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Which Extra Fine Nib Is Really Extra Fine?


Timotheus
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My favorite EF nib is the PO on a Pilot CH912. Other favorites are Platinum UEF and steel EF (3776 Bounce model) and, thickest EF and very enjoyable to write with, Pilot Falcon SEF.

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Fleekair <--French accent.

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The resultant line width on paper is dependant on many factors. I am not sure how people can come up with figures.

 

1. Contact of nib surface with paper at any point in time of writing. Pen rotation is inevitable and even roller balls can produce variations in line widths.

 

2. Writing pressure.

 

3. Softness/hardness of paper and backing.

 

4. Absorbency of paper.

 

5. Penetration and spread of ink.

 

6. Wetness of feed and nib. Spread of tines, flow rate.

 

Etc.

 

If you want a 'real' extra fine nib, Japanese pens most probably won't disappoint you. (dry flow and feedback often accompany these pens.) And if you adjust the nib to make the pen write wetter, your line width will change. Good luck.

Edited by minddance
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The resultant line width on paper is dependant on many factors. I am not sure how people can come up with figures.

I'm confident that Platinum has a test methodology that employs a machine that applies the same writing pressure – specifically, 50g – with the nib at an angle of 60° (but you'll have to clarify with Platinum whether that's 60° from the vertical or 60° from the page surface) using the same feed attached to a new cartridge of Platinum ink on the same paper. After all, Platinum used to also publish the approximate writing distance of each different nib width to completely consume one of its 'standard' ink cartridges.

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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I'm confident that Platinum has a test methodology that employs a machine that applies the same writing pressure specifically, 50g with the nib at an angle of 60° (but you'll have to clarify with Platinum whether that's 60° from the vertical or 60° from the page surface) using the same feed attached to a new cartridge of Platinum ink on the same paper. After all, Platinum used to also publish the approximate writing distance of each different nib width to completely consume one of its 'standard' ink cartridges.

I do not doubt all these but change a paper and the line width will change. Have a nice day.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have two fountain pens with EF nibs, and they are a world apart.

 

Montblanc EF is extra-fine for a Montblanc.

 

Kaweco Sport EF that's so extra-fine it requires a darker ink to comfortably read.

 

There is a considerable difference in the feel of the nibs while writing. The Montblanc nib is soft and somewhat flexible and the Kaweco is needle nose rigid.

 

I don't know if tolerances are tighter, i.e., all Kaweco Sport EF pens are like mine, but I do know there can be considerable variance in Montblanc nibs similarly marked.

 

Try before you buy, or be able to return.

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Japanese nibs are made for a printed tiny script.

Western are made for flowing Cursive.

 

And once paper was so much better than the 80g copy paper..........so if you print, go Japanese.

If you need to issue a magnifying glass so folks can read your writing....go Japanese...they do have a needle point. Their EF = XXF.

 

A Pelikan 200's steel EF nib is 1/2 a width narrower than a modern gold one. It's not Japanese narrow but a nice narrow nib. I have one, for editing.

 

 

Wider nibs...ie western F or M, are good for two toned shading or sheen inks......M can do glitter well too.

Super skinny nibs limit your ink choices.

Edited by Bo Bo Olson

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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Super skinny nibs limit your ink choices.

Not really. As you know, most of my 150+ pens have "super skinny nibs", but very few of my 175+ inks are too "dry" to flow through those nibs onto the page. Only the user limits his/her own choice of pen-and-ink combinations based on his/her requirements and expectations that have little to do with the act of committing words onto the page by hand.

 

If I were keen on sheen as if that was what writing with a fountain pen was all about, I'd probably be jumping onto the Tomoe River bandwagon and joining the chorus line, but as it is, my stacks of TR paper and notebooks are languishing in a drawer; so far I've only used one sheet of it in the many months since I acquired the products.

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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I chase two toned shading inks..............which do quite well with Western M and F.....not well in even Western EF...much less skinny Japanese nibs.

If I was to go to spiderweb and baby spiderweb nibs..............I would need the brightest most vivid neon inks around to read them. ..............so nope...the 'wishy-washy/pastel shading inks wouldn't work on nibs that skinny.

 

I don't look for shading with my Pelikan 200, or my 1745 in EF.

My Geha 790 EF is a maxi-semi-flex.....so that don't count at all for skinny, in any bit of pressure will make it write to a vintage F. In semi or maxi are wet nibs, it takes a real good paper ink match to get shading to go with line variation.

I got @ 90 pens..........lets say 70 work.

 

I've been chasing shading inks since the first year back to fountain pens a decade ago, when I found out about it.

I do find vivid monotone inks to be rather boring some two sentences into what ever was written.

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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I find that my 1991 Parker Duofold XF to be satisfactorily fine.

 

My Esterbrook 9550 is also very fine.

Edited by corgicoupe

Baptiste knew how to make a short job long

For love of it. And yet not waste time either.

Robert Frost

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Extra fines, fat to thin

  • :unsure: meh - Pelikan M205 steel - got the EF for extra coin but all is relative
  • :unsure: meh - Lamy 2000 gold
  • :mellow: heh - Pineider La Grande Bellezza gold quill nib
  • :) mmm.. - Pilot Kakuno steel bargain
  • :D mmm... - Sheaffer Snorkel Clipper gold F5
  • :P yes - Sailor 1911L gold - finally ! lives up to the name
  • :yikes: oh yeah! - Wahl Eversharp Skyline gold needlepoint (beyond XF) by Greg Minuskin
Edited by peroride
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I wonder if there will be any professional nib grinding services at the upcoming Sydney Pen Show (which is six months away)? I'm really nervous about how the Pelikan pens I just ordered from Endless Pens will perform with regards to line width, even though Savannah has advised that Endless Pens will check the nibs (for tine alignment and gap, presumably) before sending pens out to its customers.

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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Dill, you probably already know this, but just in case. FPnibs sell Pelikan nibs, and Pablo will grind to your spec. Turnaround is very quick. I know this is not close to Sydney, but when one wants what one wants, and when one is particular about what one wants.......

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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@ Karmachanic : FPnibs charges a minimum of €30.89 for shipping to Australia. That isn't so bad if I was spending €600 on say three pens, but for a couple of nibs I think that would be a bit over the top. They also don't have any M80x nibs in their product catalogue at the moment; and, even if they did, the price + grinding service fee + shipping would add another €250 to the total cost of ownership of my new Pelikan M815 – in which case I may as well just write off Pelikan as a loser of a brand for my purposes, and stick with Aurora which at least have reasonable EF nibs (and no 'EF tax') I can deal with using out of the box.

 

I know I'm embarrassingly loose with spending my finite budget on pens, but Pelikan in general is far from 'grail pen' status for me, and having to spend that much on top of the base price of a pen is just not worth it, whereas spending A$50 or so to regrind a nib to my exact specifications I can handle.

 

I placed an order with Pablo for a M600 'White Ghost' (to which the ordering system applied free shipping, I don't know why) a week or so ago, but then I was informed that the only remaining unit they had in stock was defective, and being a discontinued model, the order was cancelled. I'd still consider buying from FPnibs if they actually stocked some attractive M60x or M80x models, but right now they only have the one with white cap gold trim and (nominally) turquoise stripes.

 

For now I'll just have to keep an eye out for Pelikan specials on Nibsmith.com. Dan Smith did a fantastic job on the nib on my M600, I'd happily buy from him again, although not at US$237 more (than what I paid Endless Pens, shipped) for a M815, or US$260 more than the lowest price available to me for a M800 Stone Garden.

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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What ink is being used has an impact on this to a good degree as well. I've attached a sample of a few nibs I have, but I have no western EF nibs to compare against the two Japanese EF nibs I have. In my experience, the Platinum 3776 EF nib is the finest I have written with. The 3776 fine nib is only slightly thicker and I have had that in a Nakaya and another special edition 3776. Take it for what it's worth. The phrase is written in the smallest script I think I could manage while still making all of the letters legible. The dime is for size reference. You can see the 3776 EF is pretty darn fine. I could probably even go smaller.

 

47008552372_7607ac289b_c.jpgIMG_20190211_081216

 

Edit: I should also note that the Franklin-Christoph is the only steel nib here.

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 ink is being used has an impact on this to a good degree as well.

Well, yes. After changing the ink in my Fine-nibbed Platinum #3776 Century 'Fu-jin and Rai-jin' pen from Diamine Evergreen to Platinum Classic Ink Khaki Black, the line width narrowed to somewhere between an EF and a UEF.

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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@ Karmachanic : FPnibs charges a minimum of €30.89 for shipping to Australia. That isn't so bad if I was spending €600 on say three pens, but for a couple of nibs I think that would be a bit over the top. They also don't have any M80x nibs in their product catalogue at the moment; and, even if they did, the price + grinding service fee + shipping would add another €250 to the total cost of ownership of my new Pelikan M815 – in which case I may as well just write off Pelikan as a loser of a brand for my purposes, and stick with Aurora which at least have reasonable EF nibs (and no 'EF tax') I can deal with using out of the box...

 

Just wanted to point out, this is not correct: I can order a few nibs with shipping (via registered postal service) of €7.90 - unless they're not willing to provide that service for gold nibs?? With steel nibs at least (this is what I've purchased most recently), you only pay the higher rate if you want delivery via DHL. I've ordered from FPNibs 5 or 6 times now, using the cheaper postal option, and my nibs have always arrived in a timely manner.

 

Would be great to have a local (Sydney-based, or even Australian-based) nib grinder who's readily accessible - but I have yet to come across any. Hence my deep appreciation for Pablo of FPNibs...

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