device. It has the classic looks and performs well. Depending on what you expect from this price point you may either by happy or disappointed. Thus, this again is a very subjective score. In my opinion this pen was "expensive" at the time of purchase but after some years of use I feel that the money was well spend and I am satisfied with my investment. Conclusion (Final score [sUM/6]: X) - 8.5/10 It is a wonderful pen. It is not too fancy but has everything that it should have. Feels like a complete package. It is that sort of pen which very few people will dislike and you will need to put in some efforts to find any shortcomings. It is that pen which may not have many "fans" but which is liked by most of its owners. It is a safe bet to go with and I recommend this pen. Link to my blog where this review is posted
  22. Greetings All, Winter break is here and as any self-respecting, FP-loving English teacher would do, I’d like to fill my free time by contributing to the FPN community. As has been mentioned in other posts on this board, Penbbs is a group of FP lovers that is like a Chinese version of FPN. Its owner has produced a lot of inks and cranks out as many as 15 new colors each year. Difficulty obtaining these inks in the West means there aren’t many reviews in English. Lgsoltek and visvamitra have gotten the ball rolling by reviewing some of them and I’d like to add some more. Here’s my proposal: Below are color samples of the inks available for the past 5 series of Penbbs inks. Based on all your requests, I’m going to choose between 10 and 20 of them to review. At a mere $0.30-50 per 5ml sample, this should be a lot of fun for little money. To request reviews of any of the colors, just reply to this post with the corresponding numbers of the inks you want reviewed. Thanks for your help!
  23. Monteverde Invincia - Stealth Black (M Nib) Review To start this review off, keep in mind it is my first review; and as all reviews, is at least somewhat subjective. Also, for perspective, I have used this and 4 other fountain pens, which are: Pilot Varsity Lamy Al-Star Lamy Safari Conklin Duragraph and I have been using this pen for around 1 month. Overall Appearance: Measurements: 5.35" / 136mm long capped 5.30" / 134.7mm long uncapped 6.10" / 154mm long posted 1.10" / 28mm long nib 0.55" / 14mm body diameter 0.35" / 8.9mm grip diameter 1.40 oz/ 39g weight overall Monteverde makes some amazing looking pens and this is no exception. This pen is downright edgy. From it's shiny, reflective all black metal surface to the rounded style which makes it look sharp and artsy; this is a beautiful pen. Well.. chances are that it wouldn't be taken as a compliment it by saying it's "beautiful", so.. let's instead just say this.. it's a good looking pen. I love the little details on this pen such as the Monteverde mountain etched into the nib, the rounded body which is dynamic and changes in girth frequently throughout the pen. Also, the logo on the top of the cap is a nice touch. Pen Parts, Build & General Details The pen cap screws on securely and takes about 2 rotations to pop off. In posting the pen, the cap just slides on securely and really feels sturdy and macho even in the way it does this. There are many things about this pen that just feel so edgy and make me feel as if I am the coolest person on the planet. The grip of the pen is probably the biggest turn off for me. I have very large hands, but with the grip being skinny and having a pretty quick cut off to the body, combined with it being metal makes it a tough pen to hold for a long time at least for me. I prefer to hold my pens further back then most anyway, so maybe this is what causes the issue. Adding to this, the clip is EXTREMELY tight, its hard to even slide onto a pocket. This isn't a huge deal for me since I never clip my pens, but it may be for you. It has a standard international converter and cartridge filling mechanism. It comes with your standard run of the mill piston converter (standard international) and as such isn't remarkable but works as it should. I haven't encountered any problems with filling the Invincia. You are going to be getting 1.07ml of ink out of cartridges and 1.12 out of your converter. It should be noted that I used monteverde black ink which, once again, was a fairly standard black ink; very similar to noodler's black. The nib is a #5 steel nib, which writes well. It surprised me to find this out as most outlets say it has a #6 nib. Whether it's a change in production or something else I'm not aware of, the important thing is it fits! I'll be getting more on the writing later, however. I chose the medium nib model and it fit fantastically for me. I cannot say how it compares to other mediums very well as this is my first medium nib, however, it seems to be a broad medium with some stub properties (some, very small but more on that later) which was a surprise to me. Not a lot more to say about it's structure! I think the black look was absolutely essential and having an all black pen just looks really sleek. Writing As mentioned above, the pen feels a little strenuous on my hands and eventually causes them to cramp up. However, aside from that, this pen is an excellent writer. It's incredibly balanced unposted, and when posted is ever-so-slightly back heavy. This is the first pen I can use either posted or unposted simply because I have such large hands and most pens aren't very large until you post them. This pen isn't huge, but the length mostly subsides in the body as opposed to the cap. It's got some weight to it and feels durable. I love the metal finish in looks.. but sometimes it can be a tad slippery in writing. Putting the pen to the pad, this thing writes extremely smoothly. Its a really interesting writer and feels unlike anything else I've written with. It's smooth, with very very little feedback, but not at all glidy. It feels as if you are effortlessly carving into paper, like a butterknife into soft butter. That being said, It has a bit of a sweet spot. When you use it any way else other than right down the middle, it makes a very thin line and can feel a little scratchy. Using horizontal or diagonal lines result in a skinnier line because of this and therefore can produce really interesting results, resembling a tiny bit of a stub look, or so I've seen. Very interesting and fun nib to write with. Overall, this is a pretty great pen. It has some issues, but I like the overall look and feel of this pen. The all metal body with a black nib and nice writing comes to a pretty good conclusion for me. Final Verdict: (7.8/10)
  24. Arkanabar

    Has Anyone Reviewed F P R Inks?

    I have been searching for a review of FPR's blue-black ink, without much luck. Their inks do not have a spot in the ink review index.

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