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Disappointed And Torn About My M400 Tortoise



johnmetta

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johnmetta

After springing for an italic nib for my 80s M400, because the semi-flex gold nib was not appealing to me (not a flex lover) I'm actually considering offloading it. I love my M800 but thought it would be nice to have something smaller for journaling, and though that is true, after several weeks, I find that the M400 is just a bit too small and light to be truly comfortable during long writing sessions.

 

My thought is that the M600 (it is bigger, right) might have been a better choice for journaling- and my italic nib would actually fit it, which is nice- but now I'm torn because I do so love this tortoise. Talk about #firstworldproblems, I can't decide whether I want a slightly bigger fountain that's plain but comfortable, or my slightly too small fountain pen, which is gorgeous.

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GutSchrift

I never really thought about the m600 size, but I knew that the m400 was too small. I had a tortoise version myself and ended up selling it.

 

Then I found the m600 green o' green. It's gorgeous in person and far better than any of the pictures I had previously seen. I found the size to be just about perfect -- though I still love the m800 / m1000 sizes, the m600 is a good enough size to longer writing.

 

Have you thought about the m600 white tortoise? Its a beautiful pen.

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Get the 600-a great pen. The M605 was my first Pelikan-kind of regret selling it.....

"Writing is 1/3 nib width & flex, 1/3 paper and 1/3 ink. In that order."Bo Bo Olson

"No one needs to rotate a pen while using an oblique, in fact, that's against the whole concept of an oblique, which is to give you shading without any special effort."Professor Propas, 24 December 2010

 

"IMHO, the only advantage of the 149 is increased girth if needed, increased gold if wanted and increased prestige if perceived. I have three, but hardly ever use them. After all, they hold the same amount of ink as a 146."FredRydr, 12 March 2015

 

"Surely half the pleasure of life is sardonic comment on the passing show."Sir Peter Strawson

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alexander_k

Is the 400 smaller than the 600? I haven't had either for a long time but I seem to remember that they were the same size.

 

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RitchieMac

The M600 is larger than the M400. The M400 is the same size as the 200.

 

For me, ergonomics and usability triumps appearance, so it's M600 for me. That is why I haven't (yet) got myself the M800 brown tortoise, as it does not fit my shirt pocket well, though it's extremely appealing. M600 comes in the white tortoise but I actually prefer the darker tortoises. Hey, did I mention the word "tortoise" again ....

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Pennata Penna

John, I reckon your problem isn't just size, but also weight. If you can, try one of the wonders of nature / M640. They are slightly shorter than M800 but hefty, small curved section, nice finish, compatible with m400 nibs etc. Cons: No ink window, and some may not like unconventional style.. Shame really, it might have caused the sweet spot people have been missing.

 

I'm about to put mine out of rotation (no, it is not for sale lol) and use the nib on my other pen. Hurrah.

 

Tony

Pie pellicane Iesu Domine, me immundum munda tuo Sanguine – St Thomas Aquinas

"ON THE PLEASURE OF TAKING UP ONE'S PEN", Hilaire Belloc

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I have a 600 with EF nib. It is close to my ideal as a perfect pen and everyday writer along with a Sailor Pro Standard. It don't get any better.

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johnmetta

John, I reckon your problem isn't just size, but also weight.

Weight is indeed a big factor. It was one of the reasons that I hated the Shaeffer Balance. It felt like nothing. I love the weight of the M800, and from the sound of it the 640 would be a lot better. I'll look for one.

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christina_k

I ditto the M640 recommendation. I see some members of the series are available at around $300 these days. I had a Mt Everest but in dire straits a few months ago I sold it. I've toyed with the idea of saving up for a M800 but really I felt the M640 weight and curve was my ideal. The engineering and the aesthetics really got me too. I've never been whole since I parted with it, truthfully. Do consider it...

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peterpen53

Comparing the M400 and M600 side-by-side and uncapped there really is not that much difference in length. The M600's nib appears to be a hair longer and the filler knob seems 1 or 2 mm longer. The M600 does have decidedly more girth, though.

I agree on the M640. Only slightly shorter than the M800 and with a M600-size nib, it would be a good in-between solution.

May Your Force Be With You

If I mention a supplier, I am ONLY affiliated if I EXPLICITLY say so.

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I know it's all a question of horses for courses, but let me be the one to say that I have really come to love the smaller pen sizes. Several years ago I was given a Parker Vacumatic from the early '40s. At about 5" it was my smallest pen. Lately I've been bitten by the vintage bug, and have recently acquired a couple of '50s-era Pelikans and Montblancs -- the biggest one rivals that Parker and the smallest one -- a Pelikan Ibis -- seems tiny in comparison. That said, I am finding them more and more pleasing and comfortable and enjoyable to write with. Now when I use a more modern pen that tops 5 1/2", it feels almost excessive.

Écrire c’est tenter de savoir ce qu’on écrirait si on écrivait. – M. Duras

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I've owned both. I sold the 400. The 600 is a full size, light weight pen. A pleasure to use all day long.

Bob

Pelikan 100; Parker Duofold; Sheaffer Balance; Eversharp Skyline; Aurora 88 Piston; Aurora 88 hooded; Kaweco Sport; Sailor Pro Gear

 

Eca de Queroiz: "Politicians and diapers should be changed frequently, and for the same reason."

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I've owned both. I sold the 400. The 600 is a full size, light weight pen. A pleasure to use all day long.

Bob

 

The key there is definitely "light." Be careful, my m600 white tortoise is very light. Size may be bigger than an m400, but in weight department the difference is negligible. May be dissatisfying for you...

 

(weight is from brass piston in m800 vs plastic in the m4/600)

 

Dan

"Well, at least being into pens isn't a gross habit. Like smoking or whatever."

 

"Ahh, thanks?"

 

-My coworker Christine.

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peterpen53

I know it's all a question of horses for courses, but let me be the one to say that I have really come to love the smaller pen sizes. Several years ago I was given a Parker Vacumatic from the early '40s. At about 5" it was my smallest pen. Lately I've been bitten by the vintage bug, and have recently acquired a couple of '50s-era Pelikans and Montblancs -- the biggest one rivals that Parker and the smallest one -- a Pelikan Ibis -- seems tiny in comparison. That said, I am finding them more and more pleasing and comfortable and enjoyable to write with. Now when I use a more modern pen that tops 5 1/2", it feels almost excessive.

 

Although I like the big, modern pens very much (the M800 being my favourite size), there is quite a lot to be said for the nibs on those smaller vintage pens.

May Your Force Be With You

If I mention a supplier, I am ONLY affiliated if I EXPLICITLY say so.

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Although I like the big, modern pens very much (the M800 being my favourite size), there is quite a lot to be said for the nibs on those smaller vintage pens.

 

 

 

I agree -- the nibs are wonderful. I'm currently writing with a 140 with a slightly downturned nib and it's really nice.

 

FWIW, there are currently a range of vintage Pelikan nib units (for the 140 or 400 originally, if I recall) for sale on eBay at reasonable prices...

Écrire c’est tenter de savoir ce qu’on écrirait si on écrivait. – M. Duras

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peterpen53

 

 

Although I like the big, modern pens very much (the M800 being my favourite size), there is quite a lot to be said for the nibs on those smaller vintage pens.

 

 

 

I agree -- the nibs are wonderful. I'm currently writing with a 140 with a slightly downturned nib and it's really nice.

 

FWIW, there are currently a range of vintage Pelikan nib units (for the 140 or 400 originally, if I recall) for sale on eBay at reasonable prices...

 

Yes, the 140 is one of them. Picked one up at the pen show last september with an OB nib. So sweet.

May Your Force Be With You

If I mention a supplier, I am ONLY affiliated if I EXPLICITLY say so.

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I think weight might be more of a factor than size, the more I think about it. I'd bet if I could get a brass piston for my M400, I'd be happy. I'm gonna have to figure out a way to try before I trade up.

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Bo Bo Olson

A200/400 like an Esterbrook, is a Standard sized pen. A 600 like a 400NN or a P-51 is a medium-large pen.

Standard sized pens were designed to be posted, they blaance well then, so do IMO medium large pens.

 

If you refuse to post, a medium-large pen might be large enough not to post. You would have to try it. I suggest then buying only Large pens like the Pelikan 800 or MB 146 (which use to be a medium-large pen for it's first 30+ years until it was forced to grow into a Large pen to match the 800)...or the giant pens like the 149/1000.

 

Growing up in Standard sized pen days, I am use to posting them.

Those who grew up after Many companies stopped making Standard sized pens, either have to post or go with larger pens.

I also suggest staying away from vintage pens; of which many to most are standard sized like a 200/400 or Esterbrook or medium-large. Those were light nimble pens made for all day writing.

The 640 which I don't have because I don't like modern nibs, sounds like something to try...as soon as I get a spare 400NN nib.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I traded my m400 Tortoise for an M640 Eternal Ice and find that it is just about perfect. The custom italic nib I had for it fits, and the weight is much more like an M800, though very slightly smaller. I'm very pleased and think that it's just magic that this all came together. I think I know now to stay away from any pen smaller/lighter than this M640 unless I try it out and make sure it fits me well.

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Well, I traded my m400 Tortoise for an M640 Eternal Ice and find that it is just about perfect. The custom italic nib I had for it fits, and the weight is much more like an M800, though very slightly smaller. I'm very pleased and think that it's just magic that this all came together. I think I know now to stay away from any pen smaller/lighter than this M640 unless I try it out and make sure it fits me well.

 

Well, considering that the M800 is lighter than an M640.... how does it fare up?

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