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Reviews Written by bluemagister

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Pilot Penmanship Fountain Pen with Ergo Grip - Extra Fine Nib - Black Body - PILOT P-FP-50R-B-EF
  I wanted to add that..., November 7, 2009
I wanted to add that this pen, on top of being REALLY comfy to write with and having an EXCELLENT tip (the same as the MUCH more expensive Prera) works very well with the CON-50 converter.

This pen plus a CON-50 AND 2 bottles of Noodler's Eternal can cost less than a SINGLE Prera ($40 vs $42) and give just as good a line and performance. I load my CON-50 with Noodler's Heart of Darkness and it works so well. If you are kind of hesitant about fountain pens in general and need an easy to use and very excellent pen to get started on, get the Penmanship Package (CON-50, any 2 bottles of Noodler's @$12.50 ea) and then check them out.

I went ahead and got the Prera anyways (^_^)/
Pilot Acroball Ballpoint Pen - 0.7 mm - Black Body - Black Ink - PILOT BAB-15F-BB
  Not a bad pen, but it..., September 21, 2009
Not a bad pen, but it doesn't write nearly as smoothly as the Jetstream. This behaves like a regular oil-based ink ballpoint. It writes well, but once you try a Jetstream, you won't be able to justify this pen in comparison.

It's just average.
Noodler's Ink - Asia Pacific Bulletproof Ink - 3 oz Bottle - Manjiro Nakahama Whaleman's Sepia - NOODLERS 4AP02
  Wow...is all I can really..., September 19, 2009
Wow...is all I can really say. When I got this bottle, I didn't know what to expect. As usual, the Noodler's fellows fill the bottle to the TOP, so when I popped it open, I knew to have it setting stably on the table.

I used a Pilot Prera Extra Fine with a CON-50 converter to suck up the ink. It appeared brownish and when I wiped some excess with a towel, it stained reddish brown. However, writing with it produces a rusted aubergine purple that is entrancing, even with a fine tip like the Prera. It seems to flow well and didn't bleed at all through the copy paper (20lb) I tested it on. The ink rinses off plastic, glass and steel, but will stain fingers for quite awhile, so be careful!

The only performance issues I am having are with bubbles in the converter (not the ink's fault) and with some dry tip/need to start the pen a little after not using it for awhile. Both of these issues are not so bad.

The best part is when I bleached the paper and the lettering turned crimson red!

This ink is COOOOOOOOOOL. A MUST buy!
Zebra Sarasa Gel Ink Pen - 0.4 mm - Black - ZEBRA JJS3-BK
  This pen can easily stand..., September 19, 2009
This pen can easily stand against anything Mitsubishi or Pilot have to offer. The line is crisp and the colors are pleasant to see on the paper. Here are some details about the pen:

1. The 0.4mm pens have a much smaller ink supply than the 0.5mm ones.

2. If you check after your writing dries with a light at the right angle, you can see the matte finish of the ink. Some other companies' ink is shinier.

In any case, the 0.5mm Sarasas are a workhorse, everyday pen for me and these are for detail work and writing in small spaces.

FIVE stars for excellent performance, comfort and value.
Pilot G-Tec-C Gel Ink Pen - 0.25 mm - Black - PILOT 35485
  Other than the 0.4mm,..., September 19, 2009
Other than the 0.4mm, I've never had a Hi-Tec or G-Tec pen in 0.25mm write smoothly each time. The ink always skips or needs starting before use.

This alone is a 3 star rating.
Pentel Slicci Gel Ink Pen - 0.4 mm - Black Ink - PENTEL BG204-A
  This pen has nice ink..., September 19, 2009
This pen has nice ink and a nice tip, but it's small, skinny and hard to write for extended periods with. Plus, the ink refill can run out quite fast on the 0.4mm version. This might be best for datebooks or planner pen holder duty.

A better choice is the Signo stick pen in 0.38mm. Those pens have a rubber grip, are fat enough to hold well and balanced like German clockwork. Those pens get 5 stars all the time, but the Sliccis only merit 3.
Pilot Penmanship Fountain Pen with Ergo Grip - Extra Fine Nib - Black Body - PILOT P-FP-50R-B-EF
  This pen writes a 0.3mm..., September 19, 2009
This pen writes a 0.3mm line, doesn't skip, has a contoured and molded grip for easy handling AND the tip is a screw on type. The nib is EXTRA fine and excellent for writing on paper with narrow ruled lines.

The ink that comes with it is quite smooth and dark, but offers almost no water resistance. However, it IS cartridge-based, easy to change and with this thin nib, the cartridges last for quite some time. At $7.50, this is a HUGE value for a wonderful practice pen.

If you want to have this tip with the option of choosing your own ink, you need a CON-50 and a Pilot Prera. However, that option will cost you 4x as much, plus the cost of the ink.

This pen gets 5 stars.
Pilot Prera Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Brown Body - PILOT FPR-3SR-BN-F
  Ah, there's no way to..., September 19, 2009
Ah, there's no way to amend my review.

I made a mistake. The nib on this is the same as the PENMANSHIP pen. Not the Plumix, which I have never tested.

My bad. Rating still stands. 3 stars.
Pilot Prera Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Brown Body - PILOT FPR-3SR-BN-F
  This pen has a nice,..., September 19, 2009
This pen has a nice, deep brown color that is quite attractive. The pen is well balanced and writes very, very well. I'd say the line is about 0.3 to 0.35mm. The ink that comes with the pen is not a bit waterproof, but it writes smoothly and without skipping. I got the CON-50 converter with this and filled it with Noodler's Manjiro ink and it writes a thin, purple, gorgeous line very consistently. Remember that most Japanese fountain pens are a half size finer than their US or Euro counterparts. A medium Pilot is a fine US/UK nib, it seems.

The only bad things about the pen are:

1. The tip is EXACTLY the same as the $7.50 Pilot Plumix pen. You will pay almost 4x as much for this pen to get the same tip. The only reason to get this pen is if you love the concept of using a converter and your own choice of ink.

2. The converter takes some tries to get right and filling the pen by dipping it is quite messy if you are not skilled at it. Air bubbles in the converter will make the pen skip if you don't fill it correctly.

3. Pigmented inks might be too thick for this thin-spaced nib. It sometimes takes a little bit to get the ink flowing, but once it's active, the pen is good all day.


In short, only get this pen if you want the excellence of the Plumix nib with the option of your own ink. I rate this three stars because it's way too expensive for what is essentially the Plumix nib if all you want is a cartridge writer.

I love mine, though, and will write that entire bottle of Noodler's out with this pen alone. I am dedicating the Noodler's to it.
Sailor Ink Bar Disposable Fountain Pen - Fine Nib - Black - SAILOR 26-5181-220
  UPDATE: After writing..., September 12, 2009
UPDATE: After writing with this on an index card, I let the ink dry fully, then tortured it with 70% isopropyl alcohol, a toner containing mostly SD alcohol 40-B (ethanol denatured with small amounts of t-Butyl alcohol and maybe methanol), then tap water.

NO SMEARS. NO SMUDGES. NO BLEEDTHROUGH.

This pen is now my daily use pen for notekeeping. I will order more and more and more.
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