Posts filed under Lamy

Lamy Studio Steel Nib Fountain Pen Review

Unlike a lot of people, my first fountain pen wasn't a Lamy. I didn't try one out until my third fountain pen, after a Sailor and Kaweco. My first Lamy was a Lamy Vista with a fine nib, and it's a great pen. Since then, I've bought more pens by Lamy and have been very happy with them. The Studio follows that line of customer delight.

The Studio is somewhere between the (relatively) inexpensive Safaris and AL Stars and the timeless 2000. At less than $90, it's not a scary jump into the more costly pens, and you already know if you'll like the nib since they use the same ones.

Keep in mind that I'm reviewing the steel nib version of the pen here. Brad reviewed the gold nib version a few weeks ago, which is about twice the price.

Look and feel

First things first. Personally, I think this is a really attractive pen. I love the sleek matte finish and the polished grip section and accents. I've said it before, but I really have a soft spot for aluminum bodies, and the Studio does a great job using the metal.

I've heard people complain that the grip section is slippery because it's so smooth. There's absolutely no texture to it. I don't have a problem with the way it feels. I think it's quite comfortable, but that's just me. I do get annoyed with all of the fingerprints, though. Being a polished metal, it attracts fingerprints like pen addicts to open inkwells. That's a minor annoyance that's easily solved with a quick wipe down.

My other major complaint is with the clip. It looks really nice and sports a unique design, but it fails to serve its real purpose with any ease. It's an extremely tight clip and has been difficult with every sort of object I've tried to clip it to. Whether it's my shirt pocket, a Nock case, the front cover of a Field Notes book...it resists with an ornery stubbornness. I usually have to move the clip to the side a bit to provide a tad more room for the object to slip between the clip and the cap body. Fine. I can live with that, but there's a downside to that method as well. Sliding the clip across the cap creates a mark in the matte finish. Major bummer, but not a deal-breaker. Just be aware.

Apart from those two annoyances, this is a great pen. It feels great in my hand, has a solid but useable weight, and catches quite a few compliments. The cap posts very sturdily with a satisfying click so you know it's ready.

It's sleek, black, and understated.

Writing experience

Like every other Lamy I've used, this pen writes like a champ. Excellent flow and smooth writing right out of the box. The Studio comes with a converter (unlike other Lamys in the lower price range) that holds the same amount of ink as the regular Lamy converter. The converter included is the silver and black Z26, which I'm thinking of swapping out to use in my Vista.

One issue I've had so far is that there's quite a bit of nib creep with this particular pen. I've never seen this issue with other Lamys (not as much), so I'm wondering if it has something to do with the capping system. I'm not sure what it is, but it doesn't hinder the writing experience.

I've used this pen for long writing sessions, and it doesn't create any fatigue and it remains comfortable the entire time. It's an absolute joy to write with.

If you're a Lamy fan, this is definitely a great addition to your collection. Apart from the sultry black, there's a very refined royal blue that looks equally as classy. JetPens only offer a fine and extra fine nib with the Studio, but you can swap the nib out with any Safari nib.

(You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution, Twitter, and App.net.)

Posted on April 16, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review

I've had Lamy Studio envy since I saw Office Supply Geek's lovely Instagram photo of his blue barrel model back in December. I decided this was it and headed over to JetPens to pick up the exact same steel nib model. Who am I to argue with good taste? I hit the page, then had a "Squirrel!" moment. 14k nib? Yes please.

The only other 14k Lamy nib I own is on my Lamy 2000, and it is of the hooded variety. I thought I would give the full-sized 14k nib in the Lamy Studio a shot to see if there was any difference. If you recall my experience with the 2000 I felt it needed some nib work to get it where I wanted it. As fate would have it, I had to go the same route with the Studio.

There was nothing wrong with the Studio's performance right out of the box except the EF line was too wide and too wet. Much more than I expected from an EF nib, even a German one. One of the reasons may be that the 14k Studio nib has some flex to it. I'm used to stiff Japanese nibs and this one is very different. I liked it a lot, but something had to be done about the line width.

Enter Shawn Newton.

My enabler Thomas has a few of Shawn's pens, and recently has used Shawn for some nib work and spoke very highly of his talents. When Thomas says "Jump!" I say "How high?" so a week or two later I had my Studio headed Shawn's way to turn the German EF nib into a Japanese F nib. Not a huge change but more in my wheelhouse. The results were fantastic. The line is clean and smooth and right where I wanted it to be. I can't recommend Shawn's services higly enough. Contact him if you are in the market for nib work. (Full disclosure: Shawn provided his services at no charge for this pen as a trial run and I paid full freight for a second I had him work on.)

Back to the Studio itself...it is a fantastic pen. The barrel design is what originally sold me, and as usual, Lamy nailed this one. The stainless steel grey-lacquered barrel is sleek with slight tapers on each end with a chrome clip, grip, and end caps. I was curious how slick the grip would be and I found it to not be an issue. The slight natural tackiness of my fingers held well, although I left plenty of fingerprints behind. Not crime scene friendly.

And that clip - wow. Sometimes the simplest little feature grabs me and won't let go and with the Studio it is the clip. The paddle design is unique even among Lamy's other highly engineered offereings, and might be their best.

So after all of the praise I have heaped would I recommend this pen? I'm 0-for-2 with Lamy's gold nibs. Whether that is the manufacturers fault or my pickiness (I think it is one of each in my case) you should understand that the nib may not be perfection when you first ink it up. Some will argue that for a pen this price it should perfect out the gate, and that is fair. For me, a little extra work gave me a pen even more suited to me than when it first arrived.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on February 10, 2014 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Blue Ink Review

Lamy Blue1.jpg

There is no such thing as the perfect blue ink. Some blue inks come pretty close to perfection, but you'll have a need or a desire to try others. It comes with the territory.

I was recently on a crusade to find a favorite blue ink for my fountain pens. I was naive enough to believe that I could settle on just one ink. Now I know better. I ordered many samples from Goulet Pens and had an absolute blast trying them all out. It didn't take long before I realized that I wouldn't be able to settle, and I might be better off just owning all of them. That makes sense, right?

It was through this blue ink voyage that I realized I had never even tried a particular blue ink of which I had several cartridges lying around. Lamy fountain pens generally come with a blue cartridge, but I had never once tried one. I guess I thought it was a "freebie" and it wouldn't be worth trying. When I got around to trying it, I was very pleased to be so wrong.

Lamy Blue Bottle.jpg

There's nothing particularly special about this blue, but it's a very steadfast and dependable ink. It won't turn heads and garner complements. It's well-behaved and predictable. In my mind, I think of it as my default, professional blue. And while that might sound boring, it's also a very high complement. Each ink has a purpose, and this one fills a very specific need.

I bought a bottle of Lamy Blue from JetPens on a whim. I was intrigued by the bottle and the tape attached to the bottom, and I knew I didn't want another bottle of black ink, so blue it was!

The bottle is larger than I expected. 50 ml is the same size as my Iroshizuku ink, but the Lamy bottle is larger in order to accommodate the roll of tape on the base. As you'd expect, the bottle works great for filling pens. What more can I say? What I find interesting is the blotter tape. This is extremely handy for cleaning up a pen after filling it. The tape has two sides: an absorbent side and a water-proof side. The absorbent side does an excellent job of soaking up any ink droplets on the pen, while the water-proof side prevents the ink from soaking through to your fingers. You can clean up the pen without staining your fingers!

Lamy Blue Blotter Tape.jpg

I've found myself reaching for this tape when I fill pens with other inks, just because it makes the clean-up so much easier than using a tissue or paper towel. I can never manage to fill a pen without getting some ink on my fingers, but maybe I'm just clumsy.

Overall, this is a great everyday ink and the blotter tape is a very useful bonus.

Lamy Blue Close.jpg
Posted on November 13, 2013 and filed under Ink Reviews, Lamy.

Lamy 2000 Review

Lamy 2000

My history with the Lamy 2000 is long and sordid. I was fascinated by this pen like so many fountain pen users are, but once I got the 2000 in my hand that fascination turned into frustration. This is supposedly one of the greatest fountain pens of all time - why did I want to break it over my knee?

As it turns out, the answer was simple. Getting to that answer, however, was a longer process than it would have been for someone more experienced with fountain pens than I was at the time. Hopefully I can shorten that cycle for anyone else considering purchasing a Lamy 2000.

Despite the fact it has been well over a year since I first opened the box containing my Lamy 2000, I still remember my first reaction to picking it up: Holy amazeballs! The only other pen in its price range that I owned and could compare it to was the Pilot Vanishing Point, and the 2000 was a completely different experience.

Lamy 2000

Since owning the Lamy 2000, the word Makrolon is now an official part of my vocabulary. Makrolon is the fiberglass-type material that the 2000 barrel is made of, and it is fantastic. It is lightweight, yet sturdy, warms to the touch, and feels great in the hand. Did I mention beautiful? That too, especially for someone who likes minimally styled pens like myself.

The inking system for the 2000 is a piston filler and is integrated flawlessly. In fact, if you were unaware of the mechanism, you would be hard pressed to see the seam at the end of the pen. It moves smoothly when engaged and pulls in ink with ease.

Where I ran into trouble with my 2000 was with the nib. It is a 14k gold hooded nib that is integrated perfectly into the barrel. As soon as I inked it up the first time I enjoyed how it wrote but noticed quickly that I was having trouble with some of my strokes. I felt the nib was sticking to the page, which caused skipping in the line. The thing was, it wasn't unusable. It was a very minor issue.

Lamy 2000

I went through several cleanings and different inks to see if the writing performance would improve. It didn't, so off to the internet I went. After only a minute of searching I found a common theme: Lamy 2000 nibs are notoriously inconsistent out of the box. Unfortunately for me, I had found a bad one.

The refrain I heard was to send it to a nibmeister to get it fixed. The issue at the time was I had never done that before, and was nervous about doing so. I put it off, my 2000 collected dust despite how badly I wanted to use it, and I pouted. I did formulate a plan though. The Atlanta Pen Show was going to be my savior.

Getting my Lamy 2000 nib fixed at the pen show was the number one item on my list. I made an appointment with Mike Masuyama, and when I sat down with him and handed him the pen he noticed the problem immediately: the right tine was longer than the left.

Lamy 2000

This is nothing I would have noticed on my own, so letting an expert handle it was the best route. Not only did he even the tines and smooth it, I had him grind it down to a Japanese EF size - around 0.2 mm. My Lamy 2000 is now usable!

Not only is it usable, it is one of the best pens I own, if not the best. In the time since I bought my 2000 I have bought a dozen or more very nice fountain pens and it is a contender for the best of them all. I get asked "Pilot Vanishing Point or Lamy 2000" often and now the answer is clear: Lamy 2000.

What did I learn through this experience? Even though I spent a good amount of money on a pen and the expectation is it should be perfect out of the box, it often times isn't. This isn't just a Lamy 2000 issue by the way. It can happen to any pen, and spending $30 or so to have a professional look at it and smooth it is money well spent. I have sent many pens to Mr. Masuyama since, and each time they return better than before.

The Lamy 2000 is an iconic pen, and I wanted to share my personal experience with it. There are many things I didn't touch on in this review, so be sure to check out some of these wonderful posts to learn more about the Lamy 2000:

-- Lamy 2000 Review (Pen and Design)

-- Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen (Ed Jelley)

-- Icon: Lamy 2000 (Makrolon) (From the Pen Cup)

-- Lamy 2000 – The Awesome Review (FPGeeks)

-- Lamy 2000 And The Origins Of Lamy Design (The Fountain Pen Network)

Lamy 2000

Posted on August 19, 2013 and filed under Fountain Pens, Lamy, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Safari 2013 Neon Yellow Limited Edition Winner

The Lamy Safari is always a popular giveaway pen for pros and novices alike. There is something about the design and feel of the Safari that works for many people, and it doesn't hurt that Lamy puts out a limited edition each year. The winner of the 2013 Neon Yellow Limited Edition is:

Lamy Neon Winner.JPG

Congrats Karen! Please reach out to me via the Contact Page and I will coordinate delivery. And be sure not to hurt yourself when it arrives....

Posted on June 14, 2013 and filed under Lamy, Giveaways, Safari.