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How Have Your Tastes Changed Over The Years?



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Hello all!

 

I was wondering if and how your tastes have changed over the months/years/decades of fountain pen use. I have noticed that my own tastes continue to change. When just starting out I had a fondness for broader nibs and smoother was always better. I absolutely did not like using nibs that have any bounce to them.

 

Right now, a few years later, I am really enjoying using finer nibs with a feedbacky feeling and I am experimenting with softer nibs and really enjoying it.

 

So: Have your tastes changed and how?

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I went through a very long phase of seeking out only ef and f nibs, but now what I buy will very much depend on the brand.

As the years have passed my level of tolerance for small (yet sometimes irritating) design 'quirks' has considerably lessened.

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My taste hasnt changed, but my basic requirements in a pen have changed. Examples are the need for ink window (or translucent bodies), ease of cleaning, etc. I love the look of my Visconti Divina but its captured converter is a pain to clean and no ink window always leaves me guessing how much ink I have before going into a meeting.

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My tastes haven't changed but they've gotten more specific and refined. I've tried a lot of different pens that I have moved on to other homes. I don't look at second and third tier vintage any more, for example. I went through a gaga-over-celluloid phase that has subsided, although I still think that celluloid is the most beautiful of pen body materials. I CAN write with pens made of something else ...

 

I have an extremely clear idea of the size and weight of pen I want. I know I won't be happy with any pen which doesn't have a springy smooth fine nib, at minimum.

 

I also have a clearer idea of where I land on the collector-restorer-accumulator-hoarder spectrum -- I am far over on the "a few nearly-perfect pens and that's it" side of things.

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Yes. Experience is the best teacher.

I have moved from:

- EEF/EF -> CI/Italic B/BB nibs (for writing that is, EEF/EF is still used for drawing & drafting).

- Being interested in any pen that looks cool to being chiefly interested in vintage pens that actually work as intended. As in, I have moved from appreciating the visual aspects to appreciating the functional aspects more (Chase the nib!). For example, I loved the way rOtring 600 or striped vintage Vacumatics look like but as writing instruments there are so many that are way, way better (like vintage Pelikans for example).

- Accumulating any pen that strikes my fancy and I have the budget for to highly targeted purchases (namely vintage Pelikans in mint/NOS condition).

 

- Oogling flex nibs to understanding that they are just like any tool, one kind of a nib being better suited for some situations than the other (stiff Parker 51 vs. flexy Pelikan 100N for example).

Edited by mana
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No real systemic change, I'm still all over the map and typically have multiple nibs and pen sizes inked and in use all the time, I'm just not happy using only one pen for a whole day it seems too limiting, and since this has been true my entire life so far I expect it'll be true for the rest of my life too.

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putteringpenman

When I started out in the hobby, I exclusively used fine and extra fine nibs. Now I like medium nibs for everyday writing and sometimes use broad nibs. I'm not sure why my preference changed.

 

In terms of pen aesthetics, I still prefer the same traditional look (think Pilot or Platinum pens) that I always have. Blue-black is still my ink color of choice like it was at the beginning.

 

Looking forward to hearing what other people say!

Currently inked:

- Pilot Custom 743 <M> with Pilot Black

- Pelikan M120 Iconic Blue <B> with Pilot Blue

- Lamy Studio All Black <M> with Pilot Blue-Black

YouTube fountain pen reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2qU4nlAfdZpQrSakktBMGg/videos

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I do have more Large pens than I'd expected....they happened like the EF's happened. By accident.

I'm not going to get into Oversized pens, but have one, and it is not quite as huge in my hands now as when I tried it before I had some Large pens. A 1000.

 

I still favor standard and medium-large pens. I've went wide and am now back in medium, F don't bother me like it once did....EF bothers me much less than once. Needed one, so bought one.

 

I no longer must have semi-flex pens.....in semi-&maxi, have some 40....so am good to go there.

I do like regular flex a lot. It is a very good comfortable ride that is not as wet as semi-flex so is better for shading inks. Semi-vintage Pelikan is thinner than modern and has a clean line.

Had had no luck yet with Sheen inks....and papers. Some that are supposed to don't...for me.

 

Nails are nails and I have 5 or so, more than enough.....semi-nail, a couple and there too enough. That has not changed. Nails and semi-nails make good stubs or CI nibs.

 

Rant on what is soft, removed...........I like regular flex now more than I use to, but mostly have stayed close to the same as when I got here....a decade ago. More Large or long pens have been bought.....but it was not a I'm going to buy Large pens......My Celebry's snuck up on me. They though are thin, so have balance.

Rant on Balance removed. Twice.

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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No real systemic change, I'm still all over the map and typically have multiple nibs and pen sizes inked and in use all the time, I'm just not happy using only one pen for a whole day it seems too limiting, and since this has been true my entire life so far I expect it'll be true for the rest of my life too.

 

I feel like this will be me in a while. It concerns me slightly that I seem to enjoy a bit of everything, though, because it makes me want to collect a bit of everything.

 

I've only been expanding my range of things I like, bad for the wallet haha.

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When I first started I was in college and needed pens for fast writing and exam taking so cartridges were very clutch for me. Also the looks of the pen didn't matter so much- comfort was more of a factor. Mostly fine nibs.

 

Fast forward 50 years and now my fountain pens are used more for document signing so I generally like fat broad nibs on fancy signing pens. Precious metals need apply. No cartridges any more.

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ParkerDuofold

Hi Heldin, et al,

 

Great question... they ought to pin this one. :thumbup:

 

Well, as far as nibs... I've come to appreciate the merits of gold... I know many here will say that steel is just as good, but it's not... IMHO... gold has become my gold standard... our forefathers knew this and it is why 98% of vintage pens were fitted with gold nibs... Esterbrook being the only major exception,... but they were a budget brand.

 

The reason I prefer gold is flow. I cannot recall a gold nibbed pen of mine with skipping issues... except one... the Platinum 5000... the only gold nibbed pen that has given me grief. Whereas, I have a lot more skipping/starvation issues with steel-nibbed pens.

 

 

I've gone from wanting heavy, substantial pens to lightweight pens that effortlessly glide accross the page... it's kind of like driving a pen with vintage, hydraulic, recirculating ball power steering, when one could park a 25-foot sedan with their finger tips. :wub:

 

So, give me a lightweight pen with a free-flowing gold nib. :cloud9:

 

 

I've also become more brand loyal... I only buy brands that I KNOW will write on the first stroke... Lamy, Pelikan, Aurora, Platinum, (with only one exception), Pilot... although, I can still be a sucker for eye candy. :blush:

 

Finally, I've discovered some vintage pens that I actually enjoy using... Parker's 51/61/45 and Aurora 88's. The 98's are sleek, but their complex "ink reserve" filling system makes me nervous... as does Sheaffer's Snorkel. :unsure:

 

I've also learned that you're better off with 10-15 workhorses than 200 high-maintenance "my pretty's."

 

 

Well, that sums up my pen progression. :)

 

 

Be well all. :)

 

 

- Anthony

 

 

EDITED to add text.

Edited by ParkerDuofold
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ParkerDuofold

Just to follow-up...

 

I always have and will prefer broader mediums and broad nibs... they're silky smooth... and rich in color and shading. :)

 

And great for signatures. :)

 

 

- A.C.

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ParkerDuofold

...Fast forward 50 years and now my fountain pens are used more for document signing so I generally like fat broad nibs on fancy signing pens. Precious metals need apply. No cartridges any more.

+1

 

- A.C.

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I feel like this will be me in a while. It concerns me slightly that I seem to enjoy a bit of everything, though, because it makes me want to collect a bit of everything.

 

I've only been expanding my range of things I like, bad for the wallet haha.

 

Welcome to the fun side! It's really not that bad, I stick to inexpensive but high quality pens that allow for easy nib swapping like Pilot, Sheaffer NoNosense, Esterbrook, the good Chinese pens, etc and get to change things up every day if I want, or have fun learning to repair and tinker. It saves a lot of pen envy really, people post pictures of gorgeous but expensive and non-tinkerable pens and my reaction is that's nice, but what about when I want to use it with a fude nib or change up the flow, so in that way it's been pretty great for my wallet.

Edited by WirsPlm
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I used only extra fines starting off because I didn’t realize you needed different paper than what I was previously using for pencils and non fountain pens. I also was afraid of going too wide due to my bad experience with a Jinhao x450 That was a medium. It was overly wet so I thought all mediums were like that.

 

Later I went up to a fine and liked it then I went up to a medium in a better pen and loved it. Now my preference is medium or fine. (Tried a broad but it was a little too much for my small handwriting)

 

I’ve yet to get into flex, stubs, and other nibs so preferences are subject to change more!

<b>Inked up:</b> Ranga 3C, Lamy 2000, Pilot Custom 74, Pelikan m205 , Platinum Preppy, Pilot Decimo<br><b>Inks currently using:</b> Troublemaker Blue Guitar, Nemosine Alpha Centauri, Noodler’s Navy, Aircorps blue black<br> Signature ink and pen: Noodler’s Navy + Lamy 2000

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Around the year 2000, when I was young in sin, I could only stomach plain, severe pens with not a hint of frivol. British 50's Duofolds, black Pelikans, the entire output of Lamy, you get the picture.

 

Also only two bottles of ink. :yikes:

 

Now, I buy pens which would have made Liberace back out of a room with a hand over his eyes, whimpering. I blame you lot.

 

 

John

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When I began using fountain pens exclusively in college I used a lot of fine and extra fine nibs for all the notes I took, and have gradually moved to medium nibs as my go to nib size. I also enjoy left oblique stub nibs the most, which is a bit interesting in that I don't hold them at the correct direction (more right than left) when I write with them I believe, and yet get a smooth and varied line as expected. Though I enjoy a good celluloid pen, I have found a great interest in ebonite, most specifically woodgrain/straight grain ebonite as found in many pens of the early 20th century. I also tend to enjoy any filling system that is not a C/C filler, though I have always felt this way. I maybe one of the few who really enjoys lever fillers, and touchdown fillers are growing on me as well. Bulb fillers were something I have been wanting to try for years, and finally was able to get a pen with this filling system, and it's everything I expected!!

 

As far as brands, I found vintage Esterbrooks pretty early on, and have yet to find a reason to leave them. I prefer the dollar pens the most, flat top pens are one of my most favorite designs. I do love the Relief pens though, they were what got me into liking the left oblique stubs. I have picked up a few Sheaffer Imperials with the conical PdAg Triumph nibs which are effortless nibs. I do have more vintage pens than modern, I don't find very many modern pens to be that interesting as writers or in their design. I do find a great interest towards non-descript pens such as the Sheaffer Imperial II Deluxe, or Esterbrook SM Deluxe, which carry a streamlined look with stainless steel accents that I find quite beautiful. Though I do find something like an Esterbrook Visumaster, or Wahl Doric to be quite attractive pens too. I do have a interest in pens that hold an art deco aspect to them, which is one of my favorite art/design movements.

 

I don't have any bias in nibs, there were/are some glorious writers in steel, gold, PdAg, and other metals, both in top of the line pens, and the lowest tier pens such as a Majestic brand pen I have, which has an incredibly smooth and effortless steel medium nib. As well as the many Esterbrook Renew Points that I have used from the extra fine 9450 to the broad 3968. Though I do have a variety of gold nibs I only use two regularly, the one on my Esterbrook 2-L Relief, which is my favorite gold nib, and the one on a touchdown Sheaffer Craftsman, which I tend to use as a throw around pen, and can be a little touchy with ink,though brilliant with vintage Sheaffer Permanent Blue-Black ink. I do prefer the less ball like grind of vintage nibs, though again find the more ball like PdAg triumph nibs of the '60's to be amazing.

 

Most of all, I constantly make sure I stay focused on the writing aspect of fountain pens, and not so much the gathering of them, as that is what first attracted me to using them. They are a great tool for me to work with, and I wish to get as much use out of them before they or I crumble to pieces. I have been able to indulge in a bit of the superficial design features of pens, but most of all I have been able to gather a fine collection of writers that will see my writing through, and that is the greatest joy I can get from them...

Edited by JakobS

FP Ink Orphanage-Is an ink not working with your pens, not the color you're looking for, is never to see the light of day again?!! If this is you, and the ink is in fine condition otherwise, don't dump it down the sink, or throw it into the trash, send it to me (payment can be negotiated), and I will provide it a nice safe home with love, and a decent meal of paper! Please PM me!<span style='color: #000080'>For Sale:</span> TBA

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sirgilbert357

I started out thinking something the size of an Esterbrook SJ was perfect for me. And the lighter the better...or so I thought. But now, I prefer something the size and weight of a Pelikan M800 -- way different!

 

I've always loved smooth nibs and still do.

 

I've always liked wet leaning mediums and still do. I've added broad, 1.1 and 1.5 nibs to that list too. I seem to just keep going bigger...can't see myself ever wanting an EF or anything.

 

Paper isn't exempt either. I used to just use whatever paper I had, and I would try to make the pen and ink work with the paper. I've done a 180 on that though! Now, I will happily pay 5 bucks for a Clairefontaine spiral notebook with only 50 pages! If you have good paper, the pen and ink just perform way better. I love the feel of writing too much to ruin it with bad paper!!

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Lots of changes, most of which are outlined here over the years. The easiest to identify are moving from F to 3B as preferred width and moving from off the shelf to custom pens and nibs. The rest changes as time reaches new appreciation.

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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Ive gone from EF, F, and M to B, BB and above. It makes writing more expressive! My college notes are more fun to take with a wider nib.

"Oh deer."

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