So I think I've narrowed it down to 3 choices:
1. Pelikan Jazz, medium nib
2. Koweco Sport, medium nib
3. Lamy Safari fine nib (assuming it will be like a medium for the above)
Thanks.Personally, I have never owned any of those pens, but there is only one I would choose. I know from experience with other, even cheaper pens, that I would find the triangular section on the Lamy Safari, and the threads on the Kaweco Sport, intolerable in terms of ergonomics. But that's my own aversions, and those pens are popular affordable pens. The steps on the Pelikan Jazz, between section and barrel, don't look particularly comfortable either, but the section looks long enough to be able to have that area out from under the fingers. From the ones I have seen, the Jazz Elegance is metal bodied, which would be another plus point for me. There are clones of the Kaweco and Lamy that can be found very cheaply on ebay and the like, which will let you see if the ergonomics might work for you or not.
Like you, I don't trust myself to determine a good vintage pen from a bad one. Although I did gamble and bought two, one of which I liked ergonomically, and it writes wonderfully, but I do not trust the cap for pocket carry. The other was plastic bodied, with threads and short section like the Kaweco, and I should have known in advance that I wouldn't take to it. Even after truncating the threads slightly with emery, it's still horrible to write anything more than a line or two with. I will personally be sticking to new/modern pens, as I don't want flouncy nibs, and genuinely see no other reason to buy a vintage pen, to be honest. Some people have a romantic attachment for older things, which takes precedence over simple practicality, but if you just want a pen that works and that you can enjoy, as I do, many cheap modern pens can easily tick that box. Pardon the pun.
My personal favourites are Baoer 388 in stainless, Ohto Tasche, and Parker IM. I have at least two of each. I also have a few Helix Oxford pens, but they might only be available in the UK, and the nibs are soft and easily damaged.
I have seen them and classic 140 model on eBay for around $50. I love the green and black 140.Thanks.
So I think what you are implying is that this will turn out like my razor collection -- I have more than I want to admit, I never paid more than $80 for one, but I would have spent less if I just went all-out from the start.
TBH, though, I only had one safety razor, a Merkur 33c, for 7 years before I went down the rabbit hole. Most of my collection is vintage Schick and Gillette.
I'd prefer to not go vintage/classic, since I'm not ready, nor have the knowledge, to be discerning enough to make sure I'm not getting junk. It took awhile for me to get up-to-speed in that respect for vintage razors.
I'm really not planning on going down an FP rabbit hole (really, I'm not) -- unlike shaving which is a necessity and not just a hobby. I really just want to play around with a decent FP and do some handwriting instead of always typing on a keyboard like I am right now. I'm really tempted by that Lamy Safari deal on Amazon, since it will have me set for awhile without having to buy anything more -- and then it will just be ink.
The more I read, the more this is getting hard for me to wrap my head around. I now see that there is the ink fading issue. It seems black ink is the safest. I'm not looking to go down an ink rabbit hole with different colors, and have people read my journal 100 years from now. I won't be exposing my writing to sunlight (who leaves their writings out in the sun, anyway?), and only artificial light while writing. The journal will then be closed. But in, for example 10 years, I don't want it faded to the point that it is unreadable. Is this something to worry about? Is the standard ink that comes in the carts with the Lamy Safari decent enough? I have used a Parker rollerball, and stuff I wrote 10 years ago in a basic black-and-white notebook has held up fine -- looks like I just wrote it. I have no idea if that's the same type of ink used in an FP.
BTW, thanks to all for the great info throughout this thread, both before and after I posted.
Wait, am I on the right forum?It does not need to a rabbit hole. One well chosen pen can be a lifelong friend. One poorly chosen pen will either dissuade you entirely or prompt another purchase.
The thing with a razor is that it is part of personal grooming.
And you can also use them to keep an inventory of your razors, and calculate the money you have saved since switching over from carts.Counterpoint: the thing with a razor, is you can only use it once (or twice) a day for 15 minutes. Pens, you can use them all day every day... And you don't just use them in the bathroom; I have them at work, in the kitchen, the garage, on my desk at home. I have way more pens than razors!
Congrats on finding your first fountain pen! Glad this thread was helpful. There are a bunch of awesome people here that helped me out when I first started too.
Well I really like the Lamy Safari. What surprises me is that there is no learning curve. I started writing with it right away. I am using the cart that came with it. I also got a bottle of ink, but the converter won’t arrive until next week. Thanks, this thread was very helpful.
I got the Safari with fine nib, which turns out to be perfect for me. I had read here that it was more like a medium, which is what I would have chosen had I bought another brand.Congrats on finding your first fountain pen! Glad this thread was helpful. There are a bunch of awesome people here that helped me out when I first started too.
One cool thing about the safari is that you can swap the nibs super easily, and they’re reasonably priced too. I’ll have my safari for many many years to come!
Also, we love pictures!