01-23-2014, 08:31 PM
#1
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Ok all, I'm coming from a state of almost complete ignorance so please keep things elementary as I am just learning. My wife is expressing an interest in a fountain pen and I've had an "inkling" to try one as well, but my southpaw has kept me at bay.

We are interested in picking up an entry level pen for each of us. She is a righty and is interested in learning calligraphy. I'm a lefty who is a neutral writer which causes my hand to pass over freshly written lines which can easily smear both ink and lead. My hands tend to be a bit sweaty as well when writing which makes the smearing even worse.

I greatly appreciate any assistance you can be in helping us learn the pros & cons of the different types of pens and filling mechanisms. Also, suggestions on where to learn more and purchase from will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

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 01-23-2014, 08:48 PM
#2
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Brian, the best starter pens I have tried so far are the Lamy Safari and the Pilot Metropolitan along with the Pilot 78g. These three are very inexpensive and wonderful writers.
There are others, but these are the ones I started with and I am very happy with them.
Best of luck.

I am sure Freddy will come along, very soon and offer some great advice. Biggrin

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 01-23-2014, 09:08 PM
#3
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(01-23-2014, 08:48 PM)celestino Wrote: Brian, the best starter pens I have tried so far are the Lamy Safari and the Pilot Metropolitan along with the Pilot 78g. These three are very inexpensive and wonderful writers.
There are others, but these are the ones I started with and I am very happy with them.
Best of luck.

I am sure Freddy will come along, very soon and offer some great advice. Biggrin

I concur with the Lamy Safari & Pilot 78g. I have the Lamy Al-Star, which is the same as the safari but with an aluminum body. I believe you can easily swap out the nibs so you can switch them around.

I just purchased three 78g's to go with the two I already had. I dont' like they they are a screw on cap, but they great for getting your toes wet as they're cheap, but easy writting. Get them in different nibs to see what you like.

For both the 78g and the Safari/Al-Star, I'm amazed at how long they can sit around unused, and still write as soon as I pick them up. I have some cheap chinese FPs that need to get their nib dipped in water if they sit around too long.

I can't address the lefty issues.

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 01-23-2014, 09:22 PM
#4
  • CRAusmus
  • Senior Member
  • Going from Texas to Georgia
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Maybe it's just me, but my Safari seems to write really wet. Then again it is a Medium Nib. Perhaps a Fine or Extra Fine would be better for a lefty.

I also have a Pilot Metropolitan, which is only available in Medium but it writes drier and finer than my Medium Nib Safari. The price on the Metropolitan is better than the Safari, and it comes with a converter. The downside is that it takes proprietary cartridges. Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Safari takes an international cartridge. I've only used the Safari cartridges and not since I got a converter for my Safari. I need to locate those cartridges and compare them to the others I have.

I also have a couple of Nemosine Singularity pens. I have a Fine and a .6 nib. When I sit down to write, I find myself time and again reaching for the .6. It writes so smooth and the variation in line width is fun to play with. The Nemosine is priced right around where the Metropolitan is and comes in a large variety of nibs, and also uses universal cartridges.

I am a noob too Brian so take my advice for what it is. I think Phil is a lefty. Freddy and a few other members have a much larger collection and lots more experience and will have excellent advice.

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 01-23-2014, 09:41 PM
#5
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Thanks fellas. The pens y'all are mentioning are ones I've seen mentioned before. Can anyone point me to a good place for purchasing FPs?

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 01-23-2014, 09:52 PM
#6
  • CRAusmus
  • Senior Member
  • Going from Texas to Georgia
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Brian,

I have bought from:
http://www.gouletpens.com/
http://www.jetpens.com/ and
http://www.xfountainpens.com/

All provide excellent customer service in my opinion, and have comparable prices.

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 01-24-2014, 01:11 AM
#7
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Out of curiosity, and reading a few FP Geeks & FPN forum news & reviews I went ahead and bought two (2) Italix FP pens..........

The first is a heavyweight "Churchman's" Prescriptor. and the second is a "Parsons" Essential.

Both excellent pens and a real value for money and a joy to use. These are only sold by a company called Mr Pen here in the U.K, but shipping rates are great. And the nib's can be made bespoke to your needs.

Charles U.K

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 01-24-2014, 04:21 AM
#8
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Brian,
There is a thread with websites/vendors trusted and recommended by posters to the Ink Well. The link is HERE

I found the X450 fountain pen to be an excellent starter pen.
It is available at XFountain pens website

The pen comes in a myriad of colors and sells for $12.99. An upgrade to a German nib is $6.99. I have only used the upgraded nib. it takes international cartridges but comes with a converter.

We have purchased 9 of these pens. Three remain with us and 6 were gifts.

I am a leftie. I have to be very aware of smearing and smudging.
I think the first factor is the nib. A fine nib is a must for me. My wife prefers medium nibs. They lay a wetter line and smear more.

I have a Japanese made Sailor Reglus with a fine nib. This is a pin point nib and leaves an extremely fine line. Much finer than all of my other pens. The Japanese nibs are known to be narrower than other country manufacturers. I love this pen and nib. I have no problems with it.

I find the ink is the next big factor. I have good luck with the Diamine brand. This is in general because different color inks from the same manufacturer can behave differently.

Noodler's Bernake Black and Platinum Carbon Black ink have been recommended on this forum but I have not yet had a chance to try them.

When I first got a fountain pen I was reluctant to use a converter. The cartridges just were so convenient. But with a converter your options are limitless. Now we have a drawer of cartridges we no longer use. All of our pens have converters.

Goulet Pens and XFountain pens sell small vial samples of ink.
By ordering small samples you can test for color samples and smudge resistance.

"The Fountain Pen Thread" at the top of this forum is a wealth of information. At 68 pages it is a long read. Once I discovered it I went back and read it from page one over multiple visits. It is well worth the time.

Good luck and welcome. Keep us posted.

Phil

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 01-24-2014, 05:51 AM
#9
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(01-23-2014, 09:22 PM)CRAusmus Wrote: Maybe it's just me, but my Safari seems to write really wet. Then again it is a Medium Nib. Perhaps a Fine or Extra Fine would be better for a lefty.

My Al-Star has the extra fine nib so it's not wet. That's a good point to bring up though, particularly for a lefty.

(01-23-2014, 09:41 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: Thanks fellas. The pens y'all are mentioning are ones I've seen mentioned before. Can anyone point me to a good place for purchasing FPs?

I think I read that the 78g is no longer made but can still be found. I just bought three 78g's on Ebay for $13 shipped. Otherwise the sites that Clinton mentioned are good.

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 01-24-2014, 03:47 PM
#10
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I've just sent an inquiry to Goulet Pen regarding the Pilot Metropolitan but with an extra fine nib. I'll let you know what I hear back.

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 01-24-2014, 04:11 PM
#11
  • freddy
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  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Brian, you have received some excellent advice here. I am a big fan of the Nemosine Singularity that is sold by xfountainpens.com: http://www.xfountainpens.com/SearchResul...mit=Search . As mentioned, they come in different nib sizes and have a great look to them. They come in many colors, including demonstrator (clear) and include a converter (for bottled ink) and a couple of cartridges. At $14.99 each, you really cannot go wrong.

I'll be PMing you with one other idea.

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 01-27-2014, 01:23 PM
#12
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[Image: EuVC85F.jpg]

What you see above is the contents of a package that freddy sent me on Saturday. Way to go USPS; CA to TN in a weekend. :thumb up:

Most of the weekend I spent watching videos from Goulet Pens and was really getting interested. My only concern was if I could write with one of these contraptions being a lefty. I know I hear that many lefties use FPs without a problem, but don't y'all know I'm the one exception. Well that isn't the case. I had a grand time, along with my wife, playing with the pens over lunch today. I stopped long enough to process my order that I built up with Goulet Pens over the weekend and then I had to come back to work (I did bring the blue pen with me btw).

While I didn't get the Nemosine Singularity that came highly mentioned I think I got a good kit to start. I'll post what all I ordered once I go back to my order page so I can write everything correctly.

Thanks all for helping this FP beginner out. Biggrin

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 01-27-2014, 01:35 PM
#13
  • CRAusmus
  • Senior Member
  • Going from Texas to Georgia
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Awesome Brian. Glad you are enjoying the pens.

Freddy is a true gent is he not.

Good Show Freddy.

(01-27-2014, 01:23 PM)SharpSpine Wrote: [Image: EuVC85F.jpg]

What you see above is the contents of a package that freddy sent me on Saturday. Way to go USPS; CA to TN in a weekend. :thumb up:

Most of the weekend I spent watching videos from Goulet Pens and was really getting interested. My only concern was if I could write with one of these contraptions being a lefty. I know I hear that many lefties use FPs without a problem, but don't y'all know I'm the one exception. Well that isn't the case. I had a grand time, along with my wife, playing with the pens over lunch today. I stopped long enough to process my order that I built up with Goulet Pens over the weekend and then I had to come back to work (I did bring the blue pen with me btw).

While I didn't get the Nemosine Singularity that came highly mentioned I think I got a good kit to start. I'll post what all I ordered once I go back to my order page so I can write everything correctly.

Thanks all for helping this FP beginner out. Biggrin

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 01-27-2014, 01:38 PM
#14
  • freddy
  • Banned
  • San Diego, California, U.S.A.
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Wow, that was FAST, Brian, and I didn't even send it Priority!

I'm glad your wife and you are having fun with these. Now that you have them, you can see what I mean by cheap and cheerful. They'll never win any fountain pen beauty prizes but they sure can give you a feel for writing with something other than a ballpoint. Winky

If you get a chance, let us know what you think of the paper samples and if you note any differences writing on each. You might notice differences in drying times and smoothness of writing.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you purchased from The Goulet Pen Company. Biggrin

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 01-27-2014, 02:06 PM
#15
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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Good Luck Brian on finding the perfect pen or pens..... One of the biggest challenges is trying to find a pen and ink that dries fast since your hand swipes over the freshly written words.

As a lefty but I don't have that problem myself I prefer medium nibs, but a fine might be a better option as Phil mentioned. But the actual ink used may also be an important factor as well as the paper used. And a combination of all three.

However be aware, or perhaps beware might be the better word. Freddy's middle name is "enabler". (he will deny this fact) We went from a single pen home to over a dozen now..... *gulp* it's a wonderful addiction.......

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 01-27-2014, 02:54 PM
#16
  • freddy
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(01-27-2014, 02:06 PM)krissy Wrote: Good Luck Brian on finding the perfect pen or pens..... One of the biggest challenges is trying to find a pen and ink that dries fast since your hand swipes over the freshly written words.

As a lefty but I don't have that problem myself I prefer medium nibs, but a fine might be a better option as Phil mentioned. But the actual ink used may also be an important factor as well as the paper used. And a combination of all three.

*However be aware, or perhaps beware might be the better word. Freddy's middle name is "enabler". (he will deny this fact) We went from a single pen home to over a dozen now.....gulp* it's a wonderful addiction.......

IT'S NOT MY FAULT! Angel

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 01-27-2014, 03:50 PM
#17
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
  • The snow's back.
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Beware, Brian. If you thought shaving was a rabbit hole, you ain't seen nothing yet.

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 01-27-2014, 03:56 PM
#18
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LAMY Safari - Charcoal; black EF nib; converter
[Image: LMY-L17-6T.jpg?1386832470]



Noodler's Bernanke Blue - quick drying
[Image: N19067-2.jpg?1386832470]

Video demonstration of how quick this ink dries. Quite amazing!




Platinum Preppy Blue - F; converted to eyedropper
[Image: Plat-PPQ-200-03-F-2.jpg?1386832470]



Platinum Preppy Blue - M; converted to eyedropper
[Image: Plat-PPQ-200-03-M-2.jpg?1386832470]



Rhodia Notepad x2; Dot pad, 3.375 x 4.75
[Image: R12558-2.jpg?1386832470]



Rhodia Webnotebook; Dot grid, 5.5 x 8.25
[Image: R118768-2.jpg?1386832470]



Syringe set
[Image: GPC-InkSyringe-2.jpg?1386832470]






How far have I already fallen down the rabbit hole?

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 01-27-2014, 04:04 PM
#19
  • krissy
  • Active Member
  • Cando, North Dakota
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you have gotten about an inch (maybe less) down the rabbit hole Brian...... and a long ways to fall....

The preppy are good pens to start with, I have several, and two lamy safari pens. The lamy are great writers, I have a black one and a pink one both medium nib per my personal preference.

I have several of their inks because I can't select just one... and I buy my syringes at TSC (tractor supply) in their vet department.

I haven't gotten to ordering the dotted paper yet. You will have to post how you like it.

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 01-27-2014, 04:07 PM
#20
  • Elendil
  • Raggedy man, good night
  • The snow's back.
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Great choices, Brian. The Bernanke is a beautiful blue, and a perfect choice. I keep Preppys handy to use with inks that don't play nicely with pens, like Bay State Blue. The Preppy's nibs are actually pretty good for an inexpensive pen. You can't go wrong with a Safari, either.

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