This review is by Kalina Wilson, who can also be found at geminica.com.
The Pelikano Fountain Pen has been around for 50 years as a sturdy, easy-to-use fountain pen aimed at school kids. Pelikan has redesigned the pen several times over the years; this version is new for 2010.
The Pelikano writes smooth and wet, gliding easily across the paper with ink flow that doesn't let up at any speed. Probably due to this abundant ink flow, the line width seems to depend largely on the surface.
On absorbent papers the width of the "fine" nib is similar to a Lamy Safari EF, but on non-absorbent papers (or sketching over watercolors, as shown above) the line gets quite broad.
As with previous designs, the Pelikano 2010 is available in a few nib sizes, colors, and customized for left-handed and right-handed writers. It currently retails for $18.40 at JetPens.
Like our friend the Pen Addict, I favor a fine line or else a variable line that is quite fine at its minimum width so this one is a bit broad for me. That said, the ease with which it lays down a whole lot of ink is quite alluring. I have no other fountain pen that will effortlessly fill an area with ink like this one will. The sketch to the right was made on a relatively absorbent paper, but it was still easy to get a thick, rich ink fill.
The grip on the pen feels very comfortable. Fingers naturally end up where they are intended to be. The body is lightweight and unobtrusive. The cap is not as unobtrusive; it doesn't feel like it is intended to be posted, and wobbles around on the end of the pen. I notice it a little, but it's not so bad that it stays on my mind while drawing.
The bright side of the cap is that it snaps closed very snugly over the nib. Between the cap and the design of the nib housing, this pen feels... safe. My fingers don't come into contact with the ink at all. There has been no ink leakage at all. Any time you have a large amount of ink in any pen in your bag, there is at least some small chance of disaster - but this pen feels quite secure.
The Pelikano takes international standard ink cartridges as well as a special long cartridge that appears to hold twice as much ink. I don't really like the way these cartridges connect to the pen - it takes a little pushing to get the cartridge to connect, and it's hard to be certain when it is all the way on. However, it is nice to know I could travel with this pen and have no problem finding extra cartridges. Between the easy-to-find cartridges, clean nib, and affordable price point as far as fountain pens go ($18.40), this would be a good choice for on-the-road sketching.
I do wish there weren't two holes in the bottom of the body because otherwise this would be a great choice for an eyedropper conversion. You can use a silicone sealant to close up those holes but personally I would never be able to trust the pen enough to travel with it after that. If you want to use your own inks, the other option is the cartridge converter ($5.50).
This pen was a pleasant surprise, despite the broad line. I'll probably fill it with black ink and use it in combination with a finer-tipped fountain pen to achieve two different line weights.
If you like a broader line or tend to have flow issues due to writing or drawing quickly, this pen could be a great match for you!