Pen/Ink/Paper Collecting Thread

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by Dr. Higgs, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Based on the number of audio/coffee/everything connoisseurs that visit this part of the internet, I would have to assume that there are a few other pen collectors lurking around in here.

    I'm interested to hear about everyone's favorite pen & ink combos, favorite types of paper/notebooks, and grail pens to watch out for.

    Here's my current rotation:

    [​IMG]

    Front to back, L to R:
    1. Massdrop Franklin Christoph Model 40 w/ J Herbin Eclat de Saphir
    2. Pilot Falcon w/ Noodlers General of the Armies
    3. Bungbox Sapphire Pilot Custom 91 w/ Noodler's Navy
    4. Lamy 2000 w/ Noodler's Heart of Darkness
    5. Franklin Christoph Vintage Green Model 03 w/ J Herbin Vert Empire
    6. Edison Collier (Black Rose Acrylic) w/ Diamine Oxblood
    7. Edison Beaumont (Black Ice Acrylic) w/ Diamine Asa Blue
    8. Bexley Gaston Custom (Woodgrain Ebonite) w/ J Herbin Emerald of Chivor
    9. (not pictured in back) Kaweco Liliput Fireblue w/ Noodler's 54th Massachusetts
    Today in the pocket is a Pilot Custom 823 demonstrator w/ Sailor Yama Dori and a Field Notes (Shenendoah Ed.) notebook:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    Oh man, they look so beautiful! :)
    I'm a total noob at this but I can't help liking fountain pens. I take that you are at least an enthusiast... so I would like to ask something out of curiosity.
    Is it the pen world anything like the audio world? Are there fanboys in forum? Are there super overpriced pens and bargain pens? Do people fight about the quality of ink? Will you be insulted using a kind of paper rather than one other? Are there people saying "all you need is a bic roller, they all write the same shit, you can't see difference with your human sight in the writing"?
    Please give me hope there is a better world outside.

    However, you got me curious... is there a web resource that you would advise to acquire initial knowledge?

    Thank you.
     
  3. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    I think the social dynamics of the pen world are very similar to the audio world (I think it's pretty similar across all enthusiast hobbies IMO). Pricing is always relative, but I think Montblanc & Pelikan pens are poor value unless you're really into the aesthetic. There's also some elitism/confirmation bias to contend with when comparing "jewelry" pens to more common pens for daily use. I've been on a Franklin-Christoph kick lately since they make a lot of limited collectible models in their "Stock Room" page, actively stock custom ground nibs from Mike Masuyama (who's one of the most renowned nibmeister's around), and they're fairly affordable for collectible fountain pens made in the USA. For a starter fountain pen, I would recommend anything from the Pilot line (especially the Metropolitan).

    Some people swear by particular ink brands, and write off some completely (like Noodler's) due to politics or ink characteristics. I don't think I've ever used a "bad" ink before, but the cost can vary greatly so you always have to factor in the price/performance ratio when comparing between inks. People praise the Pilot Iroshizuku inks, but I'm not a fan of the shades and it's quite expensive. Sailor inks tend to be on the expensive side as well, but I like the performance & colors much more than the Pilot range. I use Diamine & Noodlers the most due to the huge variety & lower cost.

    Most common notebook/printer paper doesn't work as well with fountain pens since it tends to promote bleeding/feathering much more, so smoother paper like Rhodia is almost a necessity to get the best performance & writing experience out of most fountain pens IMO. Depending on the ink & flow of the nib, you can still get decent performance out of common paper in most cases.

    I still use ballpoints/rollerballs all the time, and they're extremely versatile & perform really well. The Karas Kustoms & the Tactile Turn pens that use the Pilot G2/Juice refills are excellent due to the performance, color/material variety, and cost/variety of refills.

    I would recommend checking out the website & podcast at www.penaddict.com to get started, there's some really good info & impressions on there ranging from entry level to extremely rare stuff.
     
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  4. cizx

    cizx Friend

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    I'd just started with a Lamy 2000 when I got an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Thankfully that put a halt on my pen collecting.
    But I do like the J Herbin ink with the sparkles in it.
     
  5. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    You made me feel the scent ok ink reading the above post. Thanks for the info. I'll get into it.
     
  6. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Since you're in Italy, you probably have great access to awesome Delta & Visconti pens. I would pick up one of the Visconti Homo Sapiens series in a heartbeat if I could stomach the price (especially since they're made of real lava!!!)
     
  7. Vastx

    Vastx Almost "Made"

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    Er... wow... beautiful pen... but the price! Oh my, I can't afford this, not after having pulled the trigger on a Gungnir Multibit+val2 3 days ago. Lava is pretty common where I live. Boardwalks, countryside walls and a lot of streets are made\paved with lava. I live near a volcano. But that pen you mentioned really looks wonderful:
    http://www.lastilograficamilano.it/...-visconti-homo-sapiens-dark-age-stilografica-
     
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  8. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Not ink, but Rotring Rapid Pro (0.5mm of course) is one of the best mech pencils I've had the pleasure of using.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Maybe I should update the title to include pencils too haha, I'm a big Uni Kuru Toga fan. I got some Palomino Blackwings for the first time a few weeks ago, and they're pretty nice but overpriced IMO (probably great for artists though).
     
  10. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    Writing is one of my favorite hobbies. Here is my newest combo, a large Eboya Kyokua filled with Noodler's X-Feather and a Horween Natural CXL faux-dori with Tomoe River paper notebooks. They both live full time in my pocket.

    IMG_0065(1).JPG

    I have a ridiculous number of other inks and 4-5 more pens, but these are the ones I keep inked up in a regular rotation:
    1. Sailor 1911 black w/ gold - KWZ iron gall blue #1
    2. Sailor Pro Gear black w/silver - KWZ iron gall orange
    3. Pelikan M200 white/silver - Noodler's Apache Sunset
    4. OMAS Milord burgundy/ruthenium - KWZ grey plum

    KWZ inks are my favorite right now. I met the maker at a local pen show and he was a super cool guy. Out of the stuff that is readily available I like Noodler's and Diamine, though I prefer the permanence of Noodler's. I also have a bunch of Rhodia Notebooks, a Hobonichi Techo journal, and a variety of other brands I will try out from time to time.

    There is a certain amount of elitism with fountain pen's, people go crazy for expensive things like gold nibs or piston fillers, but I think it is more about collecting than the audio community is, which leads to a different type of crazy.

    After writing with fountain pens I have a hard time going back to regular ball points. Fountain pens aren't inherently superior, but the lower writing angle required by fountain pens doesn't work very well with ball points. If you spend wisely fountain pens could be cheaper than buying ballpoints. A Lamy safari and a bottle of Noodler's Bulletproof black for ~$40 will last you easily 3-4 years.
     
  11. Dr. Higgs

    Dr. Higgs Boson - Member

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    Wow, beautiful combo Stapsy. I just looked up some samples of the KWZ ink, and I really like the look of IG Blue #6. Going to have to pick some up soon. Have you had any cleaning/corrosion issues with their iron gall inks?

    I really like the Kaweco Sport line for cheap dependable pens too, but you're limited to cartridges (or refilling cartridges w/ a syringe). I think the Monteverde mini converters might work but I've never tried them (and the kaweco aerometric converter is pretty bad IMO).
     
  12. cizx

    cizx Friend

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    this site really is like a Massdrop fansite. :)
    That pen looks amazing, Stapsy.
     
  13. Tim Thomas

    Tim Thomas Friend

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  14. Cryptowolf

    Cryptowolf Repping Chi Town - Friend

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    Thanks for the head's up on the new grid paper. I just bought two.

    I'm also an avid fountain pen user. Today in rotation I have the following:

    Waterman Carene Fine with Waterman black ink
    Edison Pearlette XF with Noodler's X-feather for the awful copy paper at the office
    Visconti Manhattan Rollerball for forms
     
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  15. Smitty

    Smitty Too good for bad vodka - Friend

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    I use a Pilot Metropolitan with Noodler's blue-black ink, and I use Apica notebooks. If I'm using loose leaf paper, I use some stuff I order from the French Paper company (can't remember the weight of that stuff, but it works great).
     
  16. Stapsy

    Stapsy Friend

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    I haven't had any issues with the iron gall inks. The ones I have are quite thin with excellent flow, but a tried out a ton and they all had very similar properties that make them a joy to use. The thing I like most though is how they become darker as they dry. The IG orange starts out bright orange and ends up a dark brown as the Iron Gall reacts to the paper. It is strangely satisfying to watch. Even if you are hesitant to try an IG, the regular KWZ inks are just as good.

    A couple of general IG rules. Use gold nibs to avoid corrosion and don't leave the pen uncapped for an extended period of time (probably a good general rule for any pen). Other than that I would use the pen at least once every couple of weeks.
     
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  17. Bobcat

    Bobcat Friend

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    Sorry for the poor cell phone picture :)

    Sailor sterling silver Pharaohs model with hand made gold nib.

    Rob
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    In France fountain pens aren't considered an elitist item but just an alternative to ballpoint pens. Go to any super market and in the stationary/writing section you will see a bunch of fountain pens priced from 2€ - 15€. That's not to say specialty luxury pens don't exist, but it doesn't have the perception of being exclusively a luxury item like in the US. For the past 10 years I have been using a blue Waterman Kulture that I bought in France for 12€.

    http://www.amazon.com/Waterman-Kultur-Phileas-Translucent-Fountain/dp/B0037OY782

    I have always been happy with my one pen, but fucking massdrop had to infect me with the pen bug just like I have with audio. I always used cartridges but after seeing the variety of bottled inks I have decided to get a piston loading pen. The pens by TWSBI look really good, especially the 580AL series. Right now they have a limited edition green 580AL and I had to jump on it because it was so sexy.

    http://www.twsbi.com/collections/fountain-pens/products/twsbi-diamond-580al-green-fountain-pen

    There is also a pretty good deal on massdrop right now on a two pack of Pilot Metropolitan Retro pens. Two for $26. Comes with a squeeze converter too so you can use bottled ink right away.

    The good thing is that I caught this bug while I am still living in France. Turns out a bunch of brands (J. Herbin, Waterman, Pelikan, Lamy, etc.) are based in Europe and ink prices are substantially cheaper here than in the USA. Literally half the price. Same goes for paper since Clairefontaine, Rhodia, Leuchtturm1917, Moleskine, etc; are based here as well. At the supermarkets I can also buy an A5 Rhodia webnotebook in any color I want for 9€. I just bought a Leuchtturm1917 A5 bicolor which is going to be what I use to work out math/science problems while away from lab. I like to use a grid/graph pattern for A4 sized paper and leave it blank for A5 and below. For pencils I like using a Pentel mechanical with a Staedtler eraser since the one on the Pentel is garbage.

    http://www.amazon.com/Leuchtturm1917-Notebook-Medium-Bicolore-Chocolate/dp/B009E0ROBU/
    http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Mechanical-Pencil-Barrel-P207C/dp/B002XJX968
    http://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Mars-Plastic-Erasers-52650BK4/dp/B00006IFAN

    When I get a bit more in savings I plan on getting a few bottles of Pelikan Edelstein ink. My cost-no-object jewlery pen I would like to get is a handmade Pilot Maki-e Namiki. They are just so damn beautiful. I haven't really encountered a truly crappy fountain pen so I am not ashamed to say that my #1 criteria when buying a pen in looks.

    http://www.pilot-namiki.com/en/

    Even though I love writing paraphernalia, I have to say that Evernote has changed my life. The searchability just trumps handwritten notes any day. I have a huge stack of notebooks from undergrad and graduate school that I never looked at again since writing down the notes. Looking up what I needed in the textbook was always better than my own notes. That being said if I had to do it again I would still handwrite my notes. For one I majored in physics and typing out formulas and equations is a huge pain. Another reason is that there is a lot of research that says handwriting engages a different part of the brain then typing and helps you to retain a lot of information. My plan now is to scan my math/physics notes into Evernote which gives me the best of both worlds. In the future a Surface Pro or an iPad Pro with a stylus might change this for me and allow me to write formulas directly into Evernote. As an excuse to write more I have decided to increase my postcard output to my friends and family. One new thing that I am doing is that before I go on vacation somewhere I plan to buy a notebook just for that trip. Then everyday I will write a journal entry on what I did that day. That way I have a journal I can go back to and remember details I would normally forget.

    I think this is a good guide that lets you know what you can expect at different price levels.

    https://www.bestfountainpen.com/top-5-best-fountain-pens-by-price/

    GouletPens.com has a channel on youtube that answers a bunch of questions as well.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheInkNouveau

    While fountain pens may seem more expensive than disposable pens, in the long run it should be more economical. First you aren't throwing away pens all the time. Second, the price of ink in bottles is much less per milliliter then ink in prefilled disposables. You also get huge freedom when it comes to using colors that just aren't available with ballpoint pens. Fountain pens don't need to be pressed as hard as ballpoint pens for writing which reduces strain.

    That's not to say there isn't a bunch of downsides. There is more maintenance, ink can leak everywhere and it's more fragile. But for people like me, it's worth the trade off.

    Man that was a long post. I don't make a habit of taking pics of my pens, so I don't have anything to upload. But I will try to post some soonish.
     
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  19. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    So im not as much of a pen guy as some of you, but I will say that the other day I was poking around on Wirecutter randomly, and came across their pen article, and i read it, and i guess the pens me(and basically everyone else too) have been using, the G2, isn't that great, like its better than the typical ballpoint, but nothing special.

    So i bought several of the Uni Jetstreams that they did recommend and I really did notice a big difference like they write so much smoother, and just feel much better. I also bought the notebooks they recommended, the Black n Red ones and that paper is pretty awesome as well. then I did a bit more research since the body is kind of not that great, and I bought a Pentel Energel body to put the Jetstream RT refills in, and i really like that combination for not that much money. Feels much more solid now than the regular Jetstream RT body.

    Overall, I'm happy I dipped my toe into this, but Im not sure I'll ever jump into the whole pool.
     
  20. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    For you Rhodia fans IMG_0134.JPG
     
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