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Hey everyone! I'm looking to moving up in the pen world to a nicer pen but I don't really know what I want. Right now though, I crave some perspective on what the FPN community likes best. If you would like to, please: Post a comment about your favorite sub $200 penPost a few reasons why you like the penPost what you have it inked withThanks!
Yesterday a box arrived bearing my new Pilot Custom 74 with a soft fine nib. I feel like I already know this pen to a certain extent since it is an exact replacement for one that was stolen, but I am still faced with a conundrum: which ink do I use to welcome it into the collection? My own process involves determining the pen's vibe and finding an ink that complements that vibe along with the color. So in this case the pen itself is rather plain, so I'll want an ink that has some liveliness but isn't frivolous. I don't ink more than four or five pens at a time so I try to vary the kinds of colors I have available. This is both a hue/value thing (I have a bunch of inks in my favorite families and try not to have more than one in a pen at the same time) and a tone thing (some inks are serious, some are punchy, some are contemplative so I try to keep a mix to match my moods as they change). Apart from these highly subjective questions, I also want to get a good gauge of how the pen performs. Using an ink with which I'm familiar gives me a more reliable gauge of performance, but I have a ton of samples I'm itching to try out. The welter of questions often produces a delicious flurry of indecision that can last for several days. Right now I'm leaning toward Colorverse Andromeda even though it breaks all of my rules. I suspect that it is too frivolous for this pen, I have two other pens inked with what I broadly consider "red", one of which has Yama-budo (although I'm considering flushing that one; it's a TWSBI mini and they don't really seem to go together), and I'm new to Colorverse as a brand (my other current "red" ink is Dark Energy, which is my first full Colorverse fill) and have never tried Andromeda. So how do the rest of you approach the first fill of a new pen? What questions do you ask yourself? Do you use a standard ink? Why?
So just thought I'd ask other users, since I find myself using very cheap pens more and more. What is your favorite low budget fountain pen? My collection consists almost completely of Jinhao's Baoers, and free noodlers pens. I find myself using them more than my pilot metro, ahab(though it leaks and replacement is on the way) and others. So, please post what your favorite or favorites are in the low end of the price spectrum, what nib, and why they're your favorite cheap pens or even favorite pens. If you can post pictures that's even better.
Do you blend a lot of your own ink colors, or are you happy with what is commercially available? If you blend, are your blends within brands or do you mix brands? And what are you aiming for in a blended ink, is it just to experiment or are you trying to fill what you see as a gap in commercial colors? Apologies if these have all been covered elsewhere, I did search...thanks.