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Upgrade From Lamy Safari - Sketching / Drawing



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Hi there!

After more than one year of intense usage (mainly for drawing) of my Lamy Safari(s) I am thinking about buying a "next-level" fountain pen. In terms of performance do you think it is worth spending money on a better one (gold nib, better construction, etc.)? Is there significant difference between a budget and an expensive pen? (My budget is not that fixed, I can be persuaded - but let's say $150 is the ceiling.)

What I've observed with my Safari is that 1) the feed sometimes does not give enough ink when drawing really fast sketches (maybe it is just the ink? used only Lamy and Diamine so far) and 2) I have a slight guess that there must be better performing nibs as well.

My requirements of the new pen:
- great feed and nib;
- reliable workhorse pen - still remains a good pen after 10 years;

- reverse writing - at least as good as the Safari;
- classic look, the less plastic feeling the better.

So far I've these pens in my mind:

- Platinum 3776 PTB-5000B

- Platinum 3776 PTB-10000B / PNB10000
- Pilot Namiki Falcon (maybe a too big jump?)
(- Faber-Castell Loom)

Maybe I should try lots of different inks (just ordered Sailor jentle) before boastfully believing I am ready to "leave behind" Safari?

Thanks a lot for all the answers in advance!

Kind regards,
Kristof

Edited by kristof
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OmegaMountain

I have yet to try a Platinum 3776 though it's on my list. I have recently acquired a Falcon in SF and it is an excellent nib I am looking forward to sketching with and would be great for you in that regard. However, you mention less plastic feeling so I will say that the Falcon does not feel like an expensive pen necessarily. You're paying a reasonable price for a fantastic nib in a no frills body. It's very light. Does that mean it's cheaply built and will break? No. But, don't expect a pen that has any heft with a Falcon.

 

And there are no requirements for upgrading pens. Buy what you want in your budget. It's a hobby - do what suits you and keeps you interested/engaged.

Edited by OmegaMountain

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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What kind of nib do you have in the Safari? If it isn't a stub, perhaps that should be your next step: line variation. Lamy nibs can be bought separately and they're dirt cheap compared to a new pen.

 

What kind of drawings do you do? Can you post a couple of examples.

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For drawing and sketching, I'd make the jump to the Falcon. It's nib is one of the best for this use (in fact, even as you graduate to other pens along the echelon, you may still return to this one for dwg).

 

I haven't heard much about the Loom. I've tried it on a few occasions and though I like Faber-Castell and Graf, the Loom is kind of "meh"; which is to say: not really an interesting pen to use, and not really a step beyond Lamy (in fact, if you troll around a lot of (urban) sketching websites, you'll see the Lamy Safaris and Al-Stars get a lot of traction as the go-to sketching pen: dependable, sturdy, and reliable).

 

If you can afford it, go with the Falcon.

 

This gentleman used to post here on FPN, and he uses a Falcon (among others -- it looks like he's now using TWSBIs as well. ):

 

http://mattiasa.blogspot.ca/

 

 

You can find some of his work peppered throughout FPN, starting here:

 

https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/15494-fpns-pen-art-gallery/page-4

 

 

Hope this helps.

D.

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Thank you all for the replies!

 

@OmegaMountain: so you are saying a Falcon would be a nice choice, thanks!

 

@Wrecky: I have an F nib, but also have a medium and a broad (which does not work btw - from ebay - maybe just a bad chinese replica...) but I'd rather stick with the F(ine) lines. I'd even say EF. Here are a couple of recent pictures (fountain pen + water soluble ink + water):

 

http://repulazido.hu/pics/fpn-ink.png

 

@dennis_f: Now I am leaning towards a Falcon, hm. I know him of course, mind blowing details and drawings, thanks!

 

Do you think that there is such a big gap between the falcon and the Platinum 3776 (let's say the pnb10000)? Because the latter can be found in a local shop with a discount currently.

 

More opinions are highly appreciated!

Edited by kristof
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OmegaMountain

Like I said - no Platinum experience but the Falcon has a reputation for a reason and I can verify that. It's very good. I have the SF and it's incredibly smooth and can be used with the utmost lightness and precision while still being able to deliver great line variation with pressure. If you're heavy handed, be aware you could easily over-flex it though.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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Very impressive drawings!

I have a FB Loom, and it writes very smoothly.

Anyway, if you want to experiment with line variation, I still think a stub Lamy nib is the way to go.

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Have you tried the Lamy joy? I happen to like how the joy balances in my hand, better than a Safari. I don't post the Safari, because the heavy cap makes it too tail heavy, and out of balance.

 

I can get Lamy nibs to flow decently, so maybe you need to learn to adjust the nib to get more ink flow. Just be aware that as you increase the ink flow, you loose the other end of the scale, where your fine lines are not as fine.

San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com

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@ac12: I was thinking about the Lamy Joy but I am hesitating to go one step further this time. I am quite fine with the balance of the Safari (I don't post it either). Nib adjustments: great idea, I will look more into that topic, thanks!

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  • 7 months later...

I have the Lamy Joy and like it a lot; I also use the TWSBI Vac 700R, with a fine nib.

I have a question: which black inks are best suited to last, but also with which I can use water on to create shadow effect and other effects?

 

Additional question: which colored inks are best for drawings, in the same general idea, using water to create special effects once ink has been used on paper?

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I have no sensible advice, but if you can ever get your hands on a Wahl-Eversharp Doric with a busted Adjustable nib, it's worth the stupid money they'll charge you.

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http://repulazido.hu/pics/fpn-ink.png

 

@dennis_f: Now I am leaning towards a Falcon, hm. I know him of course, mind blowing details and drawings, thanks!

 

....

 

More opinions are highly appreciated!

My opinion is... that's amazing work, you have mad skills!!

 

Instead of going to a different pen, have you tried tuning the Lamy?

 

My Fs & EFs usually come from the factory pretty dry and I spend a little time glossing the nib & feed to get a wetter flow.

 

Ironically I'm also simultaneously playing with Yiren & Lanbitou lookalikes and those arrived writing a lot wetter than an unfiddled Lamy, one is wet to the point of gushing & burping but hasn't yet dripped out.

 

You don't mention how many Lamy you have, if only 1 perhaps get a second or third so you can compare how your tuning efforts progress.

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Thank you for your thoughts!

 

I didn't update the topic, but finally I decided to go with the Platinum 3776. It was an excellent decision I must say, it writes much smoother than the Safari (I have two Safaris btw - with different nibs)! I have been using it for more than half a year and I really understand now what a budget pen is and a (more or less) next-level one. One disadvantage of the pen is that it tends to dry out when not clipped, after ~one minute of idleness (only with the Diamine inks). I think I will try a Falcon in the future as well.

 

I have also experimented with new inks, Diamine, Sailor Jentle, Lamy and my current favorite is the Diamine Chocolate Brown. The Sailor Jentle is too runny for me and not good for washes.

 

It's interesting to see how difficult it is to find the optimal pairing of a pen and an ink.

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Thank you for your thoughts!

 

I didn't update the topic, but finally I decided to go with the Platinum 3776. It was an excellent decision I must say, it writes much smoother than the Safari (I have two Safaris btw - with different nibs)! I have been using it for more than half a year and I really understand now what a budget pen is and a (more or less) next-level one. One disadvantage of the pen is that it tends to dry out when not clipped, after ~one minute of idleness (only with the Diamine inks). I think I will try a Falcon in the future as well.

 

I have also experimented with new inks, Diamine, Sailor Jentle, Lamy and my current favorite is the Diamine Chocolate Brown. The Sailor Jentle is too runny for me and not good for washes.

 

It's interesting to see how difficult it is to find the optimal pairing of a pen and an ink.

 

Congratulations, seems like a nice choice. Optimal ink / pen, you're not kidding, it took me years, finally managed with 20 pens and inks.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

 

B. Russell

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Huh. Seems weird that a more expensive Platinum pen would dry out faster at the nib than my cheap Preppies. They're not my current favorites for sketching, as I don't like the nib feedback with my favorite ink. Platinum carbon black is a very nice drawing ink, but i like it better in my TWSBI. Resists drying out as well as a Preppy, good ink capacity, and I like the nib. I've got a set of the Preppies, and they're great as a cheap pen. Good line weight for drawing, they resist drying out, good ink capacity, and the pen isn't heavy.

 

I can see the appeal of ink and wash, but in the right pen carbon black is so boring (and so many pens are the right one for carbon black, because if it's an easy to clean pen you'll be happy). Fast drying, doesn't smudge, resists making a mess of cheap paper, doesn't leak, doesn't feather. Boring. Invisible. Doesn't get in my way even for very long drawing sessions. I haven't found a washable black that is that boring. I should probably scrub out the Safari with the best nib and try it with Lamy black since Lamy ink often seems to have traits that are the best kind of boring to me. (I've got a small Safari and Lamy nib collection, and they deserve their rep, just they're not always ideal for me and maximum boredom)

 

And that's a definite issue I have when looking for drawing reviews. The traits that make for a stunning pen/ink/paper combo in terms of looks tend to not produce the right kind of boredom for extended drawing sessions. And it's really gross when the paper gets so soaked with ink that it wants to shred or smear.

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