Posts filed under Lamy

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review

There are few pens that match the iconic design of the Lamy 2000. That's a bold statement, but this is a pen that's included in the Museum of Modern Art.

It's not uncommon to hear negative thoughts on the 2000 because of it's finicky nib. It seems Lamy have a quality control issue with this model, because it happens far too often. Yes, I'm starting this off with the negative aspect first because I want to get it out of the way.

Full disclaimer: the Lamy 2000 that I bought had a problematic nib out of the box. It wrote, but it wasn't smooth and it wasn't enjoyable. It caused anxiety and frustration more often than good feelings. With a pen that looks so awesome (and cost this much), you expect it to write with 100% consistency.

I bought my 2000 before the 2014 Atlanta Pen Show. I did this on purpose so that I could bring it along in case it had a bum nib. I'm glad I made that choice, because it did have a bum nib, and I was able to have Mike Masuyama fix it for me. If I didn't end up going to the show, I would've sent it off to a nib meister shortly after receiving it.

I love my Lamy 2000, and I think it's a great pen. But, if you buy one, it might be wise to set aside a little bit of money for nib work – just in case. That's my advice, but I really hope that the pen you buy is perfect right out of the box.

Now, on to the good stuff about this pen.

Looks

Not to be superficial, but I kind of think other pens are jealous of how hot this pen is. I know that's just personal preference, but I'm smitten.

The Lamy 2000 is unique. There isn't another pen like it in design. It's sleek, modern, and welcoming at the same time. It looks like a pen meant to write, but classy at the same time. It works with casual and dress clothes splendidly. It always gets comments out in the wild.

One of my favorite aspects of the pen is the grip and nib section. The nib is hooded, and looks very small since most of it is hidden beneath the metal grip. Now, I'm no expert in metals, but I think the grip is stainless steel. Whatever it is, it feels fantastic to hold.

The body is made of Makrolon, a form of fiberglass. It looks unique, but it also feels unique. It's a subtle difference, but I always notice it. After you write for a while, the body warms up as it rests on your hand. When writing, my fingers rest on the stainless steel grip and the body rests on my hand. I've written with this pen over numerous long writing sessions, and it never got uncomfortable. It's a great material, and well-balanced in the hand.

I normally write with this pen unposted, but it also feels well-balanced when posted.

The pen is a piston filler, and the piston section is so flush with the rest of the pen body, that it's often easy to miss. I love this aspect of the design. It makes the pen look like a solid, single piece.

Another fascinating design feature is the ink window. Toward the grip section of the barrel, some of the Makrolon is thin enough to let light through so you can see (roughly) how much ink is left. This is nothing similar to a demonstrator body – it's in no way completely transparent, but it does allow you to keep an eye on your ink level. It's a great feature.

Writing

Ah, the writing. At the start, the nib was inconsistent with ink flow, and it tended to stick to the page a bit. It's hard to describe, but it was dry and seems to be held to the page with some sort of really mild adhesive. Despite cleaning the pen numerous times, this didn't go away. I took it to Mike Masuyama in April, and he smoothed it out and increased the flow. Now it writes like a dream.

This is my first gold Lamy nib, and it's not dramatically different from the steel nibs, but I do notice it every now and then. There's more give in the gold nib compared to a steel nib.

Even after being adjusted, the nib still requires a fairly strict angle of attack on the page. I've grown used to this unique aspect of the pen, and after a few sentences, I don't even have to think about it.

As I said earlier, I love writing with this pen, and that's really all that matters. I'm really happy with the work Mike did on the nib, and I hope that everyone who owns or purchases one of these little beauties has a good nib to begin with or a good nib meister that can help.

Overall, I recommend the Lamy 2000. I've heard that some vendors will check the nib before they ship the pen to you – if you ask them to. Sure, you might get a bum nib, and I don't think that's right considering the price tag. That considered, a well-writing Lamy 2000 is a glorious thing. I think it's worth the risk.

I personally bought a fine nib model, but they have extra fine, medium, and bold as well. I'm tempted to have Mike put a cursive italic on it next time, but we'll see.

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

Posted on August 6, 2014 and filed under Pen Reviews, Lamy, Fountain Pens.

Lamy Tipo Review

The Lamy Tipo is one of Lamy's more unique takes on the rollerball refill version of their products. There are rollerball models of the Safari, Vista, and even the 2000, but I think the Tipo looks the most unique of all of them. And, it's also the most affordable. At less than $11, you have to wonder how it compares to the Retro 51 and Schmidt refills.

Well, the Tipo doesn't beat the Retro 51 and Schmidt refills, but it's still a great, quirky pen with a decent refill.

Simple design

The Tipo doesn't have a knock like most retractable pens. Like the Retro 51, it uses an alternate system to extend and retract the refill. The Retro 51 uses a twist mechanism, which lots of other pens also use. They're smooth and sure.

I'm guessing that the typical rollerball refills don't work well with a clicky knock system, but I really don't know. In Lamy's case, they went with a unique catch system that uses the clip and barrel to keep the refill extended. There's a small hole in the body, and an inversely shaped knob on the end of the clip that fits perfectly into the hole when the clip is pressed down.

It's novel, but it needs work in my opinion. It feels cheap and it doesn't breed confidence in me when I use it. Many, many times I've wondered if it's going to stay when I start writing, and I've also missed the catch several times if I'm trying to click it quickly. When extending the refill with this pen, you have to be slow and deliberate to be sure it catches. I'm being a bit dramatic to make a point. In all honesty, it catches perfectly about 95% of the time. But it just doesn't make me feel sure most of the time.

The grip on the pen is fantastic for me. It's textured with shallow grooves and has a nice width. The pen is light, with more of the weight gathering toward the tip, which makes for a pleasant writing experience.

One of the most unique aspects of the Tipo is the variety of barrel colors available. White, black, pink, orange, and turquoise. They all look vibrant in the photos, and the white one I have is no let-down. On all colors, the grip, tip section, and clip are all black.

There's a small, tasteful Lamy logo on the top of the barrel parallel to the clip. It's a nice way to brand an otherwise mysterious looking pen.

Another gripe I have with the pen is the design of the top (butt?) of the pen. It looks unfinished. There are two small holes and nothing else. It looks like some decorative piece was once attached, but fell off at some point. It would be cool to see a plastic screw on the top, similar to the Safari and Vista caps. But, that's not really a big deal. The pen still has a really clean, pleasing design. Besides, at $11 I can't really complain too much about it missing decorative elements. Get a Safari already, right? I know.

An additional delightful little detail is the packaging of the pen. It's futuristic and difficult to explain, so check out the picture:

Lamy Tipo Packaging.jpg

Writing experience

Ah, the refill. Possibly the most important aspect of the pen. Short story: it does a good job of writing. It's smooth, dark, and mostly consistent. And that's the reason it doesn't get a perfect score. It tends to skip or go a little faint every now and then. Not enough to cause any frustration, but enough to knock it down a little.

Seriously, it's a good refill and I'd like to try some more just to make sure I didn't get a one off skippy refill. The refill is half the cost of the pen, so I'd expect the quality assurance to be fairly high, but that's probably a little too optimistic.

On the plus side, you have a choice of 4 colors: black, blue, red, and green.

The line is a tiny, tiny bit thicker than the default Schmidt refill that comes with the Retro 51. So, a 0.7mm refill that seems to contain a good amount of ink in the reservoir.

A point that really makes the Tipo an even greater value is the fact that it can take G2 size refills. That opens up another world of possibilities if you aren't happy with the refill that ships with the pen. Of course, you can also trim other refills that are similar to the G2. I personally use the Pilot Juice refills instead of the G2, and the Tipo body is a lot more interesting and attractive than the Juice body. Score.

Wrap up

The Lamy Tipo is a great little pen with a unique, quirky personality. It doesn't make waves with the refill, but it provides a compelling value and looks great while doing it. If you're like me and have an urge to try every rollerball out there, don't leave this one out.

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

Posted on May 28, 2014 and filed under Lamy, Tipo, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Pico Review

The additon of a Lamy Pico to my writing arsenal has been a long time coming. Like since I started the blog in 2007 long. It is a wonderful Lamy design that no one has been able to match but I always wondered: Would I like it?

What makes the Pico unique is its deployment mechanism. When retracted, the cylindrical, compact barrel measures only 3.75 inches long, but when extended into the writing position it hits a nearly full-sized 5 inches in length. The knock is visually integrated into the barrel perfectly and there is no clip, so this portable powerhouse is able to slide into any pocket with ease. The Lamy badge on the barrel serves as a roll-stopper in lieu of a clip to keep your pen from rolling away.

The refill is the proprietary Lamy M22, which could be a sticking point for some people. It ships with the black 0.7 mm as the default, but I swapped it immediately for the 0.5 mm blue refill and love the output. It lays down a clean, fine line and is smooth as well. It is a traditional ballpoint so I can't really ask for much more performance wise.

I went with the white barrel for something different, but every option in the Pico lineup looks as good as the next. Quite honestly, this is close to the perfect every day carry ballpoint. I love the build quality, how the rounded ends slide right into my jeans front pocket, and how slick the knock mechanism works. I wish I would have bought the Lamy Pico years ago.

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

Posted on May 19, 2014 and filed under Pico, Pen Reviews, 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.