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I am really reconsidering the Lamy Safari


CyberGigi

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54 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

If you want to discount Japanese and Chinese makes and models of fountain pens in favour of Lamy, on account of considerations outside of physical specifications and technical performance, that's fine with me of course.

 

This thread is not about Lamy versus Japanese or Chinese economy pens: it is about the quality of the Lamy safari. I responded to it because I consider the LAMY safari to be excellent value for money. I can buy much cheaper pens at Tedi, the local dollar store; but, unlike the safari, they dont look particularly attractive to me. The safari is, moreover, widely available where I live. I buy safaris to enlarge the range of ink colours that I want to have available to me. These are not the best of the pens that I use, but I consider them more than adequate, and it makes no sense to spend a lot of money to have multiple versions of my best pens for this purpose. I wrote in another thread about the Gravitas entry pen, which at €55 hits well above its price range. I compare this with the Lamy 2000, Parker 51, 61, 45 and 180 models that I have and use all those as my regular hand-writing tools. I regard the LAMY safaris as expendable, and even put Noodler's inks in them, which I would not use in the Parkers.

 

Now, can we please stop talking about Chinese pens, and if there is more to say on the subject, which I doubt, discuss the LAMY safari which is actually supposed to be the subject of the thread?

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8 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

 

large.591690373_AuthorisedLAMYNewZealande-ShopcallsthemodelSafari.jpg.9b9bc613683e3b69ba430aa7f15cbf96.jpg

 

Those New Zealanders are crazy 🙂 but thanks for digging that up. 

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The Lamy Safari is a great school pen.

 

It is durable, its regular models including the clear Vista, are not expensive, its nibs standard are European standards.

 

The Limited Editions, filled with matching inks, are fun to get to brighten school notes, journals, correspondence... .

 

I also try to get the whole set with rollerballs, ballpoints and pencils in each available colors that pleases me.

 

If one likes the design, it is a must have. 

 

 

Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

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2 hours ago, david-p said:

Now, can we please stop talking about Chinese pens, and if there is more to say on the subject, which I doubt, discuss the LAMY safari which is actually supposed to be the subject of the thread?

 

Threads do have a tendency to wander and take on a life of their own.

 

Is the Safari a good starter pen?  I think so.  Do I think it a "must have" pen?  Not really.  It is one of the iconic pens,  but I don't use the 4 or 5 that I have.  Not an editorial comment, but just a statement of fact.  Other pens like Esterbrooks and Sheaffers get my attention.   David MacAuley did the art work for his books using a green Lamy Safari.  (I think it the article was in Pen World, but it was years ago).

 

Does Wing Sung make a very good copy - yes.  From the one's I've seen, nearly identical even in quality.  Do I own one? No.  But a guy in our pen ink club has several, and I would be hard pressed to tell the difference if it weren't for the stampings.

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Of course, a Lamy Safari is a classic. In addition, it is - 20 for the fountain pen, 50 for the gold nib - the cheapest fountain pen with - just - gold nib. It also writes very well.


But I don't understand why people want to write with a fountain pen that hundreds of thousands of others already use?
Why is one so imitative? Why are they so lacking in own ideas?


It's simple: you want to share in the good things that others are saying.
It is like in religion. Someone preaches the ultimate and thousands run to get it. 
So you want to take an experience that someone else has already had as a canned good off the shelf like in the supermarket, believing that what the other person got, I'll get too.
You think experience is a finished product, a ready-made, and in a way it is. You can even carry it around as a memory and live off it for years (...or feel haunted by it).

 

S2320010.thumb.JPG.c9cd219cb3bb3aa3bd8b5a004bd2f5f1.JPG


In our country, you can find the Lamy Safaris in drugstores. So not in stationery stores at all. They're right next to the detergents, soaps, and toilet paper. I like that. It has something of everyday life about it.

For me, these Lamy Safaris are free of any odeur, any sense of distinction, and any exaltation.

A simple fountain pen. I like that.

 

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3 hours ago, Carloa said:

But I don't understand why people want to write with a fountain pen that hundreds of thousands of others already use?
Why is one so imitative? Why are they so lacking in own ideas?

Uhm, because it fits perfectly into my hands, is durable and very comfortable for writing long texts? Not everyone is a marketing zombie. 🧟‍♂️

 

And those pens in your picture are no Safaris. 🧐

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12 hours ago, Carloa said:

... I don't understand why people want to write with a fountain pen that hundreds of thousands of others already use?

...

For me, these Lamy Safaris are free of [...] any sense of distinction ...

 

 

Because a lot of people realise that what you actually write is more important than what you write it with.

 

When an object like a LAMY safari looks like no other pen design, you cannot legitimately claim that it has no sense of distinction!

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17 hours ago, david-p said:

This thread is not about Lamy versus Japanese or Chinese economy pens: it is about the quality of the Lamy safari.d

 

Now, can we please stop talking about Chinese pens, and if there is more to say on the subject, which I doubt, discuss the LAMY safari which is actually supposed to be the subject of the thread?

 

I disagree. The O.P.'s opened the discussion with,

 

On 8/24/2021 at 12:10 AM, CyberGigi said:

After years I am seriously reconsidering the importance of this pen.

…‹snip›… 

What do you think about Safari?

Is it really a must have for any collector?

 

So quality is only one aspect of the pen or model. You yourself wrote in reply,

 

17 hours ago, david-p said:

I responded to it because I consider the LAMY safari to be excellent value for money.

 

but value for money is not an inherent quality of the pen as an object, or writing instrument that it is designed to be, in a vacuum outside of the ‘artificial’ aspect of pricing, which is not universal but subject to many extrinsic influences. One could either take the position of the quality of the Lamy Safari — as a product or writing instrument — is simply what it is, irrespective a unit is being sold for $10 or $100; or one could consider also its pricing and (ready?) availability, whether it is ‘collectible’ (whatever that means, in the way the people who would prospectively be doing the actual collecting, i.e. collectors,  would define it), and how its value compares to other things money can buy (cf. value for money), including direct competitors in the market and landscape of writing instruments.

 

You obviously don't believe in evaluating the Lamy Safari in a vacuum, outside of such materialistic concerns as dollars outside of essential ownership, possession and usage. So talking about how the Chinese pens, Japanese pens, and other substitutable writing instruments and competition in the market is relevant, including comparing one Lamy Safari product family against (say) ten other alternatives users and/or collectors can consider instead, in order to establish where the Lamy Safari stands in the landscape of someone's subjective assessment.

 

Furthermore, in open discussion with others, i.e. one's fellows and peers, about (the quality of) a product or model that someone likes, it is of course equally important to invite and be open to views that may be less favourable than one's own; the goal is not simply to exalt the product in question or raise its profile in the hobbyist community's awareness. Talking down the product is valid, and so is downplaying the supposed selling points or benefits that the product can deliver, either in terms of contemporary relevance to owners, users and collectors, or how it isn't uniquely positioned to satisfy the market demand when alternative options are available at least for careful consideration. After all, that is all part of what influences what a particular individual “[thinks] about Safari”.

 

Now, if you said, let's put the focus back on the Lamy Safari and the mention of everything else largely in terms of comparison and contrast with it at the very centre, that's fine; but Chinese pens (including but not limited to ‘clones’ or even outright counterfeit pens in that same mould) still have a place in that discussion. Whereas focusing only on what's good, important or likeable about the Lamy Safari would be missing the point of opening a discussion and getting everyone “reconsidering the Lamy Safari”.

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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10 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

but Chinese pens (including but not limited to ‘clones’ or even outright counterfeit pens in that same mould) still have a place in that discussion.

In my opinion the only place for such pens is in a scrap press or in a shredder. Where all counterfeits belong. It's product piracy. And often the fake products are hazardous.

 

There is even a negative award for this. It's called the "Plagiarius".

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17 minutes ago, Astronymus said:

In my opinion the only place for such pens is in a scrap press or in a shredder.

 

I bought two counterfeit Lamy Safari pens unknowingly, some years ago. (It could happen when one jumps onto any offers for discontinued but recent limited edition colourways.) They were (bleep), as far as being fit writing instruments out-of-the-box go. However,

 

17 minutes ago, Astronymus said:

Where all counterfeits belong. It's product piracy. And often the fake products are hazardous.

 

Then they have a place in a lab, and/or a court of law, instead of being just tossed out… if anyone can be bothered pursuing the counterfeiters for damages and/or criminal culpability.

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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6 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

Then they have a place in a lab, and/or a court of law, instead of being just tossed out… if anyone can be bothered pursuing the counterfeiters for damages and/or criminal culpability.

The Chinese government and the courts ususaly ignore such copyright claims. It's basicly state sponsored piracy. You have to be a big player to get through with this. The Chinese authorities are stricter than some years ago for their international image but to get your right seems still to be a gamble.

Also Chinese companies often exist only for a short period of time. When you try to sue them they are already gone and there is no one to take responsibility. Until they pop up somewhere under a new name, produce more and disappear again.

Even the Chinese government has problems keeping track of this. For example if someone violates the (lax but existent) environmental regulations.

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20 minutes ago, Astronymus said:

The Chinese government and the courts ususaly ignore such copyright claims.

 

I'm afraid you misunderstood. I wasn't talking about intellectual property rights infringement.

 

6 hours ago, Astronymus said:

And often the fake products are hazardous.

6 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

if anyone can be bothered pursuing the counterfeiters for damages and/or criminal culpability.

 

Hazardous products that are targeted primarily at the domestic market — with or without infringing on intellectual property rights recognised by Chinese law — and pose a danger to Chinese citizens, are not going to be looked upon kindly by the Chinese Government. The lab part is for assessing whether the products are hazardous; and, if so, damages from being exposed to those products, and criminal culpability for producing and/or selling them within a given jurisdiction, are the matters to be pursued in court.

 

Let's face it: with Lamy's reputation and standing in the Western world, and the Safari's price point, the vast majority of customers outside of China who want such fountain pens are most likely going to opt for buying the genuine item, with a few fools (such as myself) unknowingly ordering counterfeits because they are available at plausible prices. The Petrol and Dark Lilac pens I bought were not that cheap, albeit cheaper of course than Australian RRP for the Safari; I ordered them on eBay from a Chinese seller because they were the only ones still listing Safari fountain pens in those colours at the time, being already discontinued limited editions.

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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1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

I'm afraid you misunderstood. I wasn't talking about intellectual property rights infringement.

Well, I was talking about both. Because both are relevant to be thrown into the... disposal device. 😁

 

1 hour ago, A Smug Dill said:

with a few fools (such as myself)

It's never too late for self-improvement. 😉

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I think the shift in discussion to that of Chinese pens is interesting.  Because I got interested in Safaris after someone gave me a Jinhao 599 (an al-Star knockoff).  And that is what taught me that I *could* get used to the section after all.  

And if you ask me which I prefer?  The Safaris, because the flow in the Jinhao is not as good -- I kept having to adjust the piston in the converter, whereas I mostly don't with ANY of the Safaris/al-Stars/LX that  I own.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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On 8/23/2021 at 8:10 AM, CyberGigi said:

Hello to all,
I started with a Lamy Safari and tried many other models, even by Lamy itself.

After years I am seriously reconsidering the importance of this pen.

This article has rekindled my interest, I would like to share it with you.

https://iohacker.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-lamy-safari-fountain-pens/

What do you think about Safari?

Is it really a must have for any collector?

I would like to buy an Al-Star model, maybe some limited edition. Which one do you recommend?

Thank you!

G.

1. The Safari is always worth considering, it's a classic. 

2. Fun read, thanks for the link. I disagree with the author's insistence on buying form amazon. Support your local stationer or buy from a pen supplier who supports this community. 

3. I like mine but I prefer the AlStars.

4. No. 

5. You might want both a Safari and a shiny AlStar; one for everyday carry that won't bother you too much if you lose it and the other to show off a bit more. 

6. Any AlStar will do, pick any color you like in the present lineup or wait a few years for just the right color to come online.  

Edited by bogiesan
typos

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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Whilst I am a fan of the Safari, this thread has caused me to order a Jinhao 599, so that I can form my own opinion about the quality differences between the genuine article (of which I have many examples) and the 599, which is available at a tiny fraction of the price.  If the 599 had been a direct knock-off, I wouldn't have bought it (I try to respect intellectual property and copyrights).  However it's sufficiently different, particularly with respect to the clip, that I was prepared to place an order.  I have to say, I couldn't believe how cheap the 599 is.  At that price, it it writes at all and doesn't break in the first week, I will be prepared to acknowledge that it represents value for money (I'm still unlikely to become a collector or regular user of the 599).

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This thread has been really interesting, as a self confessed Lamy-phile I know I'm biased but I do think the Lamy Safari is a 'classic' and certainly deserves consideration in any Collection, but all collections are subject and only the owners knows what criteria they apply.

 

Some other thoughts.

 

Price - While agree that price is an important consideration for almost everyone, except those who are foolish or have far to much money.  The comparison between the price of european/american and japanese pen makers 'budget/afforadble' pens is in my mind spurious.  There are issues of labour and material costs which differs widely across the world, taxation the lower priced something is the less tax that will be applied and the gap just widens.  An often overlooked issues is also postage, due to international agreements I pay less postage for something from China than I do for posting something to a friend in Scotland.  As the poster from (Australia I think, forgive me if I have got that wrong) who said it was cheaper to buy his friend new pens from China than to post used ones.  That has nothing to do with the manufacturer as in this case his used pens were essentially free so the real determining factor was shipping.

 

Safari Nibs, there is a lot of discussion on the forum about Lamy nibs, different people have different opinions and different preferences for nibs, as the very least some like 'wetter' nibs, some like drier.  It does seem from the opinions posted that Japanese/Asian nibs are finer than Lamy inns so if you like a very fine line Lamy nibs may not be for you.  However it is worth noting that the Lamy steel nib is used across the range of pens.  Overtime the range of steel nibs has expanded to include a black PVD (as used on th eMany Lx) which many people seem to say is the best version of the steel nibs.  I would have to say if there were a fundamental problem with Lamy steel nibs then, they either would have gone out of business due to lack of sales, or would have been corrected.

 

Triangular grip section.  This does seem to be very much a matter of taste/comfort.  But again if you consider the number of pens sold with this grip (it's used not just in the Safari but the Al-star, the ABC and the Next and Next-M) so the grip must work/suit a large number of people.

 

However there are no right or wrong answers, while we share a love of fountain pens and collecting we all have differnt likes/dislikes and preferences and that's what makes this forum so great

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1 hour ago, bonnie-scott said:

I would have to say if there were a fundamental problem with Lamy steel nibs then, they either would have gone out of business due to lack of sales, or would have been corrected.

 

I don't think there is a fundamental problem with Lamy nibs.  All Safaris that I've had (and all of mine have had F or M nibs) have had a nib that's given me a line width that I am happy with.  The one problem with Lamy nibs is that the quality is a bit hit and miss.  The vast majority are excellent, particularly given the price point.  For me, a small minority have had issues, e.g. the tines needed flossing.  That's not a deal breaker for me, but could be for a person that buys his/ her first Safari and has a pen that doesn't write very well.

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6 hours ago, bonnie-scott said:

An often overlooked issues is also postage, due to international agreements I pay less postage for something from China than I do for posting something to a friend in Scotland.  As the poster from (Australia I think, forgive me if I have got that wrong) who said it was cheaper to buy his friend new pens from China than to post used ones.  That has nothing to do with the manufacturer as in this case his used pens were essentially free so the real determining factor was shipping.

 

That was specifically in response to whether Lamy is the only (or primary) viable option for allowing someone new to try out different nib widths and types economically. It's not about Lamy itself, but whether it really has something of a monopoly or unassailable advantage in that regard, in terms of either the range of (‘cheap’ steel) nibs available, or the total out-of-pocket expense to the acquirer to get something other than a garden-variety EF, F, M or B nib. If the latter is no object, then all talk of the Lamy Safari offering good value for money would also be spurious, when value for money is necessarily premised on what else that same money could buy in the market for consumer goods, not necessarily just fountain pens, but certainly include direct competition from other commercially available fountain pens.

 

My mention of having the pens shipped to the US directly (at my expense) is to point out that Americans could easily get that example alternative cheaply. What don't matter in that equation are the politics, human rights concerns, etc. of ordering from China; they have nothing to do with Lamy, or Jinhao, as product brands, business enterprises, or writing instruments that are designed to deliver a functional outcome. I'm not going to think more highly of the Lamy Safari on account of whether something about Chinese culture or the Chinese Government is personally disagreeable; but I certainly can think less of the Lamy Safari's uniqueness or place as a collectible model on the basis of competitors and viable substitutes from all over the globe that are easily accessible through online commerce today.

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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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/23/2021 at 5:06 PM, A Smug Dill said:

 

It depends on the motivation and goals of the specific/individual ‘collector’.

 

I bought one in early 2013, when my interest in fountain pens was rekindled after lapsing for a decade or so (but before my diving headlong into ‘the hobby’ in 2018). I don't think there's anything I really liked about it; the EF nib did not write as finely as the finest among my Rotring Initial fountain pens (all fitted with nominally M nibs, though they all write differently), the faceted gripping section is not a plus, the plastic felt cheap, and the cap seal effectiveness on my pen was/is below average as far as I'm concerned. I didn't buy another until earlier this year, and only because my wife made a remark about the 2021 Limited Edition colours we saw in a shop window. I still have my old Safari in my ‘collection’, but I never ink it up or write with it any more. I have a bunch of other Lamy models in my personal fleet of fountain pens from which to choose, so why would I bother with a Safari (other than for testing, etc. to prove a point in the context of a discussion with fellow hobbyists)?

 

To me, the Lamy Safari is like some old ‘classic’ book title that any decent (personal or public) library ought to have at least a copy, not that anyone should feel compelled to read it as to gain ‘common knowledge’.

“the plastic felt cheap“ 

What absolute nonsense, even Stanly Strode would not be able to judge the quality of a plastic by feel. 

that is just a cheap throwaway comment without any foundation outside of Smugs mind

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