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  1. 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.
  2. Hello FPNers, I'm all about vintage flex and want to use a rough adaptation of Copperplate for journaling and letters. A while back I purchased a lovely little gold-filled ring top Wahl FP with a wet noodle #2 nib. The nib writes about a Western EF when not flexed, so I'd like to get a finer nib. My question is: should I have the nib reground to a finer point for calligraphy purposes or should I get another pen entirely? Will the small size of the pen make it harder to control for styles like Copperplate or Spencerian, or does the weight of the all-metal construction make up for it? Control is fine with the EF nib, but I'm wondering if it will be harder to control with a needlepoint nib. My big pen purchase goal for next year is to score a wet noodle Waterman 52. Would it be better to have the nib on a larger pen like that made into a needlepoint? Thanks for any advice!
  3. I've read the few reviews written about the new Wahl-Eversharp Decoband with the superflex nib, but I haven't seen a review by a woman (or someone with small hands). I know this is an oversize pen, and it weighs 45 grams uncapped. I'm interested in hearing from someone who owns the pen and has small hands. How does the pen feel? Can you write for long periods without fatigue? Does it seem just too big? Unfortunately, I'm too far from civilization to attend one of the big pen pen shows (and I wasn't able to go to the Dallas show this year). Thanks. Susan
  4. Some might say that anyone with more than ten fountain pens is a collector. If this is true then I might be that. I buy to use rather than to file away in a case or drawer, but in truth I only have ten or so inked at any one time. I've tried to do a purge and find that all I can manage is to offload what I have decided I will never repair or what I truly despise. On the other hand, having so many has been very useful in being able to narrow down what it is I really like and wondered if it is the same for others in the same boat as me. So, I thought I might outline what I like and enjoy through what ownership (of a rather silly amount of pens) has taught me, in the hope you might add your own musings. I feel I should add a disclaimer before I begin that these are 'my' musings and of course you may disagree very strongly with every last one of them! Jinhao: These taught me you can get very decent writers for very little money. For me they make great holiday pens. I like journal keeping while on holiday and won't be too upset if I mislay them, lose or break them. They also taught me that although I like a bit of weight to my pens, I don't like them to feel like they are made of lead or something you would have a gym workout with. Stipula: This taught me that just every once in a while a style over substance (or practical considerations) manufacturer can every now and again produce something truly great that can be missed by so many others based on past experience of other pens in their range. It also taught me that sometimes a pen can look awkward in a photograph (in terms of use, size, etc), but can be a really comfortable and pleasant pen in reality. Lamy: I now know that boring and ugly can sometimes be pleasant. Montblanc: I have been seduced by the wiles of near perfect balance and huge shiny nibs. It was also my first positive experience of feedback and how something like a nib can be distinctive in terms of 'feel'. Curiouser and curiouser! It also taught me that I love writing with fountain pens so much that I will occasionally spend a stupid amount of money on them. I try not to think about it too much. Waterman: I learnt the hard way that Western medium gold nibs that write like a felt tip are really not my thing. Sailor: Those that live in the land of the free, brave and whatever else seem to enjoy the level of feedback on Sailor's nibs. I find them unremarkable to look at and the nibs sail far too close to scratchy for my taste. The lesson was that feedback can sometimes be a very, very bad thing. Pilot: It is possible to come so, so close to absolute perfection - specifically for me in the 823. Balance, a nice glassy nib, perfect wetness of flow, great filling system, nice appearance. I keep twisting in between my fingers and thinking 'Damn, this is close to perfect'. Pelikan: Simplicity can be very, very beautiful. Visconti: Totally in your face and ridiculously over the top designs can also be beautiful and that springy, bouncy dreamtouch nibs can be a dream to use......when the quality control gets it right. Italix: Sometimes a pen everybody seems to love can turn out to be a Jinhao in disguise. I could go on, but I better leave some room for others to add their own thoughts. Overall though, looking at a whole lot of pens together it has taught me that it might be possible to spend just as much on ink, that experiencing a whole load of different pens from cheap to stupidly expensive is generally a good thing (but not for one's bank balance) and that using fountain pens somehow makes me have a truly deep appreciation for the art and miracle of writing.
  5. I recently got a Pilot Metropolitan for the first time - and I can see what so many people mean when they've said it is a bargain for the price. It's beautiful, a nice thickness, substantial feel... But for my small hands, a little too substantial - it feels too heavy for me, especially when posted, to be comfortable for long writing sessions. I fell in love with the nib, which is working fantastically, so I unscrewed the section and screwed it into my 78G (formerly having a B stub nib I just couldn't get on with). The 78G is light and comfortable to write with, but it does definitely feel like cheap plastic and the body is thinner than I'd ideally like. Are there any pen bodies I could swap the Metro nib into, that would be heavier/better-quality material than the 78G, but not as heavy(/back-heavy) as the Metro? I was thinking the Prera might fit the bill - can any Prera owners weigh in on its weight and how it feels when posted?
  6. What are the best instruments to use to get accurate measurements of fountain pens? I want to measure weight (and I assume a postal or kitchen scale would be adequate for that). Is a caliper the best instrument for measuring diameter? I want to measure barrel and grip diameter. Thanks, Susan
  7. Does anyone know of a simple and reliable way to increase the forward weight of a Hero 616 Jumbo? Specifically I find the pen a little back heavy when it is posted - it's a light pen already. The balance doesn't feel quite right unposted either. Many thanks.
  8. Hi there! I just have a quick question: what's the approximate weight of the Sheaffer's 300 in grammes? Qualitatively, I know that's the heavisest pen I own, but I'd like to benchmark it before I set out to get/select new pens. Many thanks! Tinevisce
  9. I was considering purchasing a Namiki (resin) or Pilot (metal) Falcon fountain pen. There are no specialty pen shops in the area, so I will not be able to try one out before buying. My question is if either one is top heavy (posted and unposted). I would assume the resin one is balanced, but I am not sure about the metal one. For example, a Lamy Safari is balanced, and I like it, but the Al-Star is top heavy when posted, which I dislike. I would rather purchase the metal one for durability and the fact that I like the black/silver coloring better than the black/gold but not if it is top heavy. Thanks in advance for your advice.
  10. Hello everyone! This is probably going to be somewhat silly, but here goes: I was picking out my fork for dinner the other night and it crossed my mind that perhaps my preference for a small-medium lightweight fork might have a parallel in the other things I use. I've only played billiards several times in my life, but I found that I was much more comfortable with a shorter cue stick (which drew some stares) when it was available . With my fountain pens, I prefer them to be light and medium sized, agile, kinda like the fork and short cue stick. So what I'm wondering is, does anyone else find that their preferences in pen size/weight (if any) seem to correspond with their size/weight affinities for other implements? Or not at all?





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