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Newcomer Question - Maximizing Shading


yeknom02
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Hi all,

 

Just registered to the forums after ordering my first ever fountain pen on Friday. I am waiting on a Pilot Metropolitan with a Fine nib. The ink I ordered is Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo, which I chose after seeing example photos online. One of the things that really attracted me to the ink was how well it shades.

 

My question is, will I regret choosing a fine-point nib if I like the shaded look? I now imagine that a Medium nib could have been a better choice if I want the color properties of the ink to stand out. Any thoughts?

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I'll admit that a fine Pilot nib doesn't sound the "shadiest", but you could probably compensate by using calandered, well-sized paper like Rhodia, Clairefontaine, or (so I've read) HP 32 lb. laser printer paper. Nothing will shade on absorbent paper.

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You need thicker paper - (90-100 gsm paper) - as thicker papers allow the ink to shade more. Also pay attention to the ink you are using as not all inks shade well. Take a look at the ink reviews (in the review section of FPN) to get an idea. My Waterman South Seas Blue (turquoise) shades far more than my Pelikan Turquoise.

 

However, I fear you are right - the fine nib might not be the best for shading - however, not to worry, the Metropolitan is a fine pen to start out with.

 

If you want broader, and more shading and you are on a budget the pilot 78G (with a broad nib) is a good one, or the Jinhao X450 (which you will need thicker paper for - it spreads ink like a hose).

 

A broader nib gives you more shading, so it would be better to choose a broad nib if you want shading rather than a medium. Nib grading is not an exact science, but Japanese pens tend to give narrower lines than European ones. I'm just trying out a Faber Castell Loom with a broad nib, which is broader than my 78G, but not as broad as my Italix medium. Like I said, it's a bit of a lottery, but Goulet's nib nook will give you a good idea - incidentally the broad Loom might also suit your purposes - it's giving me splendidly saturated lines of Diamine Sapphire Blue.

 

Try the metro first and see how well you do - and indeed if fountain pens suit you.

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Not just thicker paper, but pure laser.

Ink Jet paper swallows shading. The ink can't sit and pool.

Combo Laser and Ink Jet must have compromises to make the Ink Jet ink absorb fast.

Rhoda 80g and Tamalo? a 70 g Japanese paper are exceptions to buy 90g or better laser paper for good shading.

 

I find western F&M regular flex to give good shading....not so with western EF= Japanese F.

Semi-flex can be a bit wet and that makes for less shading.

 

If you can get true springy regular flex....more than likely semi-vintage '90's-'80s or vintage '60's and before.

Many modern makers started making semi-nail nibs because so many ham fisted ball point users were busting the nibs.

 

 

And you need one of those low maintenance, two toned "wishy-washy-pastel**" inks instead of those vivid boring monotone inks.

 

**Some folks who only use bright high maintenance supersaturated slow drying mono-tone inks....called it that. Perhaps all they want is a skinny but bright gel line.

 

Sigh, actually you need both inks, two toned and monotoned....just like you need a dry and a wet ink, to go with a wet and dry nib.

 

There are quite a few threads listing good shading inks. Google and find them from here.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

In reference to P. T. Barnum; to advise for free is foolish, ........busybodies are ill liked by both factions.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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If you want broader, and more shading and you are on a budget the pilot 78G (with a broad nib) is a good one, or the Jinhao X450 (which you will need thicker paper for - it spreads ink like a hose).

 

A broader nib gives you more shading, so it would be better to choose a broad nib if you want shading rather than a medium. Nib grading is not an exact science, but Japanese pens tend to give narrower lines than European ones. I'm just trying out a Faber Castell Loom with a broad nib, which is broader than my 78G, but not as broad as my Italix medium. Like I said, it's a bit of a lottery, but Goulet's nib nook will give you a good idea - incidentally the broad Loom might also suit your purposes - it's giving me splendidly saturated lines of Diamine Sapphire Blue.

 

Try the metro first and see how well you do - and indeed if fountain pens suit you.

Thanks. I ordered a pad of Rhodia paper, which is hopefully going to be suitable. (I think it's 80 gsm.) I like the price point of the Metro and have no problem picking up another one in Medium... maybe I'll even replace the Fine with a nib from a Plumix if indeed it proves to be too thin. If I still can't get the line width I want, I may look into something like a TWSBI with a medium or broad nib. (I was unaware that Pilot was a Japanese brand, which I know means they tend to make a finer nib.) Any idea if there's a broad nib that would fit in a Metro? (The 78G seems to be plastic, and the metal construction was one of the things that turned me on to the Metro)

 

I did consult the Nib Nook on Goulet's site, but I thought it was hard to judge just from a screen since I didn't have a frame of reference, this being my first fountain pen and all.

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If you want shading, skip the medium nib and go straight for a broad nib.

 

I don't know much about the Metro - it's had good reviews here and sounds like a fine pen - but I do have the 78G F, M & B and the B will suit you better for shading than the M (my Pilot M is thinner than all the other M pens I have). I think the 78G B nib will fit the metro as it is the same nib and feed system (as others have said on this forum.

 

I don't know if you can swap the nibs by simply screwing the 78G nib in, or whether you can swap the nibs by pulling them out.

 

The Jinhao is an all metal pen, and comes with a converter so that might be a cheaper option, if you want a metal pen.

 

Lamy, Tombow and Waterman come with interchangeable nibs too.

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The Jinhao can also be "hacked" by subbing in a stub nib, which will shade for DAYS!

 

I fine that my stubs have become my favorite pens when writing for leisure, and my fine and medium nibs all just end up being used for business. (Heck, even then I try to stick with broads and stubs if I can. Really terrible paper forces me to EF/F nibs.)

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Hi all,

 

Just registered to the forums after ordering my first ever fountain pen on Friday. I am waiting on a Pilot Metropolitan with a Fine nib. The ink I ordered is Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo, which I chose after seeing example photos online. One of the things that really attracted me to the ink was how well it shades.

 

My question is, will I regret choosing a fine-point nib if I like the shaded look? I now imagine that a Medium nib could have been a better choice if I want the color properties of the ink to stand out. Any thoughts?

There's an Ink-of-the-month thing going on, and the ink just happens to be Tsuki-yo, and I just happen to have mine in a Met with M nib:

 

Right here...

My other pen is a Montblanc and...

 

My other blog is a tumblr.

 

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I prefer extra fine and fine nibs, and with the right ink and paper I see plenty of shading. Have fun experimenting with ink samples!

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Getting my ink to what I want on the paper I already have is a good reason to learn how to grind and tune your own nibs. I can take a $4 Jinhao and turn it italic with a few minutes work. A bit or work with a brass shim and a fine nib can flow wetter. It adds an entirely new level tp the hobby.

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Fine and extra fine nibs are not at all good for shading.

PAKMAN

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You are on the right track with the Plumix. I've heard it can be found in two widths, but I can't verify that. They will swap into your Metropolitan with no problem. Also calligraphy pens like Sheaffers Viewpoint or OnLine sets give italic nibs for low prices. For just trying one out the Sheaffer in fine italic and the Plumix should be under $10 USD.

As to paper, weight isn't the part that decides how ink behaves. Tomoe River is very light and shows ink in its best light. 20# copy paper for laser printing generally is better for FPs than multi purpose or inkjet. But each brand will have different versions that may not work for you. And some papers have one side that is great, the other not as much. (I currently have a paper that is eggshell/white. The white feathers like crazy, the eggshell makes even water sheen!)

Lastly, ink. I really like the shading in old Skrip blue/black. Some inks begin to shade when diluted, but that may start other issues (like flow or very dry feeling). I'd suggest reading the Inky Thoughts and Ink Review forums.

Plenty of reading available to really confuse things. Luckily there is more good advice floating around here than bad.

 

Paul

"Nothing is impossible, even the word says 'I'm Possible!'" Audrey Hepburn

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It's about flow and paper. Fine and extra-fine nibs shade fine if the flow is tweaked. Too heavy and the ink is dark, too stingy and the ink is pale. Paper absorption matters as others have said; I do not even really like Rhodia for shading; it's OK but I prefer certain local papers and Tomoe River.

 

Tsuki-yo is not an extreme shading ink, and I do not really like it at all through a fine nib, even tuned. A good ink that shows the benefits of nib tuning is Diamine Ancient Copper; it can be quite dark when wet and quite light when dry, and it shades well in the middle. De Atramentis Steel Blue is like this as well.

Robert.

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Hi,

 

I've but a few bits to add to the prior Replies...

 

One should also take into account the manner of writing, especially pressure and to a lesser extent speed. Even with a rigid nib, if the pen+ink+paper combo gives a less than fully dyed line on the paper, one can reduce the writing pressure to lower the amount of ink being absorbed by the paper, even though the line-width may be less than the native width of the nib and the line quality might become a bit 'sketchy'. A similar result can be achieved by maneuvering the nib off of the sweet spot by rolling the pen or changing the pitch.

 

Or just switch to an iron-gall ink. :rolleyes:

 

Bye,

S1

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.

 

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I just wanted to say that the fine folks at Goulet were able to swap out a Medium-nib Metro for my Fine-nib order before it got shipped! It's been a while since I've come across such a customer-oriented company.

 

Along with the Tsuki-yo, I did order some samples of De Atramentis Midnight Blue, Diamine Eclipse, Diamine Twilight, and Noodler's Bad Blue Heron. Just today, I'm convinced I already want to try Diamine's Oxblood, Red Dragon, and now, Ancient Copper.

 

As a follow-up, is there a good resource to learn about how to tune a nib? I want to get a few pages under my belt before I start fiddling with things, but I imagine that I'm going to want to learn that aspect sooner or later.

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