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Found 8 results

  1. From the album: First look

    My order of four Monami Penna pens arrived yesterday. I haven't inked any of them up yet; but my initial impression is one of disappointment. The barrel material is very prone to scratching, even from just the cardboard in the retail packaging itself. One of the pens arrived in absolutely appalling cosmetic condition, on account of movement inside the retail packaging in transit. The clear plastic display box took the brunt of the impact of being crushed and is permanently creased and deformed, along with the cardboard frame inside, but otherwise shielded the pen; however, that made for a bit more wiggle room for the pen trapped inside. p.s. I reported the issue to the AliExpress seller, and I blamed the manufacturer squarely for inappropriate retail packaging design, given that the barrel on another pen of which the box was not crushed is also marred by a haze of micro-scratches thus acquired. To the credit of the seller, he took responsibility for inadequate packaging, and offered to send me replacements for the two pens.

    © A Smug Dill

  2. Since succumbing to the Hobonichi Cousin last year, I have been enjoying matching my fountain pen ink colour to that of the daily pages. The Japanese versions of this planner has lovely, slightly dusty, faded vintage colours which change for each month. The whole page is printed in that colour - grid, Japanese quote, date and day markets etc. So I thought it would be fun to write using a matching ink - a great excuse for exploring some of the glorious colours now available and a built in excuse for changing inks regularly. This idea was inspired by a blog I saw (sorry, can't remember who) where the writer had done a similar project but using gel pens. I know everyone's experiences of ink colour is different, depending on pen, nib, paper, how heavy-handed your are, phase of the moon (who knows? Maybe) but I thought someone out there may be doing something similar and we could share our thoughts. Anyway, here are my selections so far: January: burnt orange - Monteverde Fire Opal February: bronze brown - my own mix using Platinum mixable inks March: pinky purple - Herbin Larmes de Cassis April: red pink - Colorverse Sea Europa May: bright olive - KWZ green Gold Ii or Monami Olive June: grey green - another custom mix - see above July: grey turquoise - Birmingham Pen Co Fountain Turquoise August: blue grey - another custom mix - see above September: warm brown - Krishna Vaikhari October: grey purple - another custom mix - see above November: pine green - Birmingham Pen Co Fern Hollow Creek December: faded red - another custom mix - see above. As you can see, I've ended up mixing some colours myself - lots of fun, and I'm less happy with some of the other choices so will need to explore further. For example, I find the Herbin colours a bit watery but haven't yet found a similar colour to Larmes de Cassis; the Krishna Vaikhari is a nice colour but not quite yellow enough... I generally stick to relatively easily available inks and would like to expand the brands but I like this selection as a first pass. I should add that I'm using a Pilot Metro with a Plumix EF or F calligraphy nib. If anyone else is doing this, I'd love to see your choices or generally, any thoughts.
  3. I love me a cheap pen. I mean a really cheap pen. I recently went to order a couple new pads from my favourite supplier only to find that I was under the minimum threshold for free postage. So I scoured the site for something cheap and useful to bump it up. Would rather get something for my money than just end up throwing it into the ether on postage. Enter the Monami Olika. This pen cost me £3.50, that's 50p cheaper than the Preppy from the same site making this possibly the cheapest refillable fountain pen on the market. It has a couple advantages over the Preppy and one huge disadvantage, but we'll get to that later. First off, the 11.4mm section is rubberised with a slight central swell, gives great grip and comfort. The barrel also has a narrowing approximately mid way along it's length which I think is much more aesthetically pleasing than the Preppy. Secondly, the Olika uses standard international cartridges and converters, another huge plus in my (someone who doesn't have at least one of every converter for every brand) opinion. It is also available in a myriad of colours, the body colour you order defines the ink colour you get, of which three short international cartridges are included (for £3.50!) Writing is smooth but the nib is quite squat & very stiff, I believe the correct term would be a "nail"? It's going to get the job of basic writing done but you're not going to be able to get anything but the most minimum of line variation out of it. When I first saw the Olika I looked it up to see if it could be eyedroppered like the Preppy, the article I stumbled across said that it could, no problem. This leads me to my main gripe. It can't. In my haste I didn't check this. Put a new o-ring on, greased the threads, filled up a syringe with De Atrementis Document Black &...covered myself in ink. There is indeed a small hole in the end of the barrel, perhaps this is a newer addition than the article I read? Undeterred but slightly inky, I dripped a couple dollops of Araldite Crystal into the offending hole & sealed it up, giving myself an eyedropper for £3.50. All in all, I really like the Olika and will absolutely be buying additional colours in the future, the green is particularly nice!
  4. Ezo312

    Monami Olika

    Monami is a Korean stationary company most famously known for making low end ballpoint pen and markers and the Olika which released this year is their first attempt at a fountain pen. It's low end, costing 3000 Korean Won which is roughly slightly under 3 dollars, and baiscally feels like it shares the same market that the Platinum Preppy or the Pilot Varsity occupy. It was released in 10 colors, I got the black one Size-wise, it's basically the same size as the Platinum Preppy, whether you do a size comparison capped, uncapped, or posted. The only real differences I'd say in overall shape or size is that while the body of the Preppy is straight, the Olika is more curvy. I'd call it almost coke bottle shaped in a way? Another point where the Olika and the Preppy split is the cap and the clip. The cap of the Olika, from my experience, is much more firmly held than the Preppy. It's not at the level where I'm struggling to get the cap open or it's a bother, but it's just enough to where it feels almost safer than the Preppy I guess? As for the clip, the Olika clip is plastic like the Preppy but it's much more springier and has more leeway. That being said it does feel like the clip doesn't grasp as strongly as the Preppy The Olika is a cartridge pen, using proprietary cartridges and there have been no released converter for the Olika yet. That being said, the whole pen is plastic so if you don't want to use cartridges I'd say the most efficient thing to do with this pen is convert it into an eyedropper. The Olika also doesn't really offer any nib choices, as you're currently only limited to a standard F nib. The nibs are stainless steel and I'm not sure if I got lucky or if the nibs are good quality but I've yet to experience any scratchiness from about 2 weeks or so of writing with this pen a fair amount. That being said one of the strongest points of the Olika is the grip. For a 3 dollar pen, the rubber grip is gives you a more than adequate bang for your buck. It's not the high end of comfort like the Japanese gel gripped mechanical pencils, but it's not a grip that's so thin or cheap that it has you asking what purpose does this even serve. It's soft enough to where there's a noticable effect on how comfortable it is to write long term but it also offers enough friction, for lack of a better term, so that the pen doesn't slip from your grip. I honestly wouldn't mind if a similar grip was implemented in some of my pens which like on a lower-mid price point like the Lamy Safari or the Platinum Plaisir (I learned how to write in a tripod grip so the Safari grip doesn't bother me but still) Overall the pen writes nicely. It's a cheap workhorse pen that's great for beginners or someone just looking for a pen they can abuse to a certain point. The only problem I really have about the Olika even considering the purpose it has among my pen collection is that when posted the balance feels way off to me. My go-to pens like the Safari or the PTL-5000A or the Platinum Plaisir all feel well balanced when writing posted but the Olika has a tendency to feel like a Fat Joe song in how it feels like the weight when posted just kind of leans back. It's a lightweight pen to begin with, only being slightly heavier than a Preppy (I'd say maybe 3g heavier?) so it's not a huge difference, but it does feel awkward sometimes for me when I've been using better balanced pens and go back to the Olika sometimes. Overall, to be totally honest, I'd say it's a cheap pen and for a cheap pen it's great. It serves me just as well as my Preppy does but the appearance is much more lowkey and the grip is better making it a much better match for an office setting than a Preppy I feel like. While it's not anything revolutionary, I feel like it's a good addition to the low end Preppy/Varsity type of pen where it's low investment, low risk, work horse pens. While it's definitely not a pen everybody needs nor wants, if you're ever in Korea and have like 5 dollars to spend it's not that bad of an investment. I'd say FOR A CHEAP PEN, so based on the standards of say a Preppy or a Varsity or a Kakuno to some extent, I'd give it a 8/10. Deductions mainly for being an only cartridge pen with no available converter, and also being a proprietary cartridge pen meaning that if you can't find a place that sells Monami ink near you you'll probably have to do the refilling a cartridge with a syringe trick which is a hassle. I only deducted 2 points, however, because the pen can be converted into an eyedropper without any problem. Just a simple o-ring and silicon grease like the Preppy.
  5. On a recent trip to Seoul Korea my wife brought me back this little gem, the Korean made MonAmi 153 Neo fountain pen. MonAmi is a well established Korean pen company producing mechanical pencils and ballpoints. Up until now I believe the only fountain pen they offered was a lower end Olika model that go for around $6 USD. The 153 Neo fountain pen is a new addition and is a much higher end pen. By higher end, they go for about $25 to $45 USD depending where you get it which puts it in the Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, Kaweco Sport, TWSBI ECO and GO, Faber Castell Basic territory of affordable fountain pens. It’s a cartridge converter pen with a remarkably nice writing steel nib that is smooth and puts down a generous consistent ink flow. While there are many pens in the sub $50 range in the market, I think the writing quality of the nib on this pen redeems itself as one definitely worth checking out. The body of the pen is made of good quality plastic that does not feel cheap nor flimsy. The overall fit and finish of the pen is of high quality for a pen in its price range, on par with the Faber Castells and Lamys. The Nib: I suspect the nib is out sourced to Jowo as it has a very similar resemblance to the steel Faber Castell nibs provided by Jowo found on the FC Basic and up to the Ambition models. When I compare it to my FC Ambition nib, it has similar dimensions without a breathing hole, and is only very slightly shorter. I’d say writing quality is on par with the Faber Castell steel nibs which are arguably some of the best writing steel nibs on the market. The nib has some basic scroll work and engraved MonAmi with the nib width. It is a real pleasant writer, and wrote perfectly out of the box with a generous wet ink flow and smooth feel. It has a little give, and the Fine nib on mine has slightly wider down strokes than horizontal strokes which I like giving a very subtle stubbish character. The nib brings out shading in inks nicely. The nib is the very best part of this pen, and I think distinguishes itself from the other pens in its price range. Ergonomics and design: The 153 Neo is hexagonal in shape along the length of the cap and barrel. The clip is a little Lamy Safary-ish and functions well for a clip, as the ski slope shape easily slides the pen securely in a shirt pocket. The long black section is hexagonal at the top where it screws into the barrel, but rounds out towards the nib. This ensures the hexagonal cap always aligns with the hexagonal barrel, and the section threads, when it is screwed into the barrel tightens to a stop in perfect alignment with the hexagonal barrel. It’s these kinds of fine attention to detail that really makes this pen shine. The section is sufficiently long enough that you can place your fingers lower down on the round part of the section if you don’t like the hexagonal edges, or you can hold it further up the section if you like the hexagonal gripping orientation. The girth of the pen, from the narrowest point near the nib to the widest point at the barrel, is comparable to the TWSBI ECO and Lamy 2000 as depicted in the side by side comparison photos. The plastic of the black section has a little bit of a texture compared to the barrel, to aid in the gripping and eliminates any slipperiness. The only down side for some might be with the sharp step down at the point where the section meets the barrel, but the section is very long on this pen, so I think for most people the step down will not be of any concern or even noticeable. Although the barrel is long enough that I don’t have a need to post the cap, the cap posts in the hexagonal lip at the end of the barrel very securely should you want to post it so you don’t misplace the cap. Since the cap is fairly light relative to the rest of the pen, posting it does not throw off the balance at all I find. The cap when posted does not protrude at all and just extends the lines of the pen in one uniform piece which also looks very nice. A great clean thoughtful design. The cap closes with a solid click and stays on securely, and so far I have not experienced any nib dry out issues so the cap forms a good seal. On top of the cap is an attractive metallic finial with the symbol 153 to denote the model number of the pen. The weight of the pen is about that of the Lamy Safari and Pelikan M200. The 153 Neo comes in 5 available colors, white, gray, Aqua Fresh light blue, Indigo dark blue, and Tangelo orange. On my Tangelo orange pen, the bright orange plastic material that makes up the cap and barrel is glossy and exudes a quality look and feel which is very attractive. The converter fits into the section very securely, and the threads of the section that screw into the barrel are large and screw in with a nice solid feel. Every part of the pen feels solid, precise and well made. Packaging and accessories: The converter is supplied with the pen along with 2 extra cartridges in a pretty nice black card board pen box with a magnetic closure flap. For a pen in this price range, the packaging is quite good I’d say. The converter looks to be an international converter with MonAmi logo printed on it, and it holds a decent amount of ink given a lot of ink also collects in the long section of the pen. Assuming the standard international converter itself holds approx. 0.7 ml, there is an additional 0.7 ml of ink held in the section, so you get around 1.5 ml of ink reservoir total when using the converter. The pen goes a long way with one fill of the converter if the ink is sucked up through the nib. The converter does not exhibit any issues with air pockets forming, providing a reliable and consistent ink delivery. Conclusion I highly recommend this pen for its pleasant and reliable writing performance, and quality fit and finish, especially at its price range. A lot of thought and attention to detail went into the design of this pen that give it that added value. The nib is the very best part of this pen, and I think distinguishes itself from the other pens in its price range. From left to right: Lamy 2000, Lamy Safari, MonAmi 153, TWSBI ECO, Pelikan M200 MonAmi 153 Neo, fine steel nib. Ink = Montblanc Lucky Orange The finial has the 153 symbol to denote the model number of the pen, MonAmi 153 Neo *********************************************** Edited Oct 8 2018: Here are some photos I found online that more accurately represents the color of these pens. My photos turned out a little redder than it should be.
  6. Hi Everyone, My new JetPens Newsletter says they are now carrying the Monami Olika fountain pens (made in S. Korea) for $5.50 each. https://www.jetpens.com/Monami-Olika-Fountain-Pens/ct/4266 At $5.50 I think the the price is a bit high, but JetPens will be JetPens. Here in Indonesia the same pen costs half as much. But hey, $5.50 isn't gonna break the bank - right? The Olika takes proprietary ink cartridges, it and comes with three in black. JetPens does't sell additional cartridges which come in boxes of 5, but you can syringe refill them. I've never seen a converter for this pen, but I'll bet someone can hack a converter of some sort to work. The pen can probably be coaxed into working as an eyedropper filler, if you like that sort of thing. Here is something noted in the JetPens description that I did not know before... "Note: Instead of a plastic feed, this pen uses a fiber wick to draw ink to the nib. This can make it difficult and time-consuming to clean all of the ink out of the pen if you want to change ink colors." The Monami Olika has been discussed before here on the FPN. For Example: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/312616-monami-olika/?do=findComment&comment=3691929 FWIW here is a link to the Monami homepage: http://www.monami.com/ Have Fun, David
  7. Hey y'all! I just recently saw of the new Monami 153 Black/White ballpoint pen. It comes in those two colors, and is a matte and metal version of the original 153 plastic ballpoint pen. They are an upgraded luxury of the original ballpoint Here are some pictures of them. Make sure to tell me what you think!





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