Posts Tagged ‘Fountain Pen Network’

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About Pen Reviews And Reviewers

03/16/2017

Pen reviews and reviewers is a hot topic at Fountain Pen Network. There are a daunting 111 posts so far, but since I write pen reviews from time to time, it seemed worthwhile to get a fresh perspective on what folks want to know about prospective pen purchases. Whoa, did I get an earful along with confirmation you can’t please everyone or even anyone some times. How can a post about using a pen be anything other than subjective? But some folks want specs down to the millimeter, objective comparisons to other pens and more.

For the record, I have never been paid for a review. (Wish I had!) Some pens have been given to me, but most were purchased with my own funds. Most of the inks and paper mentioned have been purchases or gifts from pen friends. (Lucky me!) There have been exceptions, but that is always noted.

Since the writing experience is what intrigues me most, my posts are slanted in that direction. However, the aesthetics of a pen are well-described by images whether mine or those of a manufacturer, retailer or another reviewer. Look to those for accuracy. I do.

One caveat. Even machine-made nibs can vary. Where I have been able to write with more than one pen from a single model, the nibs are different. They aren’t identical in terms of flow and smoothness. To be sure, ink and paper play a part in the way a pen writes. But apples to apples, nibs are different. My fab nib may be a stinker for you or vice versa. So be prepared.

I do expect a fountain pen to perform reasonably well out of the box. If a nib needs tuning or the flow needs adjustment just to be useful, the manufacturer has failed. Quality control may be a lost art, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to foist on consumers worthless products. Reviewing them is unrewarding, but on occasion necessary.

So there you have it. The FPN thread continues to gather comments though it has shifted to candy bars for some of them. Heh. Really!

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For The Seriously Ink Afflicted – Yes, You!

02/18/2013

Ever heard of sheen in fountain pen inks? Two threads on FPN will bring you up to speed. Note that a high quality, non-absorbent paper like Clairefontaine and wide, wet nibs are most likely to produce such results. Check out the images here and here. The effect can be spectacular if short-lived and a real treat for the writer.

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Ink Talk At Fountain Pen Network

07/30/2012

If you haven’t visited FPN recently, they’ve expanded and made it easier to find things that will surely appeal to an inkophile.

Just for fun here are a few of my favorite inks. Note that the swatches are imperfect and a bit pale. Even so these inks are awfully pretty and frequently in my rotation.

A Few of My Favorite Inks

A Few of My Favorite Inks

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The Pen And The Piggy Bank

07/24/2011

How many crammed-full piggy banks would it take to buy the fountain pen at the top of your wishlist? Prices especially for new pens have climbed dramatically leaving some buyers in the dust. What’s a collector to do?

Take a look at the offerings at Fountain Pen Network today. Perhaps few of them sell but folks certainly are asking amazingly high prices for some of them. No bargains there.

At least based on my search parameters, good deals on eBay are rare and winning bids remarkably consistent. In other words the same seller gets virtually the same price every time he offers “X” pen. Hmmm. Either a lot of buyers are willing to pay almost exactly the amount for that “X” pen or the deck is stacked. So much for eBay.

Unless some bloke on a sidewalk opens his jacket to reveal a plethora of pens rather than the expected display of fake Rolexes, I’m sunk. I haven’t purchased a quality pen since 2009 and could be out of date on current market values. But it does leave me puzzled. Assuming you wanted to find a good pen at a decent price, where would you look?

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