Posts filed under Lamy

Lamy Studio Racing Green Fountain Pen Review

Lamy Studio Racing Green

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

The Lamy Studio is one of those $80-$100 fountain pens that doesn't get enough attention for the value it provides. I wrote about the steel nib Studio back in 2014, and everything still holds true. The clip still irritates me, even though I like how it looks. And, the Studio is still a great value and a classy pen.

At the end of 2017, Lamy released a special edition of this pen: Racing Green. Unfortunately, the pen sold out very quickly, and you can no longer buy it from retailers. If you want this pen, you have to find someone willing to part with their own. While this isn't impossible, it's not exactly easy and it's certainly something that Lamy could fix by offering Racing Green as a standard color. In a lineup that currently offers a measly two colors at the sub-$100 level, it desperately needs some variety. I wish that Lamy would make this happen, but who knows what they'll end up doing with this line.

Lamy Studio Racing Green Review

Regardless of the color, the Studio is an excellent pen. The Racing Green edition is exactly the same as the standard $80 pen, save the exterior color. The color is a dark green with subdued metallic flakes that you can just make out in direct, bright light. When you glance at it quickly, you might mistake it for a black pen. And that's part of the reason I love this color. Similar to a green-black ink (or any half-black ink, really), there's a depth of color that's fascinating to discover and admire.

Apart from the special edition color, this is the same pen you can purchase today with a steel nib. There's also a gold nib available, but it costs roughly twice as much. At that price range, my suggestion is to go for the Lamy 2000.

Lamy Studio Racing Green Nib

The Studio has a bit of heft, but not so much to make it difficult to handle. I imagine the inside of the pen is made of brass, which would account for the weight. When writing, it's very comfortable and not fatiguing. The grip section is a polished metal that picks up fingerprints quickly, but it's comfortable to use and easy to clean. If you don't enjoy smooth grip sections, this pen likely isn't for you. If your fingers have any moisture on them, this pen will become slippery. For most indoor writing situations, this shouldn't be a problem.

Lamy Studio Racing Green Barrel

The EF nib on this unit is exceptionally smooth, and I've really enjoyed using it. The nibs used on the Studio are the same nibs you find on the Safari and AL-Star, making it easy to swap out for other sizes. The pen also includes a converter along with the standard blue cartridge, making it easy to pick your own ink right out of the box. The flow from the nib is smooth and plentiful without being too wet. I've been really pleased with the performance of this pen.

It's a shame that Lamy released Racing Green as a limited edition. I would love to see it offered alongside the standard black and Imperial Blue pens available year-round. If you're interested in finding one of these pens, your best bet is checking out the used markets and pen shows. But, if you're interested in the Lamy Studio, you can't go wrong with the standard colors.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

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Lamy Studio Racing Green Fountain Pen
Posted on June 6, 2018 and filed under Lamy, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Review

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Back in 2012, I was just beginning to develop an interest in fountain pens and the plethora of options that come along with this versatile writing instrument. Toward the beginning of that slippery slope, the Lamy Vista fountain pen found its way to me. It wasn’t the first or second pen I bought, but it was definitely in the first five. That being said, the Vista has always had a special place in my collection.

Lamy Vista

Like so many of Lamy’s products, it’s available in several different versions. While the Lamy Vista fountain pen was my intro to this product, I recently picked up a ballpoint version. While my first thought is that the ballpoint pen is "less than" the fountain pen version, I soon realized that my assumption was way off-base. The Lamy Vista ballpoint is a fantastic ballpoint pen that echoes the quality feel of its fountain pen cousin.

Lamy Vista Ballpoint

On the outside, the Vista ballpoint looks similar enough to the flagship fountain pen version, but there are some noticeable differences that pop out. For one, this is a retractable pen, so there is no cap. Instead, there’s a funny looking click mechanism on top that is covered by a soft, flexible rubbery material—and it’s so much fun to press. The nock mechanism has an incredibly satisfying sound, and the spring requires a decent amount of pressure to operate the click mechanism. You will not accidentally extend or retract this pen.

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Grip

Like the Vista, Safari, and AL-Star pens, the Vista ballpoint also has a contoured grip section. While not as aggressive as the capped fountain pen variants, the finger positions are the same and will likely divide people based on opinions in the same way. I like the feel of the grip, but I use a "standard" three finger grip when writing. Your mileage may vary due to this opinionated design choice, but it’s nothing new for the brand.

The clip on the ballpoint pen is a bit shorter and smaller than the capped version, but it’s still strong and useful. Finally, the tip of the pen unscrews to give you access to the refill. The only branding on the pen is on the barrel opposite the clip. The shiny "LAMY" logo is sometimes hard to see against the translucent barrel, but you can also see the branding on the refill inside.

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Refill

So, how does this thing write? As far as ballpoint refills go, this one is great. I love the Lamy Pico as well, and this feels like the same refill, albeit just a bit shorter. It’s a smooth writer with just enough feedback to keep you informed of your pen strokes. The ink is dark and consistent. I haven’t had any issues with ink globbing up, skipping, or thinning out while writing. It’s a truly enjoyable ballpoint experience. I’d hope so since the refill is a quarter of the price of the pen!

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Lamy Pico

Overall, the Lamy Vista is a stylish ballpoint pen that I’ve really enjoyed using. The translucent barrel is an eye-catcher, and the click mechanism is addictive. Throw an excellent refill on top, and you’ve got a great $20 pen. You can usually pick it up for a few bucks cheaper, though.

(Vanness Pens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Lamy Vista Ballpoint Writing
Posted on April 11, 2018 and filed under Lamy, Ballpoint, Pen Reviews.

Lamy Aion Fountain Pen Review

Lamy Aion.jpg

(This is a guest post by Y. Amit. He is a freelance writer, living and working in Tel Aviv, Israel.)

There is something strange about Lamy. In fact, it seems like there are two different Lamys: One is the groundbreaking-design-firm, that designs pens that are both minimalist and sophisticated (Lamy 2000), That is not afraid of bold and crazy colors (The Safari and Al Star lineup); The other Lamy is a company that seems a bit, how should I put it… non-evolving: sure, one can definitely recognize a Lamy pen when one sees it, but is that a good thing? Do pen lovers really not want to be surprised by pen companies?

Lamy Aion open.jpg

Case in Point: the new Lamy Aion, the latest addition to the Lamy lineup. The pen is made of Aluminum, and comes in either Olivesilver or Black, and with a stainless steel nib, that while interchangeable with regular Lamy nibs (such as the Safari ones), is different in design. As always with Lamy pens, the designer was named, so let's give him the credit: Jasper Morrison, a renowned industrial designer, is the person behind the design. Lamy marked it "Simply Modern", and they claim it to be in direct linkage to the famous Lamy 2000, maybe that's why over 50% of their marketing material regarding the Aion refer to the 2000 instead.

I bought my Aion from Cult Pens, which charges about GBP 40 (USD 54) without the tax, and GBP 47.50 including tax. On American websites the Aion sells for about USD 70, give or take. The first drawback for me was the fact that the pen did not ship with a converter. Now, I use cartridges sometimes, mostly with my Kaweco Sports; I don't like to use cartridges on pens I use for work, as I find the ink flow to be much better with a converter. I think that a pen at this price, should come with a converter. Now, I understand that in the US market, a converter is included, which is fine.

Aion Impreium 2000 Studio.jpg

The pen itself is well built: there is nothing new or exciting in the design, and if you're looking for a gimmiky-type pen, that's not it. However, it is a good, solid pen, suited for the office and for the boardroom alike. Compared to the Studio, which is approximately in the same price range, the Aion is a heftier pen: its diameter is slightly larger, and it is a bit higher, so for people with larger hands, this may be better and more comfortable to write with.

The pen is not very heavy, but does have some gravitas to it, and it is well balanced. The cap posts comfortably, without throwing off the balance.

Aion Nib Closeup.jpg

The main novelty of this pen is the nib. Lamy are famous for their uniform nibs, using for most of their pens (except for the 2000 line). The nib on the Aion is somewhat different: it is more round on the tines, and while you can replace it with any other standard Lamy nib (if you want to upgrade to gold nibs, or if you prefer calligraphy nibs), the use of this new design is a statement. Is it a good statement? I have to admit, I'm not sure. One of Lamy's strong suits has always been in my mind the fantastic stainless steel nibs they make. The nibs on the Al Star or the Safari are, generally, so good, they give you a smooth, silent writing experience. In fact, trying the Lamy gold nibs have proven almost no different to me than use of the stainless steel ones.

The new, rounded nib is different. While not scratchy per-se, it does make a distinctive sound on the paper. Some may like it: the tactile sense of a nib running on paper is one of the positive effects of writing with a fountain pen, so for some of you, this may not be an issue, but this is by no means a smooth writing experience. I have tried the pen on many types of paper: from Rhodia pads to the horrible laser-printer pages, and while the sound was more distinctive on some papers than on others, it was present on all papers, smooth or toothy.

Aion Nib 1.jpg

The ink flow, as expected from Lamy, is very good: the nib is neither too wet nor too dry, and using a Visconti Blue ink on it gave great results. So, is the Lamy Aion a good buy? I've been writing with it for about a week now as my main writing instrument. It is, like most Lamy pens, a workhorse. Lamy was right to place it in the medium price range. At this range, it is a decent pen, worth having in your pen case.

(DISCLAIMER: The writer purchased the pen with his hard-earned money.)

Posted on December 26, 2017 and filed under Aion, Lamy, Fountain Pens, Pen Reviews.