Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen for beginners’

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Review: Platinum Plaisir Fountain Pen

11/22/2016

The Platinum Plaisir has so much going for it, that calling it an entry-level pen is too limited. It is a fountain pen that offers excellent functionality at a reasonable price with features anyone can appreciate.

The Plaisir is a well-constructed, anodized aluminum bodied model that comes in a variety of colors. It is a medium sized pen at 142.5 mm long and 15 mm in maximum diameter. The weight is 15.4 g and should be comfortable in most hands. The cap is friction fit, but does not pop off without a little effort perhaps due to the Slip & Seal mechanism that prevents ink from drying in the nib. It is a great feature, particularly for anyone who is lackadaisical about pen use or care.

The pen comes with the same much loved, stainless nib as the Platinum Preppy. My fine nib has good flow and a little definition. It isn’t an italic, but the shape does enhance line edges.

With the smooth and luscious Platinum Carbon Black, the medium nib puts down a substantial line that is comparable to some broad nibs. The bonus is that it can be used upside down for a fine line. It isn’t quite as smooth as a pen with a true fine nib, but with the right ink on quality paper, it is perfectly serviceable. This can be especially useful for sketching or doodling. A Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook  made fast proof of that.

The section is clear revealing the ink’s color and whether the nib is running dry. It can look a bit messy, but a brilliant ink turns this into a colorful feature rather than a liability.

Some people consider the Plaisir to be a beginner’s pen. Using one revealed one of the reasons: the medium has a very large sweet spot. It can be rotated and held upright or even at a low angle and will still write well. As a gift to a newbie, the fine is worth considering as it produces a line more comparable in width to the familiar rollerball or gel pen.

The Plaisir comes in many colors, an array recently expanded with the a new release called Nova Orange. Compared to orange inks in my collection, the colors that match the barrel best are Iroshizuku yu-yake and J. Herbin Orange Indien. The metal barrel reflects light producing a variety of tones adding to the appeal of what Platinum has christened the Color of the Year for 2017. The Frosty Blue pen is well-matched to Diamine China Blue, but that’s only to give you a sense of the color. Gunmetal is a welcome change from the ubiquitous black and a neutral home for any ink. The three pens look very inviting on my desk. For a color lover having only one of these jewels may not be enough.

The pen comes with a single cartridge. If bottled ink is on the menu, a converter will be needed. Since it’s a metal pen, staining won’t be an issue. Bring on those inks that are known to misbehave and let the Plaisir tame them.

With its quality fit and finish plus variety of colors, the Platinum Plaisir is a good choice for the budget conscious whether for personal use or as a gift. It makes an attractive travel pen and, if lost, easily replaced. If you fancy carrying a loaner, the firm nib should withstand a few minutes in the grip of a heavy-handed newbie and provide a good initiation into the world of fountain pens. The more the merrier, eh?

A big thank you to Carol at Luxury Brands for the Platinum pens and Carbon Ink. It was great fun getting acquainted. The Nova Orange is good for a smile every time I see it. Yeah, I am a sucker for orange and in that I am not alone. Bet you won’t be able to keep this one in stock.

More info at Platinum Pen Co.

Where to buy:

Fine nib at Amazon

Medium nib at Amazon

Platinum converter at Amazon

Platinum Carbon Ink at Amazon

Noodler’s Black Swan in English Roses

 

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A Few Links

02/28/2016

A few items this week that were worth reading…

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Sheaffer Taranis Fountain Pen Gets A Test Run

12/14/2013

Recently, Sheaffer offered the Taranis fountain pen to review. Saying “no” was not an option. Sheaffer has a good reputation for making fountain pens, but my experience is with vintage models including a 1950’s Sheaffer Sentinel. What would I think of a modern pen?

Sheaffer Taranis

The Taranis is named after the Celtic God of Thunder. Grab the details from Sheaffer, but the main points are that it’s a metal pen with excellent balance and it sports a semi-hooded nib that resembles a Pilot Vanishing Point. The pen comes with a converter plus two cartridges and is solidly packaged for safe shipping.

Sheaffer Tarantis Section and Nib

The logo runs the length of the section so it will be under your finger though I did not find it to be uncomfortable. Stepped sections or sharp threads are far worse and this model has neither of those annoying issues. The section is otherwise smooth with the threads placed very high and not in range of my grip. Balance is good whether posted or not. Build quality is very solid, tank-like, and should make it last forever. The snap cap seats solidly with a minimum of effort and I was able to pop off the cap one-handed which I find very convenient. The Taranis is a good candidate for a carry pen since it will survive better than most pens those knocks and blows that come from excursions into the wild.

The Taranis Sheaffer sent needed cleaning with soapy water to get the flow right. Whether from minute bits of debris or oils from manufacturing, an overnight soak improved performance. This can be true of any new pen so it should not be off-putting,  but rather a reminder to clean new pens before filling. My usual light rinse with cool water did not cleanse the feed sufficiently and my enthusiasm at acquiring a new pen got the better of me.

Sheaffer Taranis written sample on Rhodia paper

The stainless steel nib is a smooth nail that doesn’t have that tendency to skate that some pens possess. The medium wrote a bit dry with Sheaffer Blue-Black, but less so with Diamine Steel Blue. It may turn into a good match for free-flowing inks, of which I have more than a few. The nib width is on the narrow side of medium and I was able to write quite small with it. It tolerates a variety of writing angles, even upside down for a finer line which makes it an all-purpose nib.

And the clincher?

Sheaffer Taranis on Moleskine

That is Moleskine paper! Have you recovered from the shock? Minimal show-through and only a few tiny dots of bleed-through. Impressive!

There is quite a price range amongst retailers so shop around for a good deal. Given the build quality and the sturdy nib, the Sheaffer Taranis could make an attractive way to turn a non-user into a fountain pen enthusiast. After all, Christmas is just around the corner…

More reviews at FP Geeks and Best Fountain Pen. Jim Mamoulides covered the vintage Sheaffer Snorkel at Pen Hero.

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