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Camlin 22 Eyedropper Fountain Pen – A Brief Review Of A Reliable, Inexpensive Pen



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The Camlin 22 fountain pen I’m reviewing in this post came to me along with a number of other pens, ranging in price and quality, that were provided to me free of charge by Kevin of www.JustWrite.com.au, in return for an impartial review. I’ve previously purchased a few lower-end Indian fountain pens – mostly from (another) Kevin (of Fountain Pen Revolution fame), but this was the first time I’d tried a Camlin pen, and I was keen to see how it would perform. Valued at AU$12.95, this is neither dirt cheap nor especially pricey – but I’ve found it to be a pretty reliable performer, over the few weeks I’ve had it inked up.

This is one of those pens I’d hesitate to score out of 10 – for appearance and build quality I’d have to score it lower than some of the other pens I’ve been reviewing, but it has some pretty good selling points too. So I’ll settle for giving you a run-down of the pen, and let you make up your own mind about whether you want to try one out.

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1. Appearance & Design – A simple, (mostly) no-nonsense pen

The Camlin 22 appears to be made out of some kind of plastic or acrylic – it has that faint whiff of I-don’t-know-what that my Noodler’s pens tend to arrive with, though not quite as noticeable. The cap, grip section and barrel are all made of the same coloured plasticky material (mine was black, but they also come in blue, green, red and grey). The top 2½ cm of the barrel is transparent, providing a pretty good ink window – the rest of the pen is opaque. I’m not sure what to make of the cap – the bottom half is surrounded (reinforced?) by a ribbed steel section that will probably protect it against cracking – I just can’t decide whether it enhances or detracts from the overall look of the pen. It blends in well, though, with the chrome accents at the top and bottom of the pen, and the clip (stamped with the brand name, ‘CAMLIN’) is nice and springy – it’ll hold the pen very securely in a shirt or jacket pocket.

http://i.imgur.com/5zhi1Bp.jpg

2. Construction & QualityPretty acceptable for a cheaper pen!

Though the pen is really not that much to look at, it’s pretty sturdy, and looks like it’ll take a good beating. Given the lowish price point, this is a pen you won’t be worried about using and abusing somewhat – though owing to the large ink capacity, I don’t think I’d be just tossing it into a backpack or handbag!

http://i.imgur.com/FPPs1i2.jpg

3. Weight & Dimensions – Fairly lightweight, but a comfortable fit in the hands

Weighing in at 16g uninked, the Camlin 22 is pretty light to carry and wield. At 132mm capped and 116 uncapped, it’s longer than my TWSBI Diamond Mini, but still fits reasonably well in my shirt pockets. I don’t find I need to post the cap to use it comfortably, but the cap WILL post quite securely, and quite deeply too – providing an overall length of 142mm. The grip section is a tad slender (tapering down from 9.5mm to 8.5mm), but I tend to grip it on the threads for the cap – which is around 10.5mm, and very comfortable.

4. Nib & PerformanceVery fine, bordering on extra fine – but glides smoothly enough!

The nib is a pretty plain, somewhat squat hunk of stainless steel that tapers to a very fine point – and though it’s notionally a Fine nib, I find it lays a very fine line indeed (which is just fine by me!). Despite the lack of ‘sex appeal’, though, it’s very serviceable. I found it slightly scratchy at first, but was able to smooth it out nicely with some 12000 grit micromesh. It’s a heck of a lot nicer than the Serwex nibs I’ve encountered before, though – those things are horrible! Though I don’t know much about either manufacturer, I’m guessing that Camlin is the better quality of the two all round – it shows in the workmanship of their pens more generally, but especially in the quality and performance of their nibs. This is quite acceptable – though I’m betting that, as with the Serwex 101s I have in my collection, you could easily swap this out for an FPR nib (which you can purchase separately from Fountain Pen Revolution, but they’re also available from JustWrite for Australian customers). The feed appears to be made of ebonite – which makes it even easier to adjust for a replacement nib (by heat setting, and/or additional sculpting) if need be.

http://i.imgur.com/cgIfMhF.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WlzF38r.jpg

5. Filling System & MaintenanceIt’s an Eyedropper – what else is there to say?

Though I’ve been somewhat wary of eyedropper-filled pens in the past, I’m beginning to appreciate them more and more. They have the advantage of being very easy to fill… and very easy to service. The ink capacity of the Camlin 22 would be around 2ml, which is pretty good compared to a cartridge and/or cartridge converter pen – but still not excessive. The pen can pretty easily be broken down to its constituent parts for cleaning and maintenance – if I were scoring this pen, I’d probably give it a 9 or 10 out of 10 here.

6. Cost & Value – A pretty decent pen, for not a lot of dough

I think Indian fountain pen manufacturers at present are facing some stiff competition from their Chinese counterparts – for around the same price, you could buy something like a Jinhao x450 or x750, both of which are solid brass pens with reasonable nibs… Or the Jinhao 599 which (if you don’t mind its Lamy Safari-style tripod grip) I would say is the nicest pen I’ve got in this price range. But this is a good, serviceable pen, very lightweight and very reliable.

http://i.imgur.com/7pRkcpo.jpg

7. Conclusion

All in all, this is a pretty decent pen, for a relatively low price – one of the better lower-end Indian pens that I own. Its one big advantage over the Jinhao pens I’ve referenced is its larger ink capacity – and (probably) the fact that if you don’t like the nib it comes with, it would be very straightforward to swap in an FPR nib, which now come in XF, F, M and broad, as well as Fine Stub and Flex (which may or may not work with this feed).

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  • Jamerelbe

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  • hari317

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  • Algester

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  • Zookie

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I also own an Airmail Wality 71JT which is I think the same? it's made out vegetal resin apparently and plastic/resin for the body reliale cheap pen from india I will get probably 2 more because its bordering that boring but practical pen and could also be used to introduce people to some very basic and reliable modifiable pens without going Noodlers IIRC it's a number 5 nib?

 

the Flex will work provided you did modify the feed like making the channels deeper but I do not know how hard FPR flex nibs are or do you need to modify the nib with wings mod

Edited by Algester
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I also own an Airmail Wality 71JT which is I think the same? it's made out vegetal resin apparently and plastic/resin for the body

The 71JT has a hand molded LDPE cap and a hand turned on a lathe transparent acrylic barrel.

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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I also own an Airmail Wality 71JT which is I think the same? it's made out vegetal resin apparently and plastic/resin for the body reliale cheap pen from india I will get probably 2 more because its bordering that boring but practical pen and could also be used to introduce people to some very basic and reliable modifiable pens without going Noodlers IIRC it's a number 5 nib?

 

the Flex will work provided you did modify the feed like making the channels deeper but I do not know how hard FPR flex nibs are or do you need to modify the nib with wings mod

 

No, I'm pretty sure Airmail / Wality is a different company - their 71JT has similar styling to the Camlin 22, but is a larger pen. I have a Wality 69T in front of me, which (according to the FPR website) is marginally shorter than the 71JT, and has a clear plastic body. I'm pretty sure it has the same nib as the 71JT, though and - I'd say it's a #6 nib, which means the FPR nibs probably wouldn't fit. The Camlin 22, on the other hand, is definitely a #5.

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Sorry, just noticed - 71JT also has a clear ACRYLIC body (thanks hari317 for pointing this out) - so compared to the 69T the only difference is (or appears to be) the length of the barrel?

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Sorry, just noticed - 71JT also has a clear ACRYLIC body (thanks hari317 for pointing this out) - so compared to the 69T the only difference is (or appears to be) the length of the barrel?

Some old pictures:

 

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii197/hari317/Wality%2064/IMG_3355.jpg

 

http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii197/hari317/Wality%2064/IMG_3356.jpg

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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I've been coming to appreciate Indian made fountain pens more and more. Just because something is heavy, doesn't make it better.

All the pens pictured are nice looking ones, and I'll be getting a few for sure!

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@Algester

 

 

http://asapens.in/eshop/wality-71jt-jumbo-transparent-eye-dropper-clear-acrylic-marbled-cap-fountain-pen-indian-online

 

 

One stop shop for all Indian pens. I am spending most of my pen money at this shop nowadays and the service is top notch.

Edited by hari317

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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Hari, thanks for the pictures and other info. I have found both Kevins (from JustWrite and from FPR) very reasonable to deal with - JustWrite have the added advantage for me of being local, and putting a rock-solid guarantee (1-2 yr warranty) behind his pens. Will have to look more closely at ASAPens though...

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Hari, thanks for the pictures and other info. I have found both Kevins (from JustWrite and from FPR) very reasonable to deal with - JustWrite have the added advantage for me of being local, and putting a rock-solid guarantee (1-2 yr warranty) behind his pens. Will have to look more closely at ASAPens though...

support local, that's my mantra. :)

In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.

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  • 6 months later...

I know this is a old post but I wanted to know if you could check if a #5 fpr nib really works? Thanks

Will check and let you know!

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Here you go - my Camlin 22 is uninked at the moment, so I didn't try to write with it - but the FPR EF nib I had sitting out very easily swapped in for the Camlin nib. First photo, FPR nib (top) and Camlin nib (bottom) compared. Second photo, FPR nib sitting snugly on feed in the pen's grip section.

 

http://i.imgur.com/D9jb0Pv.jpg

 

http://i.imgur.com/dJn30gw.jpg

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  • 6 months later...

This CAMLIN 22R costs RS 40 = 0.6 $ IN INDIA. :) ( Jinhao 599 costa Rs350/= in India ie 5.5 $) If someone sells Camlin 22R in 12.5 $ in US (GOD KNOWS WHY) and you compare this on price basis that is not the true justification for this pen.

 

Compare 22R with any other 0.6$ Fountain pen.

Edited by panu
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The camlin 22 was a pen I have extensively used in school. As the previous poster said, it is a very cheap pen and you can throw it around in your bag. As for the nibs, I think Ambitious makes Camlin nibs

Vi veri veniversum vivus vici

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  • 3 years later...
Dip n Scratch

After noting your comment on the diameter of the 22's section I will have to give the Camlin 22 a miss. I really don't like a pen with a really narrow section as it forces you to hold it in such a manner it then seems too short in the hand.

I wonder how it compares to a Aerometric Parker 51?

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  • 8 months later...

I got a set of Camlin 22 2 years ago and was very disappointed at the time since they were not deburred and had air leaks. I fixed the air leak issues by deburring, adding an o-ring and silicon grease. The pens I got were delivered with low quality, non Camlin, nibs but I've swapped a #5 Jinhao nib in one of them without problem.

 

The section is indeed very short, but the cap can post securely if you push it hard enough and the pen is long enough to hold further back.

 

Anyhow, I would recommend a modern Chinese piston filler like the Wing Sung 3008 over a Camlin 22 any day.

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