Posts Tagged ‘Lamy AL-Star’

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Sunday Reads: Pens And Horses

12/02/2018

In my youth, I was horse crazy. Fond memories. I still love horses, but these days I rarely get closer than the two Baoer Eight Horses fountain pens below.

Five years ago, this was my rotation.

Platinum #3776
Platinum #3776 Century
Lamy AL-Star
Pelikan M400
Pelikan M215
Pilot Namiki Falcon
Sailor 1911
Sailor Sapporo
Baoer Eight Horses in Bronze
Baoer Eight Horses in Copper
Pilot Custom 742FA

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Fountain Pens To Excess

06/14/2015

Is there a ten-step program for people who ink too many pens at one time? My current rotation is ridiculously out of control. Or maybe not…

Top row:

  • Mink Levenger True Writer
  • Amber Conklin Duragraph
  • Clementine Retro 51
  • Raspberry Lamy AL-Star
  • Green Lamy AL-Star
  • Green Levenger True Writer
  • Cracked Ice Conklin Duragraph
  • Noodler’s Creaper Demo
  • Platinum Century Nice Pur
  • Platinum Century Nice

Bottom row:

  • Platinum Century Chartres Blue
  • Platinum #3776 music nib
  • Namiki Falcon SF
  • Sailor Sapporo
  • Pelikan M-215 Rings

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Noodler’s, Clairefontaine And A Lamy

09/30/2014

They didn’t walk into a bar together, but they did join forces at my desk. Noodler’s Black, a Clairefontaine notebook and a Lamy AL-Star EF make a delightful trio that is suitable for use anywhere including that bar. Unlike my fancy, schmancy pens, $40 bottles of ink, and leather-bound journals, this set-up could get lost or destroyed and then easily replaced without busting my budget.

What makes these three tools so special? The Lamy may not be the most comfortable pen, but for the smooth nib, a little discomfort can be tolerated. Noodler’s Black makes every fountain pen a winner and gets my unqualified vote of confidence. Clairefontaine paper is good with any ink and available at a wide variety of retailers including Writers Bloc from whence mine came. Put the three together and this is what you get.

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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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Links For Pen People And Writers

06/22/2014

Inks, paper, pens, and writing…

Favorite photo of the week:

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On My Desk – February 2014

02/27/2014

Well, sort of. These are the inks in use today from the assortment of pens on my desk. The tally is telling with seven of nine in the blue family. The nibs are with one exception in the wide range and only the Platinum and Lamy nibs were not tweaked in some way. The paper is the outstanding Tomoe River from PaperForFountainPens.com. It might be unfair that it makes every ink and nib look good, but that’s hardly a complaint.

March is the month in which green ink invariably gets a twirl. This year it will be either J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage or Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku or possibly both. Now for the pen. Italic or flex? Which would you choose for green ink?

The ink colors could be more saturated and the paper is actually a warm white, but adjusting the scan might make it less honest. So no adjustments this time.

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Really Good Fountain Pens

01/02/2014

Comments and email queries often suggest subjects worthy of further exploration. Such was the case when a recent email cast my collection in the light of pens that hold up well and are worthy of recommendation. After restricting choices to pens that can be purchased online and whose nibs have not been modified, here are the models that made my list of

Really Good Fountain Pens

  • Platinum #3776 and #3776 Century – These pens rank at the top of my list. The build is slightly lighter than the Sailor pens I own, but that is good for my hand. No flow issues and the nibs are excellent. Someday I hope to get a medium for a real workhorse. It may not replace the #3776 music nib as my most used pen, but I would love to give it a shot at the top slot.
  • Lamy Safari and AL-Star – An entry-level pen that is one of my most durable and reliable writers. The extra-fine has been a staple here for years. I haven’t tried a fine or medium, but the broad might be a tad too wide and free-flowing for most people. The 1.1 mm can have an erratic flow, but the nibs are usually smooth. The nibs run a bit wider than most and they are quite stiff, but they are also easy to swap. Nibs come in stainless steel and black. The latter looks particularly sharp on a model with a black clip. Put one on a charcoal Safari to make a stealth model. Two of my Lamys have been so modified. The build is very good at the price which won’t matter if the oddly shaped section doesn’t fit your grip. My daughter and I found it to be comfortable after the initial sessions. The control afforded by the section shape is excellent and prevents slipping. That is a decided plus for me.
  • Pelikan M400 and M215 – These are very different pens, but equally well built. Both wrote well from the beginning. The M215 feels more sturdy, but it is a metal pen. I am extra careful with piston-fillers and run Noodler’s Eel ink through them from time to time to lubricate the plungers. The M400 was adjusted for extra flow several years ago and is now a terrific pen for long sessions.
  • Pilot Namiki Falcon – I have three of the resin model and that says a lot. The build is good and the section very comfortable for me. The nibs can be a tad scratchy, but a little use fixed that in one of mine. The other two were smooth from first use. The design is understated and puts the focus on what the nib can do. No flow issues with the supplied converter so the nib and feed are well matched.
  • Sailor 1911 and Sapporo – These pens have outstanding build quality. No flow issues and the converters are very well-suited to the nibs and feeds. My Sapporo is a fine nib and a nail. The 1911 is an extra-fine that is a bit soft. They are very different nibs, but both are very smooth.
  • Baoer Eight Horses – Not everyone has had the good luck I have had with a Baoer. However, I do have two that write remarkably well. This is a heavy pen, but well balanced. The build quality is excellent for the price. The converter even has a plastic ball to keep the ink flowing. I am not as thrilled with the Jinhao 750 which is made by the same company, but one of these days I’ll purchase a silver Eight Horses with a B nib if I can find one. That will make a full set.
  • Pilot Custom 742 – This one is a bit harder to recommend given my 742FA can be flow challenged. However, the build is excellent and the size perfect for me. I think it would be a terrific pen sporting a different nib. The FA is very smooth and does flex, but no ink so far has conquered the feed. There are five on my desk ready to take up the challenge so more testing is ahead. When I advance ink into the feed, it writes well enough with virtually no pressure. The slit is always inky, but this pen arrived used if not abused. Giving it the benefit of the doubt, I think it has an imperfect nib on an otherwise very nice pen.

The price range for these pens purchased new is $6 to over $300. Message boards are the best place to buy used, but eBay can be good for inexpensive pens like Lamy and Baoer depending on your risk tolerance level. If you want perfection, buy from a seller who tests the nib and who has a good reputation for standing by his wares. As careful as I am, one in four pens arrives in need of assistance. That really isn’t surprising considering how a tiny mistake in the nib can make a pen write poorly. Basically, don’t get your knickers in a twist if you get a stinker. It happens to all of us. Get help from the seller immediately. Most will make it right one way or another.

So that’s my list. Is there a pen you would recommend without reservation?

Really Good Fountain Pens

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