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Wish List Attributes For Buying My First Pen


zamani
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I don't necessarily think that buying a pen you wind up not using or liking was a mistake, trying things out is how you learn what types of pens you do like, and having pens around that you like but don't use all that often because they aren't practical or some other reason isn't a bad thing.

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are there any economical options to getting a UEF or XXF pens besides the platinum 3776 century for $150 ?

You can get an EF nib ground down to EEEF on fpnibs.com for a very reasonable price. I've heard that you need to specify if you want it smooth though, as it comes a little on the toothy side by default.
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I'm not certain, but I think the Platinum desk pen might come in a UEF nib - worth searching, it would be another cheap way to get a very fine line (even if you just got an EF nib on it).

 

Don't know about the UEF, but the Carbon desk pen I have in EF produced a line of 0.2mm as measured by a 6X comparator. The M produced 0.3mm.

 

Strangely, my rotRing ArtPen sketch set (EF/F/lead-holder) also produced 0.2mm (EF), and 0.3mm (F)

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depending on where you live, the lowest cost extra fine nib options are probably
Pilot penmanship

or

Pilot Kakuno Extra Fine
or
Platinum Carbon desk pen
or
Platinum Preppy with an 02 Extra Fine nib, or with an 03 Fine nib

To use bottled fountain pen ink (and only fountain pen ink) with either of these pens,
get an art syringe to flush and refill the used ink cartridges.
Or buy Pilot converter for the penmanship and fill from the bottle,
or buy a Platinum converter for either pen, and fill from the bottle. (With the preppy, I remove the converter and fill it directly from the bottle.)

Smoothness while writing with fine and extra fine nibs -
1 - There can be a problem with hand pressure that drives the nib into the paper.
Write with no pressure so the nib rides on its pool of ink across the page.
2 - The can be a problem with rotating the hand or rotating the pen so one tine of the nib is lifted and the other tine digs into the paper.
Write with both tines of nib in contact with the paper.

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pilot penmanship is out of production, sadly. If you want that fine of a line, you need the clear EF pilot kakuno.

 

I was coming here to say pilot kakuno, metropolitan, or prera. all are light (the metro is metal but still fairly light) and the nibs can later be swapped into a Wing sung 698, a super well made $14 chinese piston filler that accepts pilot steel nibs.

 

The benefit of getting the wing sung 698 later is it's just a great home for pilot nibs. piston fill, easy to clean and maintain, well made, reliable, and for about $9, you can get a pilot plumix italic nib for it.

 

If you have $20 and can swing another $10 for a converter later on, the sailor junior skeleton is a ludicrously well made pen (it can be eyedroppered as an interim if you want to wait on the converter)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Sailor-Skeleton-Demonstrator-Platedmf-Fountain/dp/B007JQA3VO/ref=sr_1_1?s=office-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1546638862&sr=1-1&keywords=sailor+skeleton

 

This only comes in sailor's "MF" (medium fine) nib, but it's easily a western extra fine. The downside to a japanese EF is that it really ain't showing off much about an ink, and the MF sailor is about fine as you can go and still be able to see shading and sheen. It's also got Sailor's un-freaking-believable quality control. Clear feed and body makes it cool to see the ink inside as well.

 

 

Alternatively, you could look into a TWSBI GO

 

The wing sung 601 is another great choice. As is the delike alpha in resin.

 

The platinum preppy is a great pen, get an EF one and then buy a platinum plaisir ($12) and put the preppy EF nib onto that since the plaisir only comes in F and M.

 

It's stupid and annoying that pilot and platinum just don't sell their lower end pens with EF nibs. THEY ALREADY MAKE THE NIBS.

Edited by Honeybadgers

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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The penmanship is still floating around eBay for about the same as the Kakuno it looks like, though who knows how long that will last, but the starving squid shape of it is quite offputting, that's why I always swap the nib to some other pen. Nice to know that about the WS 698, although I have too many cheap Pilot pens to need to get another one that takes their nibs!

Edited by WirsPlm
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the 698 really feels like a premium pen that pilot should be making. a very nicely designed piston filler, its ONLY downside is that it doesn't post, and it could with a modest redesign. but it's durable, attractive, comes in demonstrators and solids in a variety of colors, and I have one with a white cap and piston knob/clear body that has probably been inked continuously for the past year and a half.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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Oh no, please stop telling me how nice it is I really can't buy any more pens right now, I have to get rid of some! But I will put it on the list to check out later, maybe after I finish a project or two.

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The Nib Nook on the Goulet Pens website is a really good resource for comparing nib widths (line weight, really) between different pen models mentioned in this thread. Take a look if you haven’t.

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I've been where you are. So:

 

With all due respect: Oh, please, stop now. Here. You have seriously over-thought this,when you need to take an empirical approach. Try some pens. You say you want -a capacity to write fine line, plus smooth lines, etc. Without experince,how can you know what you are asking for? Each of the qualities you ask for tend to bring other characteristics with them. Only trial-and-error will give you that sort of perspective about trade-offs.

 

I pose this all as a scientist. How can I possibly undertake to find a very fine quarter horse, or a superior is only partly about pens.oak tree, unless I experience horses and trees? Pens, inks and paper are more than words. They are experiences to be felt, puzzled over, misunderstood, evaluated, and re-evaluated. You will stumble, and pick yourself up. Or not.

 

What you originally asked is equivalent to seeking the perfect cup of tea at first tasting,without all the trouble of trying and seeking, and trying again many cups of tea. If it were only so simple!

 

Buy a TWSBI Eco in fine or extra fine (if such can be had) and yes, maybe an Esterbrook for $25 or someith one of the finer nibs. Or one of the German Online pens for as little as $20 USD, sometimes with deals such as a free bottle of ink (search for deals). Try a few inks - it is only partly about pen! Try a few fp friendly papers. Then see if you can ask the same questions, so simply. Yes, we can head you in the right direction, save you some trouble and some steps, but we can't do it for you.

 

As long as you don't buy expensive pens, your mistakes, if any, will be affordable. And they will be valuable experiences.

 

I wish you well, I wish you good luck! Most of all, I wish you, good hunting!

Edited by Brianm_14

Brian

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:thumbup:

One's taste will change.....that is a given. Get a super skinny nib, get a medium nib...back to back.

 

I'm sure I mentioned Sandy1 over in Ink Reviews, how an ink can look completely different with a different width pen....and or on a different paper.

 

You need a M nib for laid or linen effect papers. An M will give you shading and or sheen, where writing with spiderweb nibs won't.

You can use shading inks,,,,,,wishy-washy...pastel :P two toned inks :notworthy1: with an M.............and EF/XXXF must be written in boring monotone supersaturated vivid ink......just to be seen.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

RIP...200's once great nib, now a double ball.:crybaby::wallbash:

 

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

 

 

 

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also to note - anything finer than a japanese extra fine is going to be a specialty nib with very, VERY bizarre writing characteristics. They're terrible for sheen, terrible for shading, terrible for shimmer.

 

I love my 3776 UEF, but I use it almost like a drafting pencil, for outlining and detail in my bullet journal, and writing in lab manuals where I need extremely fine lines and zero feathering on the worst cheap paper.

 

The UEF can be found on amazon for about $70. But I don't recommend it.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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1.super fine lines (this is what i want most in a pen - maru dip nibs are my best reference)

Perhaps a more objective description, such as the range of desired line width for your intended application(s), would be more helpful. I don't know how many fountain pen enthusiasts here are also familiar with maru dip nibs through user experience first-hand; and then there are different brands (not limited to Tachikawa, Nikko and Zebra; I've used some pretty dreadful Chinese 'mapping' nibs too).

 

Obviously you've used maru nibs for how you now intends to use fountain pens, so perhaps you can measure the line widths – on the types of paper you think you'll use, drawn with the specific inks you want to use – of some samples you already have, and let us know?

 

2.smooth writing - I understand this is probably not going to happen due to my #1

I'd dispute that.

 

3.lightweight and or on the smaller side

4.eye dropper - I didnt know about burping.. sounds like a nightmare.. i guess cartridge/converter is my new favorite option

Some pens that are designed to use cartridges and converters as the primary filling mechanism can be used as (or 'converted' to) eye-droppers. For example, a $3 Platinum Preppy. (The converter is sold separately. If you want a suitable rubber O-ring to make the eye-dropper 'conversion' more secure, that'd be at your own expense and initiative to source. However, nothing stops you from refilling an empty ink cartridge, and the pens are supplied with one each in the pen's retail package.)

 

5.dependable.. least amount of nonsense (skipping, trouble starting, drying out)

6.trying to keep the cost low.

Platinum Preppy pens (or, rather, their pen caps) are designed not to let the nibs dry out in twelve months or longer even if you leave them properly capped, inked but unused.

 

7.very open to the possibility of modifying a nib or doing something unconventional or creative to achieve the things on this list.

You can modify any nib. Whether you'd be successful in getting the desired outcome and/or writing output in that regard is a different issue.

 

8. something that can handle fun inks with sheen and crazy colors.. don't really care about black ink. (i guess this also is just a dream.. fine lines limit these options too..)

Even vintage pens can handle sheeny inks, I'm sure, if you're not particularly worried about risk. I doubt any of the Pilot Iroshizuku inks, which sport some wild colours, would harm any pen – including vintage pen – that isn't already compromised by material deterioration or careless handling.

 

considering the pilot penmanship.. some reviews say its a very fine line.

Yes, it does, but is it fine/narrow enough for what you want to produce with a fountain pen? I'm sincerely asking, not as a rebuke or personal challenge, but simply that I don't know how you want to use it and how you determine (say, by measuring with a tool, or just 'eyeballing') if the lines are fine/narrow enough.

 

I strongly suggest you get several (or at least be prepared to buy several, if the first or second or third don't work the way you hope it would, or you somehow stain or wreck the barrel or nib in the process) Platinum Preppy with 0.2 (EF) nibs for trial purposes.

 

Is this fine enough for what you have in mind?

 

fpn_1546749092__fine_writing_with_a_prep

 

I'm also surprised to see my Lamy EF nib on a Safari (which I haven't done anything to intentionally modify, customise or tune) produce very fine lines too:

 

fpn_1546749113__fine_writing_with_a_lamy

 

Edit: Mistakenly referred to the Preppy as a Plaisir earlier.

 

Second edit:

 

To put the above into context:

http://www.platinum-pen.co.jp/about_fountain_pen_07.html

  • a Platinum #3776 UEF nib would lay down a line of width between 0.18mm and 0.24mm
  • a Platinum #3776 EF nib would lay down a line of width between 0.24mm and 0.28mm

and so the Lamy EF nib writing sample above would be close to a UEF. (Of course, I didn't observe – and wasn't even trying to observe – Platinum's 'standard' of applying 50g of pressure and writing with the nib at 60°.)

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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BTW a lot of nibs can be reversed and will then often write with a finer line. My Jinhao 51A and Sheaffer 440 both write with what I would consider a fine line (probably about a Japanese F), but put down a nice smooth and very fine line when held upside down. Even if a nib isn't a good reverse writer, a nibsmith might be able to turn it into one.

Edited by SoulSamurai
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BTW a lot of nibs can be reversed and will then often write with a finer line. My Jinhao 51A and Sheaffer 440 both write with what I would consider a fine line (probably about a Japanese F), but put down a nice smooth and very fine line when held upside down. Even if a nib isn't a good reverse writer, a nibsmith might be able to turn it into one.

 

 

An excellent observation. I've only needed Micromesh to smooth several of mine into reliable and smooth reverse writers.

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considering the pilot penmanship.. some reviews say its a very fine line.

fpn_1546904026__pilot_penmanship_ef_writ

 

I've only needed Micromesh to smooth several of mine into reliable and smooth reverse writers.

Every single Platinum Preppy and Plaisir I have inked and used wrote smoothly with the nib in upside-down orientation without having to adjust, tune or polish it in any way. I was testing over a dozen of them for ink colours and levels last night, so I confirmed the above while I was at it.

 

Oh, and I don't recommend reverse writing with the Pilot Penmanship nib. I could see it was damaging the coating on the Rhodia paper, to the point there was debris gathering at the tip of the nib after I wrote a couple of lines in cursive handwriting.

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Two more cents: look hard at a TWSBI Eco or the new Go in EF. Twsbi makes good high volume budget pens that can get you started right. I'd personally prefer them because you don't have to fuss with a converter. Otherwise, spend a few more bucks and get a 3776 in EF or F. $70 is easily found for those pens and they are really good at that price. There's a lot of advice been thrown at you on everything. Ink: start with samples or the smaller Diamine bottles. I didn't see it in my skim of the posts, but one more thing: don't put shimmering ink in an EF pen.

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

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but one more thing: don't put shimmering ink in an EF pen.

Counterpoint: I haven't had any problems with J.Herbin Emeraude de Chivor ink in my Wing Sung 3008 that is fitted with an EF nib, over the six or so weeks I've had the ink in that pen. (It's still filled with it, and writes whenever I uncap it and put nib to paper.)

 

From memory, it didn't even cause the metal screw in the cap (for securing the finial) to rust, before I replaced it (along with the screws in about 30 other pens) with an acrylic screw.

 

fpn_1546912738__jherbin_emeraude_de_chiv

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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It's a dice toss whether or not the shimmer particles will clog the nib and feed when you're going that small on the nib. I had Stormy Grey in a Conklin stub and it would clog. Converter pen too though. And it would often write, but the shimmer particles wouldn't come out.

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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