Monday, July 28, 2008

Lamy 2000 Official Moleskine Review - with several updates

This is my brand new, (new to me, as I believe I may actually be the third owner of this pen) Lamy 2000. I bought it as an Extra Fine, and I can only assume it is, because I can not immediately see any markings on it to distinguish it as an Extra Fine. The nib is as smooth as BUT-TAH. It's easily the smoothest nib I have ever used, more so than my medium nibbed Safari, and even the medium Vanishing Point I owned for 3 days.

Filled with Noodler's Black, it writes smooth & wet. No bleeding or feathering (typical for me with Noodler's Black)

The pen is nondescript, which I like. It reminds me of a Flair felt tipped pen with the texturing on the outside. It's easy to hold, and it's perfectly balanced in my hand. I would expect no fatigue from using this pen.

If I'm at least the 3rd owner, I wonder why other people didn't like/want it.

I'm very happy. It cost me $79 with shipping, and I'll go out on a limb to say that I'd pay full retail to replace it if I had to.

So...should I even bother having those 3 Parker 51's restored? LOL We'll see. For now, I'm Very Happy.

07/04/08 UPDATE:

I'm no longer using the Lamy 200 these days. I found that it had a nasty habit of slipping and spinning in my fingers, and because I'm old (almost 40!) and needing bi-focals, I can't see the orientation of the nib. And sadly, somewhere along the way, it started to get scratchy. I tried my best to clean it, but it seems to be a problem beyond my control.

I also traded two of the 51's for restoration on the 3rd. Sadly, the nub is even harder to see on the 51 than on the L2K. So my remaining 51 is about to be sold as well.

And what's my pen flavor of the week right now? That would be a Pelikan Fine Nibbed M200. A sweet little beauty in the hand and on the paper.

07/09/08 Another update! I used a succession of fine polishing cloths on the nib and I'm happy to report that it's no longer scratchy! It still may slip and spin in my hand, but at least I can use it again without getting frustrated.

07/28/08 Yet another update! I felt that the piston was too stiff and that the nib was writing thicker than an EF should. I sent it back to Lamy and they overhauled it with a new EF nib, piston & feed. I just got it back this past Saturday, and the nib seems to be needing a bit of break in time. Noodler's black and Pelikan Brilliant Black made the pen barely write - it was skipping and starting hard - almost a chore to get it to move across the paper. I flushed it again and put in my most free-flowing ink - Diamine Imperial Purple. It's writing nicer, smoother - but it's still putting out more ink on the downstroke than the side to side. I'll keep with it. My Pelikan M200 wrote really skimpy when I first got it but now that I've filled it a few times, it's the smoothest most wonderful pen I own.

03/10/09 Last update. I no longer own this pen. Once it came back from repair, I could never seem to get the ink to flow properly and I gave up. I had repeatedly flushed & refilled it with numerous inks, soapy water.... I grew frustrated and traded it away. The person who received it, LOVES it. Sometimes I'm convinced it's just me....


M.Melnicki said...

this isn't really the whole story; you might like to update this post for those nonlinear blog-readers who hopped to this review, not realizing the anguish you ultimately suffered over your L2K!! (am i forcing melodrama on you? maybe it's just my own heart starting to turn on my own L2K?)

Biffybeans said...

Starting to turn on your own 2K, eh? I just went back and added a final note. When you don't have access to a local pen shop, you rely on research and the words of others to guide your purchases. That's how it was for me with the Vanishing Point, the L2K, and the P51 - all of which are now gone. Even my Hero P51 copy. Gone.

Lamy makes great pens - this one was just not for me. Aside from how it may have been writing, I have a hard time keeping a hooded nib properly oriented - plus - I think I have a tendency to rotate the pen as I write.

M.Melnicki said...

i've only played around with one L2K (my own), and it's got a "sweet spot" (which really means it is tempermental and must be oriented correctly). If you rotate the pen as you write, then certainly that might be a problem. I got a Nettuno recently and was shocked at how smooth and round and wonderful the nib was (and it was steel!). Every spot was sweet. Unfortunately, I somehow have mangled the nib in a really bad way.

I'm heartened by how much attention Filofax paid to servicing your L2K. I might consider doing that. Mine is leaking from the bottom metal-meets-makrolon part of the section. At first I thought it was coming from the cap, but now I'm certain it's a leak. It also tends to be the color from a fill or two ago, so I'm convinced that the feed in the L2K is good at trapping things (yes I've cleaned the pen out with water extensively).

I don't think I'd ever get rid of the pen totally because it's so darned handsome. I just know I'll miss it. And I kind of like the pretend-"F" nib. It's really a B, but it's juicy and makes colors look rich.

Adair said...

When I bought my first Lamy 2000, I thought that I had found the ultimate pen, a pen for a lifetime, the one pen that would make me sell all others in my collection. I couldn't believe how smooth the nib was! Unfortunately, the pen soon began to leak where the metal meets the makrolon, in the section under the nib. Honeymoon over. And it seems that many users have experienced the same problem. It is sad that a product based on Bauhaus style does not also have Bauhaus quality of craft and solid construction. I replaced the Lamy 2000 with an Aurora 88, which has given me nothing but perfect performance and writing joy for the last three years.

Henry said...

Like you biffybeans, I find myself slowly rotating this pen as i write, then realizing it when I have a dry scratchy line on paper.

Louis said...


I've just received my Lamy 2000 EF, and am also having problem with it. I have only 2 fountain pens, the other one being a Lamy Studio Steel EF, and it's such a nice pen :o

But the Lamy 2000 is a whole different story, when I write with it, the friction (it's called tooth?) between the paper and nib is just killing me.

I bought the L2K after reading many positive reviews, hope the problem can be fixed without I having to send it back to Lamy Germany, it's just too much trouble, especially when you pay over 100 £ for a pen.

Just flushed the pen now, gonna let it dry and try it again tomorrow


grapeliza said...

Like you biffybeans, I find myself slowly rotating this pen as i write, then realizing it when I have a dry scratchy line on paper.

Biffybeans said...

It's a pen that I have found that many want to love... but end up becoming frustrated with.

T. Voboril said...

I am sorry you had such problems with your Lamy 2000. I have had one for 10 years or so, and love it. What makes fountain pens so much fun, is that they aren't a one size fits all. What bugs one person, is the selling point for another.

Barrett said...

Coming to this thread ridiculously late, but...

I owned a Lamy 2000 for about fifteen years, (together with a Lamy Persona - great writer, but got annoyed with its puny piston filler, which seemed a bit silly for a pen that substantial). The 2k wasn't my first FP, but represented my first substantial investment in a pen. One thing I recall was that it was more than a little temperamental about the ink used in it: ironically, Lamy's own blue ink tended to run fairly dry in it, whereas Parker's Penman Ebony (yes, the ink everybody from the late Frank Dubiel on down pronounced as the Devil's Liquid) worked rather well. (The Persona lived on a steady diet of Penman Sapphire, but the pen seemed capable on writing with anything.) The nib - M in my case - was picky in terms of how you held it; I tend not to rotate pens as I write, but even holding the 2k slightly offset would cause the scratchy-skippies. I loved feel and overall aesthetic of the thing, but writing with it was a love-hate affair.

What put me over the edge was not my frustration with the 2k, but the introduction of the Dialog 3 retractable. After the frustration of repeated delays in its release, I got my hands on one to try, as I was thinking of retiring my Persona for one. As it turned out, I was less enamored with its size, shape and feel than expected. Worse, the nib was incredibly wobbly in its mount...lousy QC for what ostensibly was Lamy's new flagship.

Moments after that disappointment, I was doodling with a Pilot Vanishing Point, and for some reason was enjoying that pen a hell of a lot more than the last time I tried one. Then I tried a custom 74, and was even more impressed. I was thinking about pulling the trigger on a 74 when somebody mentioned the Custom 823...

The Lamys have been gone for two years now. In their place are a black Pilot Custom 823, Custom 74 (clear, about to be replaced by a smoke-finish version), and an all-matte-black VP. No hissy-fits from any of them, straight out of the box. Who knew?

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