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Nakaya Decapod Twist - Ao Tamenuri


Painterspal
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Nakaya Decapod Twist - Ao Tamenuri

 

Warning - lots of pictures!

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_1.jpg

 

This isn’t going to be a formal review; just some brief impressions and I hope instead that the pictures give a good idea of what the pen is like.

 

There are a lot of lovely pens in the world but the moment I first saw the Nakaya Decapod Twist I knew I would have to buy one. I already owned the standard Decapod by then, but the Twist was clearly something special and unique. I’d never seen a pen quite like it. After all, how many pens take the hand-made virtues that Nakaya are famous for and combine them into something that is effectively a piece of abstract minimalist sculpture you can write with? Suffice to say it’s a pretty short list!

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_2.jpg

 

Although I knew I wanted a Decapod Twist, I wasn’t sure what finish to chose so it was a while before got around to buying one. What made my mind up was seeing the pictures of Quinden’s Twist in the ao tamenuri finish. Once I saw that, it was just a case of how quickly I could raise the money! The cool greenish blue base coat makes a lovely change from the more common red finishes. However, the other option I would have liked to have considered was the unpolished shu, but Nakaya doesn’t make the Twist in that finish.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_7.jpg

 

The standard Decapod is a uniquely slender pen within Nakaya’s line up. In the hand the pen is noticeably thinner and lighter than their other ebonite pens, though this doesn't always come across in photographs. It feels delicate. By comparison the Twist is somewhat sturdier and shares the same basic dimensions as the Portable, Long Piccolo and Naka-ai. The section in particular is pretty much the same size for all these models. However, the degree to which it bulges out at the nib end does vary slightly from pen to pen, creating subtle differences when you hold them. I find the section on these pens only just long enough to be comfortable without touching the threads, so I like the section to have a small bulge as it provides more room to grip the pen. Fortunately, the one on mine is fine.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_3.jpg

 

Capped my Nakaya Twist weighs 26g and uncapped 19g. For me this is just about ideal as I find pens around this weight suit me perfectly. Because it has a converter it balances very nicely too. Mine doesn’t have a clip. I find these pens are a little long to clip comfortably in a shirt pocket and the facets mean it doesn’t roll quite as readily as a round pen, which makes the clip less important as a roll stop. I also think it looks better without one. Uncapped it is 131mm long and the cap is not designed to post.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_5.jpg

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_8.jpg

 

Obviously, the key feature of this pen is the ten facets that spiral gently round the cap and barrel. I love the appearance very much and the curved glossy surfaces catch the light differently to any other pen I own. Although each edge has been cut quite crisply I find that, in the hand, I don’t notice them at all and it handles very much the same as the pens I mentioned above. The facets particularly suit the tamenuri style finish, where the edges create many opportunities for the base colour to show through. Mine is a little muted at the moment, but over time I would expect the top colour to become slightly more transparent, creating a more dramatic contrast.

 

The nib on my Twist is a soft fine. This was a mistake as I had ordered a standard firm fine. However, when I dipped it I found the softness of the nib was hardly noticeable; indeed it is just slightly springy with the light pressure I was using. Certainly there is no line variation unlike, say, a soft Danitrio nib. Line width is about equivalent to a Western extra fine, which I find ideal in the office for writing notes. For such a fine nib it’s a smooth writer with good ink flow, perhaps a touch less juicy than most of my pens. Consequently it writes well on most types of paper, which is a bonus in an office environment.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_6.jpg

 

One of the other attractions of buying the Decapod Twist was that I would be able to compare it with my standard Decapod and my two Danitrio Octagons. While it would be futile to try to make detailed comparisons I hope you find the pictures useful. Suffice to say that all are lovely pens, made to a very high standard. Apart from the slimness/light weight of the original Nakaya Decapod, the most obvious difference between them is that Nakaya favour crisply cut edges while those of the Danitrios are slightly rounded. It’s also interesting to see how similar in weight they are, except for the lighter Decapod:

 

Nakaya Decapod

Capped 22g

Uncapped 13g

 

Nakaya Decapod Twist

Capped 26g

Uncapped 19g

 

Danitrio Hakkaku

Capped 28g

Uncapped 18g

 

Danitrio Octagon

Capped 28g

Uncapped 18g

 

I find them all well balanced and comfortable; both the Decapod Twist and Danitrio Hakkaku are in daily use at my office.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_9.jpg

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_10.jpg

 

So, that’s about it. The Decapod Twist is a lovely pen and, as I’m sure I’ve seen written elsewhere, could very well be considered Nakaya’s most distinctive offering. The urushi lacquer is beautifully done and I particularly enjoy the slight imperfections (if you can call them that) that reveal the maker's hand at work, which is so much a part of the appeal of these pens.

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_11.jpg

Edited by Painterspal

D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

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Congratulations! Gorgeous pens! Stellar photos!

 

I note your mention of the Decapod's lighter weight and slimmer barrel. I love my Decapod in heki-tamenuri, but I do prefer my thicker Naka-ai's girth. I did not realize that the Decapod Twist is thicker than the Decapod. Thanks for that information. <clickity-clackity-whirrrrrr .... > ..... Re-prioritizing my wish list ....

 

In your photos, the surface urushi color of the ao-tamenuri appears to me as a very dark reddish brown. Is that accurate?

 

Enjoy your new beauty!

 

David

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What an amazing color. Every Nakaya looks beautiful, but I really love this color choice over -- as both you and quinden mentioned -- the more commonly seen "warm" finishes. Thank you for the review and lovely pictures!

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Dumb questions but... Does the soft fine feel more springy than the hard fine? Is the soft fine supposed to be flexy? What are the real differences between soft fine and hard fine.

 

(The decapod twist is now officially a grail pen for me.)

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wow. awesome collection. i'm envious. now i really want a decapod twist. all i have are a couple of regular decapods.

-rudy-

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Many thanks to all for the feedback. I'm just off to work but will answer your questions later when I return.

D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

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Thanks all for your positive feedback and comments - it's very much appreciated.

 


 

In your photos, the surface urushi color of the ao-tamenuri appears to me as a very dark reddish brown. Is that accurate?

 

Enjoy your new beauty!

 

David

No, unfortunately I think that is probably more to do with my bad photography. The walls of my room are yellow and that has led to some false reflected colour creeping in. Also the white balance on some of the pictures is a bit too warm, giving a false impression of the colour. In reality it's more black than brown, but it's really hard to describe. This picture is probably the most accurate colours:

 

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b70/minkapics/Nakaya_9.jpg

 

 

Dumb questions but... Does the soft fine feel more springy than the hard fine? Is the soft fine supposed to be flexy? What are the real differences between soft fine and hard fine.

(The decapod twist is now officially a grail pen for me.)

 

It's not a dumb question at all and yes, it does feel more springy. I'm not really an expert on flexible nibs but I wouldn't personally describe the soft Nakaya nib as flexible. The sheet of metal the nib is made from appears slightly thinner than the normal nib and this gives it a slight spring as you write. If I write quickly with a real flourish, I can just see the faintest sign of line variation. However, because it's such a fine nib I don't press much as I don't want it to dig into the paper, so consequently it's not really any different to using a standard Nakaya nib. Maybe if you pressed really firmly you might induce more line variation but it's really nothing at all like a vintage flexible nib. By contrast, the Danitrio nibs are much softer and produce line variation and shading much more readily. However, even these are still not truly flexible IMO.

 

I probably should have mentioned these nib characteristics in my review as it's one of the most contrasting features of the two makes.

 

Hope this explains things!

Edited by Painterspal

D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

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Thanks very much for your answers regarding nibs. I'm still a newbie when it comes to spring/flex/wet noodles but I know I like something with springiness. Needless to say, I'm envious is in a good way. :-)

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Thank you for your wonderful review and outstanding photos.

 

I am a big fan of Nakaya pens. I have a long cigar and the desk pen.

 

What a great combination of form, function, craftsmanship and beauty.

post-48066-0-36774900-1395186763_thumb.jpg

post-48066-0-93589600-1395186819_thumb.jpg

post-48066-0-88156200-1395186846_thumb.jpg

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Thanks to all for your kind comments. Nice pens Artes!

 

Any chance you can tell me what your photography set up uses? Lens/Camera/flash?

 

The set up is nothing special really, just a bit of art paper on the floor curved up behind the pen and stuck to the wall. The camera was a Nikon D800 and fill flash was used, bounced straight up off the white ceiling. However, I tried to maximise the natural light from the window, just varying the shooting angle to avoid reflections as much as possible. I also increased the exposure to bring out the colours and ensure the background appeared completely white.

 

Some of the pictures were taken using a Nikon 24mm tilt/shift lens. It's a fancy bit of kit that, among other things, allows you to control which bits of the subject are in focus. The close ups were taken with a 105mm macro lens and the simple shot of the pens capped was taken with a standard zoom lens. To be honest, I could probably have taken most of the shots with the zoom but it's fun to experiment!

 

Hope that helps

D A N i T R i O f e l l o w s h i p

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