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Pen-Fi (FPs, RBs, BPs, etc...) [56k Warning]

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  1. proton007
    Yeah, but the price is [​IMG].  I went out today scounting for Pilot / Waterman / Sceaffer and was amazed at the price. Probably because its become a rich man's hobby, no one bothers to make cheaper fountain pens anymore (except maybe Lamy, but they aren't exactly cheap either).
    Maybe because there are no buyers for cheap fountain pens anymore.
    At first I was apprehensive about entering this shop, but after making an effort, I found these:
    Lamy Al-Star Pearl special editon
    And this, T-52 Blue-Black ink.
    Blue Black has been my favourite color so far.
    I also found the Pilot Iroshizuku ink in some really nice colors, but I couldn't bring myself to ask the price.
    Now I feel I won't be able to go any further than the Lamys. They're just too expensive, and pretty thick compared to the Lamys [​IMG].
  2. Silent One
    proton007 ~
    Consider your upcoming purchase an investment. And watch [​IMG] that sucka! None of that "Can I borrow your pen? I'll bring it right back!" stuff. Also, if you get to know a merchant through even small repeated purchases, you might even be granted a break on inks, pens and paper.
  3. proton007
    Yeah, I concur.
    Also, the salesperson was really nice and polite, I'll definitely visit the shop again once I have a little more cash to spend. There's a big range of brands there, maybe I'll be able to find something I like.
  4. Tsujigiri
    Nice! You're right about fountain pens becoming more of a luxury. There were a lot of good cheap options back when they were a tool, not a luxury, and ballpoints didn't exist. Nibs have gotten thicker as a result of that, as well (when FP's were a tool people were frugal with their ink and paper, now they want something more bold). You can still get finer nibs with Japanese companies, though. They tend to run one size finer than Western nibs because they need the thin lines to write complicated kanji characters.
    If you want to get into nice fountain pens on a budget, I'd suggest looking into vintage pens. There are a lot of nice ones out there with nice features that you can get in working condition for a fraction of the price that a comparable modern pen would cost. I got 4 fountain pens at a Japanese flea market for about $35 a few years ago. Every one of them I was able to get working, and they all had solid gold nibs that were at least 14k. That's kind of an unusual deal here, but you can get pens like Esterbrooks here easily for not too much.
    Make sure to clean your pen regularly. Lamy blue-black is the harshest of their ink colors on the pen since it's iron gall. As for the Iroshizuku, they're probably a little under $30 a bottle. In Japan, they're the equivalent of about $15. If you want the most ink for your money with decent quality, I'd recommend you take a look at Noodler's. If you can spend more, Private Reserve and Diamine are a little better IMO and aren't too expensive.
  5. EmptyTalk
    Speaking of Sailor . . . I just got one of their Professional Gear pens, with a medium nib. I've only had it for a day, but I really like it so far.
  6. Tsujigiri
    Gotta love those Sailors. They've really impressed me with their reliability and craftsmanship. They're a really small operation with a lot of the manufacturing done by hand, but the prices are not higher than a lot of the larger companies. I do prefer integrated filling mechanisms, but those Sailor nibs are just the perfect balance between smoothness and toothiness for me.
  7. proton007
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    I also feel the shop I went to only put the high end models on display, and it did a good job of scaring me. Perhaps if I ask him for something within a price range he might be able to help.
    Regarding the Lamy blue black, I also read that the iron gall formula has been discontinued, maybe there's a way to confirm that, I'm not sure.
    As of now I'm using the Pelikan 4001 brilliant-black and Herlitz blue.
    I'll also appreciate if someone can help me out with these two issues:
    a)  I want to use my fountain pens more, but it seems writing by hand is disappearing from daily life. I do tend to write while taking notes at work, but thats about it, I need to find a good way to use my pens more.
    b)  Paper quality.  Woodfree paper sucks for fountain pens, it feasts on ink. Notebooks are mostly 70 gsm, which can be thin. Heavier gsm is mostly reserved for art (sketch books), and tends to have a rougher finish. I'm really out of luck looking for better quality writing paper. Maybe the only way is to purchase photocopying paper (100 gsm).
  8. Argyris Contributor
    a) I know it's probably a bit lame sounding these days, but you could start a good old-fashioned journal. Kind of like a blog with all the entries set to private, when you get right down to it, except it lets you put down your thoughts on the day in ink. You might be able to find something bound with better paper than a standard notebook (though I'm guessing from the rest of your post that that's going to be difficult) or, if you're willing to make a project of it, you might select the paper of your choice and find a way of binding it together.
    Just a thought. It's been literally over a decade since I had a nice fountain pen (which is saying something since that's 41.7% of my current lifespan), and I'd forgotten how bad typical notebook paper was for writing with one. I'd want to have something better to write on, too, if I had a nice pen collection.
  9. Silent One
    A. I write personal letters by hand... a lot. Also, I draft personal notecards (writing inside blank notecards). I use notepads often as well. The "Journal" suggestion is brilliant!
    B. See - Rhodia; Clairefontaine. I'm a life-long user of the former, which now happens to be owned by the latter... I am a winner! [​IMG]
  10. proton007
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    There's an upscale book store that I never visit (its often more expensive than the local shops), but I've read they carry Rhodia/Clairfontaine notebooks. I'll give it a try, otherwise I'll purchase a ream of nice quality printer paper (I think the one for color inkjets is heavier).
  11. Silent One
    What size paper are you interested in, if I may ask? Or are you simply looking to get a notepad of a particular size?
  12. proton007
    I guess A4 should be fine.
  13. Argyris Contributor
    My Gothic is improving:
    It's amazing how scanning this stuff makes all the imperfections stand out. I've still got to work on keeping everything uniform, but I've come a pretty long way since I started with this hand about three weeks ago.
    The ink isn't that color, incidentally. It's less saturated and more toward the purple end of the spectrum. If anybody's interested, it's the blue Slovenian Scrip ink, written with one of the new style Sheaffer calligraphy fountain pens. Surprisingly, this color seems to flow very nicely, whereas I've had no end of trouble with ink flow using the "green" and black Scrip inks.
  14. meat01 Contributor
    That x looks a lot like an r [​IMG], I mean nice job!
  15. Argyris Contributor
    And you're right. [​IMG] I don't much care for the x in the exemplar I consulted. I figured I'd stick with it and see if it looked any better after a bunch of practice, but it hasn't really grown on me. Plus, it's an ink hog. I'll have to find a more traditional version and substitute it in (or less traditional, actually, since the version I'm using is based on original Gothic-era texts).
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