Posts Tagged ‘Dick Egolf’

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My Short List Of Favorite Fountain Pens

08/12/2014

Few new pens have landed on the Inkophile desk in recent years resulting in a scarcity of pen reviews. So a bit of pen praise will have to suffice.

Much as I enjoy a wide variety of fountain pens, certain ones stand out. The frequency with which they find slots in my rotation is the proof, but the ease with which I use them is just as telling. For stock nibs, Platinum is the clear winner especially the Century broad nib and the #3776 Music nib models.

My Platinum pens came from Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands a year and a half ago. Best gift ever!

The Century has never found its perfect ink companion. The #3776 has never met an ink it didn’t make look good. Funny how some pens struggle to find the perfect mate while others will mate with any ink perfectly.

The Pelikans took many years to collect and came from auctions and private parties. The M250 has a fine italic nib that might or might not have been modified. The M215 was ground to an italic as was the nib on the blue M200. The gray M200 has an oblique broad nib that was not original to the pen. The M400 has a stock fine nib that is amazingly smooth.

The Pelikans are a bit more finicky though work well with Waterman, Diamine and J. Herbin. Not that any brand won’t do, but I like less saturated inks in the Pels, especially those with ink windows.

Efforts to enable aside, both pen manufacturers make well-constructed pens of very different styles. The nibs from Platinum are more narrow than those from Pelikan, but that is typical of Japanese and western pens.

So that’s the core of my rotation. Other pens come and go especially the Namiki (Pilot) Falcons, a couple of custom Lamy Safaris and an assortment of single pens. I’m not a brand snob though I would gladly become one with enough of the right pens. Or at least I would like to try.

Just for fun, drool over these Pelikan and Platinum maki-e fountain pens. Are they not gorgeous?

 

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Fountain Pen Experts And Their Favorite Pens

12/31/2013

Well, five experts and an inkophile of much more limited experience get quoted at Best Fountain Pen. It just so happens that my list of Really Good Fountain Pens will post on New Year’s Day. No vintage pens in the lot, but a number of models that are currently available.

Oh, and thank you Jennifer for including me in your post and Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands for the pen gift last year. My Platinum #3776 Music Nib is blushing at the notoriety.

Platinum #3776 Music Nib

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Noodler’s Ahab’s Pearl Fountain Pen

03/21/2013

Noodler’s hit the mark with the Ahab model. It’s attractive, chunky, and sports a stainless flexible nib for around $20. What’s not to love about that?

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Noodler's Konrad Fountain Pens

Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA sent an Ahab’s Pearl for review. Its silvery, pearlescent white color and stainless appointments make an attractive and neutral pen. Headed into spring it’s a great match for seasonal colors but it’s just as good with the rest of the spectrum. Absolutely every color works well with it.

According to Peyton Street Pens the Ahab “is made of a celluloid derivative and is technically biodegradable and formed from a “renewable resource.” Given the material, care in cleaning is recommended. However, if you don’t let ink dry out in the feed, a rinse with cool to lukewarm water is all it takes to make the Ahab ready for a new ink.

Noodler's Ahab and Konrad Fountain Pens

The Ahab is larger than the Konrad but has the same slightly flexible nib. Previous remarks about it apply. The upside is that employing a light touch, the nib is stiff enough to be used like a normal fine nib. Put a bit more pressure on the nib and the line turns broad. That makes it versatile.

The downside is that the nib is too stiff to make supple lines easily. It improves with use and, for writers new to soft nibs, this is probably a benefit. It is easy to bend a really flexible nib too far and either release a flood of ink or overextend a nib causing damage. The Ahab nib should stand up to that learning curve quite well. Another benefit is that the Noodler’s nib will adapt to your hand as you grow accustomed to it. Use it enough and you will become a team. Use it rarely and you may enjoy the outings less. Reaching full potential will take a little effort.

Noodler's Ahab Filler

The Ahab’s pump filler is simple and easy to use. The instruction sheet explains the process. The pen has a significant flow of ink which indicates the filler is a good type for the nib. No restrictions, skips or railroad tracks which is not something all flexible nib pens can boast.

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Kiowa Pecan on Rhodia paper

On the Rhodia Bloc No 16 tablet, it deposited so much ink that I had to leave it for a bit to dry but I’ve experienced longer drying times. However, unlike some inks that dry slowly, I couldn’t feel a layer of ink when I ran my finger over it.

Noodler's Ahab's Pearl and Kiowa Pecan on Apica

Noodler's Ahab Pearl with Kiowa Pecan on Apica - closeup view

Without flexing, the amount of ink on Apica 6A10 is just right but it is very free flowing when flexed. Too much ink resulted in some fuzzy edges but that’s happened with other combinations on Apica in the past. Anticipate some trial and error when looking for a good combination. If your Ahab doesn’t flow as freely as you would like, the ebonite feed can be adjusted according to the included instructions.

Initially, my daughter thought the Ahab’s Pearl smelled like cheese and the Konrad Tortoise like baby powder. A couple of weeks on my desk and the Ahab is now fragrance free. The Konrad is less aromatic but still mildly scented.

The Ahab comes in a variety of colors so it’s easy to find one that suits your favorite Noodler’s ink. Not that an Ahab won’t match well with another brand but the degree of lubrication with the Noodler’s inks I tested was a pleasure.

At around $40 for the Ahab, a bottle of ink, tax, and shipping, this is one sweet deal.

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A Blue Screen And The Platinum Century Chartres Blue Pen

12/23/2012

Well, it happens even in the best of families. My ancient computer died and I don’t know when I will be able to purchase a new one. So for now my Sunday links post will take a holiday while I make do with very, very limited computer access and no social media playtime. If you need to get in touch, try email. Snail mail is welcome, too.

On the upside, testing inks and pens will go on though reviews might be slow to get posted. Just to console myself last night, the beautiful Platinum Century Chartres Blue B nib went into my rotation loaded with a cartridge of Platinum Pigment Blue. Thanks to Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA, I have too many pens inked and must write more than usual to keep them happy. Is it any wonder my computer felt unloved? But that thought got me wondering. Just who or what put the death spell on my computer…

Oh, first impressions on the new pen and ink duo? Beautiful, smooth, balanced, and very blue. If you are a collector, purchase one soon to get a serial numbered card indicating your pen was manufactured in the inital run. It won’t cost more but it is kind of cool.

Platinum Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen

Platinum Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen

Platinum Century Chartres Blue Fountain Pen

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Lots Of Goodies In My Review Queue

12/11/2012

Thanks to Dick Egolf at Luxury Brands USA, there are several items on hand for review but it’s going to take some time to get everything tested and results posted. With the gift giving season upon us, I thought you might like to hear some early impressions just in case you have a pen lover on your list.

Three of the Noodler’s inks to review have been available for years but they are new to me. Purple Martin, Beaver, and Tiananmen are looking good so far. When they meet their ideal pens and paper, you’ll be the first second to know.

The two Platinum pens are going to get a bit of use before I commit to reviews. Still you should know that the #3776 Century Black in Black FF (flexible fine) is a really sweet pen that is finer and slightly more flexible than the Namiki Falcon. But like the Falcon it needs some use to reach its potential. The Century has a new cap design that prevents ink from drying out as well as a redesigned nib and feed to regulate ink flow. Sounds promising, eh?

The second Platinum is a resin #3776 music nib (PTBM-15000) that hasn’t been inked yet. I’m reserving that treat for a very quiet few hours after the holiday hoopla has subsided. I am a fan of light-weight pens and big nibs so this could be an excellent match for me.

Dick also sent a trio of Noodler’s pens. The pearl Ahab needs a test drive as does the Galapagos Tortoise Konrad but I couldn’t wait to fill the Tahitian Tortoise Konrad. The colors of the barrel are brown to dark teal and a real treat for a color lover. Luckily the Noodler’s Turquoise that Dick sent fits it in a most appealing way. The Konrad has a flex nib and a bit of use will improve its flexibility. After only a few pages, I really like what it can do. However, the ink can take minutes to fully dry in part because flex writing lays down so much of it. On thin paper like Staples sugarcane (bagasse) expect some show-through and bleed-through. High quality, heavy paper works best. A little water dilution might help or a different, less saturated ink could tweak performance but you might lose some of the shading Turquoise does so well. More on this baby when it reaches adolescence.

Noodler’s Tahitian Tortoise Konrad Fountain Pen and Turquoise Ink

Need a gift for a pen person? Consider a Noodler’s Konrad and a bottle of Noodler’s Ink. That won’t break the bank at $32.50 and it will bring a lot of fun to the writing experience. If you want to go the whole way, include a pad of Rhodia paper. It might be slow to dry but it will show off the turquoise ink beautifully.

More soon…

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Noodler’s Has The Blues – Inks That Is

12/09/2012

Noodler’s has the blues and that makes fountain pen users lucky, especially me since Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent four for my writing pleasure and review. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Two are new to the Noodler’s line, 54th Massachusetts, a bulletproof blue-black, and Q’E-ternity, a fast-drying Bernanke series Blue-Black. The other two have been around for years, Air-Corp Blue-Black and Turquoise. It will take weeks to truly explore them but a quick look will do for now.

Keep in mind that my scanner is old and challenged by so much color. None of the images were adjusted. Consider the colors relative rather than absolute but some remarks follow the images to help reveal the differences. Images tend to blow feathering and indistinct edges out of proportion, especially viewed at the scanned size that will appear when you click the image. So don’t expect to see much feathering in the real world unless you use a loupe, and if you do, we need to talk

Noodler's Blues - A Comparison

Noodler’s Blues – A Comparison

  • 54th Mass is less green than the other three and a very dark if fairly middle-of-the-road blue-black
  • Q’E-ternity is very dark and has more green than 54th Mass but not as much as Waterman Blue-Black
  • Air-Corp is very dark with some green to it. This one can almost pass for black from a pen with a heavy flow.
  • Turquoise leans toward the darker side of the turquoise range but can be diluted to a beautiful paler shade.

Ottoman Azure was already in my collection. It’s a pretty blue with a hint of green and has become a regular in my rotation. It works well from any sized nib so that makes it particularly well-suited to a fickle pen user like me.

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler's Turquoise Ink

Noodler’s Turquoise Ink

Noodler's Ottoman Azure Ink

Noodler’s Ottoman Azure Ink

Notes on each ink:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof (waterproof), no feathering, good flow, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time on Rhodia but less so on cheaper paper. Color more pale on cheap paper with mildly indistinct outlines but little feathering.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, moderate to heavy bleed-through, feathering worse on Rhodia than on cheap paper, drying time very fast with a fine nib. Designed to prevent smearing so even lefties can write with a fountain pen.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, good flow, no bleed-through, minimal show-through, slow to dry, no feathering on Rhodia but does on cheap paper. Diluting produces very good shading. Dry-writing pens should bring out the green element.
  • Turquoise – Mildly water resistant, very good flow, feathering on cheap paper, minimal show-through, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time. Not terrific on cheap paper. Great for flex due to shading and flow.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, very good flow, good shading, minimal show-through, no bleed-through, good to fair drying time depending on paper. No feathering on Rhodia but some on cheap paper.
Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Confused? This group of inks took some sorting to figure out how to use them. The short version:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof, non-green blue-black. Most versatile of the blue-blacks tested.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, fast drying, greenish blue-black that may work better on cheap paper than Rhodia.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, greenish black that can be diluted to produce shading.
  • Turquoise – Somewhat water resistant, dark turquoise that pairs best with good quality paper. Great for flex nibs. Shades well.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, well-rounded ink but can very mildly feather on cheap paper.

At $12.50 MSRP for 3 oz, Noodler’s is a good value for fountain pen ink. Most Noodler’s take well to dilution with distilled water which makes the value for money even greater. But do take care when opening the bottle. It’s generously filled to the brim and could splash that waterproof ink all over your tidy desk or clothes. Trust me on this one.

More reviews of these inks at Fountain Pen Network:

The grid paper is from a Rhodia Bloc No. 14 pad and the lined paper is from an Ampad Gold Fibre 5″x 8″ pad.

Update: 54th Massachusetts Ink Meets Its Mate and water tests on FPN.

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Does Inkophile Owe You One?

12/06/2012

The year is drawing to a close and it has been a roller coaster ride to be sure. My office is jammed with work, art supplies, pens, ink, and tons of paper products. This week Christmas arrived early when Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent a huge box of Noodler’s Ink, Noodler’s Pens, and Platinum pens for review. Color me gobsmacked at his generosity and consider my wishlist fulfilled.

Certainly, it is a lot of product to test and write about but I also want to handle any unfinished business. So if I owe you a review, please let me know. My log shows that I have caught up but it could be mistaken. Not that a log would ever lie but…

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