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Present For Husband And I Know Nothing About Fountain Pens...


cocohoney
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The more specific you get (which is a good thing - so many people pop into these forums asking for advice but not providing any indication of what's important to them), the more the SS Studio seems like a good idea. The only possible way it doesn't fit your requirements is that its cartridges are proprietary.

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My advice is: don't set the limit at £50

 

Once we've established that, I vote for a Lamy 2000. When I saw the picture of his pen and how it gets worn, the answer seemed clear.

"One always looking for flaws leaves too little time for construction" ...

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Another vote for the Lamy Studio Stainless Steel edition.

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Diamine ink sells 30ml plastic bottles. They aren't as nice as the larger glass bottles but they are a much better choice for throwing in a bag. Eclipse is a nice professional color- Black with purplish blue undertones. If you get him a cartridge pen you could always add a converter and ink later. He could also refill cartridges with a blunted syringe.

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In your price range, Ebay or an antique store are your best bets. I am not familiar enough with the UK market to be more specific, but perhaps one of FPN's English members will chime in. I know you could get a nice 51 for that price here in the US, although you would certainly have to clean it.

 

Good luck.

 

Well, that's a picture worth a thousand words! Yep, the man needs a better pen. :) Thanks for posting it. It was helpful.

 

Regarding the Parker 51: It is a great (or perfect) choice for what he needs, but I think it's a bit much to expect a person who doesn't know the first thing about FPs to try to try to figure out the world of vintage pens.

 

But if you happen to be looking at the Sheaffer Imperials at Peyton Street, I have a 440, and it would be ideal. The inlaid nib designs are good because they give lots of flexibility in where you grip it. (plus, they're beautiful!) The nib is very firm so if he does have to fill out carbonless forms, he should have no problem. The problem with mine is that the cap often pops off when posted! But if you email Teri, I'm sure she can make sure yours doesn't have that problem.

 

With regard to cartridge vs. bottled ink--most cartridge pens take converters as well, so the cartridge vs. bottle decision doesn't have to be made now if you choose one of those. Ink for refills can be carried in a small bottle or vial and/or he can just keep an "emergency cartridge" on hand and switch it in if needed.

 

As far as writing on lightweight paper--the ink marking the paper behind it is called "bleed-through." How much bleed-through there is on a given paper is a function of how "wet" a pen is and the properties of the ink itself. Inks vary. A fine point is helpful in minimizing bleed regardless and is probably better for filling out forms anyway. An advantage of using bottled ink is that there are so many more choices available if you're trying to find something that has a particular feature.

 

 

 

p.s. You will be assimilated. :: evil laugh ::

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I also like the Pilot Metropolitan/MR. It gives you incredible value for the price. Mine lives at my office and gets used every work day. The converter that came with the US version does not allow you to see ink levels. If the MR is has the same converter I would advise using cartridges or getting a clear converter.

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Given the picture you shared, he is currently using this pen. So it is medium point, standard cartridge, lacquer finish.

I will add to the large amount of advice you have already gotten.

Filling options

Leave the bottled ink alone. Stick with the cartridges. For a fountain pen enthusiast (which most/all of us here are) bottle ink is great. For anyone else, a bottle of ink has a direct correlation with a huge mess. If it turns out he really likes fountain pens, he'll end up using bottled ink. Until then, I think he will have an easier time using and enjoying your gift if it is refillable with cartridges.

I would recommend something that takes standard international cartidges. For starters, that is what he already has sitting in the bottom of his briefcase, in his locker at work, in his desk at home, and everywhere else (if he is like the rest of us). If you buy him a pen that takes proprietary cartridges (Lamy, Parker, Cross, Sheaffer) you will want to make sure you leave space in your budget to get him a decent supply of the proprietary cartridges to accompany the pen. Also, with standard you don't have to worry about the ink type (archival, waterproof, whatever). Presumably he already has cartridges that fit his needs.

Nibs

Fine point. If he is like most doctors, med school and residency killed his hand writing. That is perfectly understandable, and expected. My own experience is a fine point makes my own hurried handwriting somewhat more legible.

So three suggestions

The Italix Parson's Essential - Already been mentioned. High quality pen, nibs are all checked prior to shipping. You can get a fine point. Takes international cartridges. Many have recommended it, I would agree.

The Franklin-Cristoph Collegia - Also already been mentioned. Top of the line steel nib. Metal body. Very nice looking pens, nice selection of colors. Takes international cartridges, and comes with a converter. So if he wants to try bottle ink at some point, he is already setup, just go buy a 30ml of diamine. Lifetime warranty, that's nice.

The Faber-Castell Basic - Hasn't been mentioned, but another high quality, metal body pen. Has a rubber grip section. International cartridges. Reviewers universally like the nibs for their smoothness. Well under your budget. The one with carbon-fibre finish will be a hit with most men (for some reason we think that's cool), plus its a little lighter. Slip cap, which he is already used to. Threaded caps can be a turn off if you aren't used to them. The downside to this pen, it has an ugly cap.

There are lots of other options, but for the purpose, I like these three. The Basic has the rubber grip and slip cap, those are pluses. Collegia has a lifetime warranty, that's a plus. Parson's Essential has the nib checked, that's a plus. So no option is perfect. But each of these has an advantage.

Hope this helps.

JS

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To clarify, this is the stainless steel version with its excellent rubber section:

http://www.lamy.com/produktdaten/content/e34/e58/e1602/065_stahl_eng.jpg

 

This is one of several Lamy Studio colors with the slippery chrome section:

http://www.lamyusa.com/main_productimages/fountain_L67_studio.jpg

 

You want the first one. I have oily, sweaty fingers, and the stainless steel model with the black rubber grip is easily one of my more comfortable pens to hold and write with. It's a winner. I have several Studios in various colors that have the chrome section, and I rarely use them because I refuse to turn the AC down to 62°F.

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Regarding permanent ink in cartridges, I believe Parker makes one that they say is permanent. There may be others but I am not an expert here since I used bottled inks.

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tOk, this is hard- I understand why people have a collection rather than one!

 

I thought I had decided on the parker sonnet in black and gold. My reasons for this are

 

He can easily pick up cartridges from our local WHSmiths

Lots of reviews says it writes well posted

Smooth at the point the barrel meets the grip

Apparently good for when you have to write for a long time without making your hand ache

Is able to write fast (for note jotting)

Clip on cap

Cap is very firm when posted

Classic design

Popularity and recommendations on here

Gold plated nib (although I have to admit I'm not sure what advantage this has, it's just so pretty)

It's also interesting that Parker make a cartridge that's permanent (thanks for that), I've found some on Amazon so it would be easy to get hold of.

Comes with a piston convertor should he fancy giving ink a go.

 

So main concern is the highlighted problem of quality control, not sure what to do about that. It is a good price from WHSmiths at the moment so I should be ok with returns etc if it comes to that.

 

I was stuck between that and the Cross Townsend. I watched the YouTube review linked to on here and he loved it, but it did write a little dry and I'm not sure if that's ideal? Also, The one he reviewed had a gold nib and the one available in my price range on Mr Pen is the rhodium plated nib, I wasn't sure how much difference that made.

 

Now though, I am drawn to the vintage Sheaffers again at Peyton Street. I was a little worried about buying an older one, but my favourite there was the 440 which Elizabeth mentions- it's lovely looking. The cap does look like it wouldn't stay on though, how would that be remedied?

 

The Lamy Studio I decided against after seeing the same guy's video review- but also because that brushed metal puts my teeth on edge (I know, I know, it's not for me!) I think (I hope I'm right) that my husband would go for a less modern design if he were choosing. I do like the black one, but the brushed one would be the only option grip wise.

 

The Franklin-Christoph Collegia, Sheaffer Sagaris and the Italix ones I have decided against as having sneakily watched him writing (he thinks I'm very odd right now) he does grip quite high up and I think the threads/step down would be uncomfortable on these.

 

So

 

Sheaffer 440 vintage but unused from Peyton Street Pens (is it important that I'm in the UK, would he be able to get anything he needed for it here?)

 

OR

 

Parker Sonnet in black and gold (maybe a little less interesting, but easier)

 

Thanks so much everyone, you are all so helpful- I'm sure you've guessed I am dreadful at decisions- my husband usually makes them!

Edited by cocohoney
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Oh, another thing I was worried about on the Sheaffer is the squeeze convertor. My first ever pen for school was a Sheaffer with one of these squeeze convertors and it was dreadfully messy. I know he can use cartridges, but could he get a piston style convertor for it too?

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coco

 

About the finger slipping on the Lamy Studio.

It will depend on your husbands fingers.

 

In college I used a Parker 45, and it had a smooth glossy plastic grip. My fingers used to get sweaty and oily, and my fingers would then slip down the grip. I got so frustrated that I used a file to cut groves on the grip so my fingers would not slip. It worked but it was not nice to the pen.

 

Fast forward to today, and I have NO PROBLEM writing with a P45 for a LONG time.

Why my fingers don't slip now when they did in college, I am not sure, but I have some ideas:

  • Maybe I keep my hands cleaner than I did in college ;)
  • I also do not grip the pen as tight as I used to, in fact it is a very light grip.

So I would still consider the Lamy Studio.

It is a nice looking pen.

 

The other consideration is his hand and finger size.

My hand and fingers are small. FAT pens (larger than 12mm diameter) are uncomfortable for me to use. I prefer what used to be called "slimline" pens, of about 9 or 10mm diameter. Take a look at the pen that he has and ask him if he likes the fit. So as much as I like the Lamy Studio, it might be too big for my small hand.

 

I have extremely small hands - if you know piano, at maximum possible stretch for fifty years, I can reach a ninth, which is really small hands for an adult.

 

I find the Lamy Studio very comfortable for my small hands and have two, the limited edition red that came with the gold nib, and the standard blue one that I paid extra for the dealer to substitute a gold nib.

 

But from what I read, it is also comfortable for many people with considerably larger hands.

 

As for fingers slipping on the grip, I have not had any problem with that - you mentioned your grip changing and becoming lighter over the years. I have written with fountain pens since childhood and I think you have something there.

 

I noticed recently that in addition to using very little pressure, I hold the pen pretty loosely and use my upper hand more than my fingers in moving it. So I think people who have trouble with the slipping on the grip are maybe holding it more tightly than is really needed.

 

Still, for the original question, whether her husband holds a pen loosely or tightly would probably affect the slippery grip question and would be an indicator for whether the studio would be a good choice.

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Now though, I am drawn to the vintage Sheaffers again at Peyton Street. I was a little worried about buying an older one, but my favourite there was the 440 which Elizabeth mentions- it's lovely looking. The cap does look like it wouldn't stay on though, how would that be remedied?

 

...

 

Sheaffer 440 vintage but unused from Peyton Street Pens (is it important that I'm in the UK, would he be able to get anything he needed for it here?)

 

 

Just drop Teri a note and I expect she can make sure there's no problem with the cap. If she can't, I expect she'll tell you that instead! (I didn't tell her about my cap issue--my own fault!) terim@peytonstreet.com

 

The only thing Sheaffer-specific you'd need for it would be a converter (included with the pen) and/or Sheaffer cartridges. Peyton has 3 colors to get you started, and they should be easily available from UK sources as well. Cultpens and Mr. Pen have all 9 colors.

 

ETA:

 

Oh, another thing I was worried about on the Sheaffer is the squeeze convertor. My first ever pen for school was a Sheaffer with one of these squeeze convertors and it was dreadfully messy. I know he can use cartridges, but could he get a piston style convertor for it too?

 

Piston-style is available. I have one piston and one squeeze and they both work fine.

Edited by Elizabeth in NJ
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Oh, another thing I was worried about on the Sheaffer is the squeeze convertor. My first ever pen for school was a Sheaffer with one of these squeeze convertors and it was dreadfully messy. I know he can use cartridges, but could he get a piston style convertor for it too?

 

We can supply you with a piston converter for the 440 if you prefer, just send us a note after you order. Sheaffer cartridges are fairly easy to find, so that should not be an issue if he decides he'd rather not fill from a bottle. And I checked the cap posting .... it will stay on if you push it on firmly, though the end of the barrel will eventually get a little scratched up and dull as a result.

 

I hope you end up finding something for him that he really likes!

 

TERI

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Hello Teri, Thank you for replying. I am worried about that cap then- he does always write with it on so this could be a problem. Does the Sheaffer 444 sit any tighter? Would either be a problem if you like to write with the cap posted or do you think I'm overthinking it?

 

I'm not so keen on the 444 due to the whole brushed metal thing making me shudder, but hey it's a meatal body and it's not for me- I've found the one I want http://www.peytonstreetpens.com/sheaffer-craftsman-brown-striated-fine-feather-touch-nib-lever-filler-restored.html and I didn't even know I liked fountain pens!

 

I keep coming back to the Parker Sonnet- am I just being boring?

 

Is a gold plated nib better than stainless steel, or is it only of value when the nib is actually gold? In which case it would have to be a vintage pen in my price bracket I guess?

Edited by cocohoney
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You already know my point of view between the one that you've given but as your husband is a doctor why not keep saving and buy a Conway Stewart professional pens?

 

http://www.conwaystewart.com/pendetails.php?pen=professional

 

evidently it's a lot more expensive but it's the pen for a doctor...

A people can be great withouth a great pen but a people who love great pens is surely a great people too...

Pens owned actually: MB 146 EF;Pelikan M200 SE Clear Demonstrator 2012 B;Parker 17 EF;Parker 51 EF;Waterman Expert II M,Waterman Hemisphere M;Waterman Carene F and Stub;Pilot Justus 95 F.

 

Nearly owned: MB 149 B(Circa 2002);Conway Stewart Belliver LE bracket Brown IB.

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If you haven't ordered the pen yet, I would wholeheartedly recommend the Sheaffer 330, 400, or 444.- they all post very securely but are also very balanced without posting the cap (I personally post mine). The inlaid nib is simply gorgeous! And, I also agree to the recommendations of the Italix Parson's Essential. The bonus there is that MrPen is in the UK. From what all the posts and reviews here have to say, he (Peter ford) has developed a much deserved sterling reputation for after sale customer service to boot!

 

Incidentally, gold plating doesn't enhance the performance of the pen in any way, it's purely for aesthetics.

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Hello Teri, Thank you for replying. I am worried about that cap then- he does always write with it on so this could be a problem. Does the Sheaffer 444 sit any tighter? Would either be a problem if you like to write with the cap posted or do you think I'm overthinking it?

 

I'm not so keen on the 444 due to the whole brushed metal thing making me shudder, but hey it's a meatal body and it's not for me- I've found the one I want http://www.peytonstreetpens.com/sheaffer-craftsman-brown-striated-fine-feather-touch-nib-lever-filler-restored.html and I didn't even know I liked fountain pens!

 

I keep coming back to the Parker Sonnet- am I just being boring?

 

Is a gold plated nib better than stainless steel, or is it only of value when the nib is actually gold? In which case it would have to be a vintage pen in my price bracket I guess?

 

Gold plating on a steel nib is better if you like the looks of gold, it doesn't change anything concerning writing. And if the nib is made fully of gold, the weight is so minor that it doesn't have any substantial economic value.

 

The Sonnet is not a bad choice, but other brands might offer you better performing nibs.

http://imageshack.com/scaled/large/16/k6ic.png

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I think a Sonnet is a good choice and a metal body for a hospital doctor is a very good choice indeed. A metal pen won't break if dropped, and wont soften if cleaned with an alcohol wipe. Some years ago there was athread here about a MontBlanc being ruined by wiping down. I found one at Andy's Pens (http://andyspens.co.uk/pa2050.shtml). I've bought from hime before and he's reliable as they come.

To err is human.

To ARRR is pirate!

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Hi Coco

 

Don't worry too much about quality control. If you browse the forum you will find many reports of faulty pens from all major brands. It happens.

 

For grip, try looking for a pen that flares out a bit at the end of the grip (section we call it) like the Tombow or the Sonnet. It makes slipping less a problem.

 

I have that Tombow and like it well enough. It has a very rigid nib, nice if you have to do the occasional print-through, but normally I keep a ballpoint for that sort of thing.

 

I just ordered and received a second Sonnet, this one through Amazon, and it is a good pen.

The Sonnet is on the narrow side for me, but nice enough for note taking during interviewing a patient.

 

One thing though: hand fatigue often stems from the writer, not the pen. A fountainpen is not a ballpoint. A ballpoint needs pressure to roll the ball. A fountainpen does not need any pressure. I can lay the pen in the web between thumb and forefinger and the third finger for support at the grip end, and just use my forefinger and thumb to stabilise the pen. You use the arm muscles to write, not the fingermuscles. Actually when writing someone could easily lift the pen from my grips, so light is the pressure I have to give. That way your hand stays completely relaxed. With a good grip slipping is also less of a problem.

 

With the wrong grip and writing technique every fountainpen, however expensive, WILL produce handfatigue/cramps. I get that when writing a day with BP.

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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