Friday, June 19, 2009

New Lamy Safaris : Charcoal & Black

Lamy Safari's

So who can't use a few more Lamy Safari's? I think I own 14 fountain pens and 9 of them are Lamy's. 6 Safaris, (.5 Cursive italic red, EF blue, EF yellow, F light blue with red clip, EF charcoal and EF black.) a silver M AL-Star, EF Studio, and an EF Accent.

Red was my real first fountain pen ever, and the charcoal and black are my latest acquisitions.

I'm not going to re-invent the wheel with this review, as I've talked about the Safari in several previous blog posts including this one. What can I say? I love this pen and the way it writes. They are not priced to break your budget. (About $30 with a converter) I like playing with different inks and I like to have a lot of pens inked at the same time so the Safari's work really well for me.

I love the black clip on the charcoal, and I'm wondering if I can switch it with the one on the black pen to make an a Darth Vader model... But don't get me wrong - I also love the silver clip on the black pen. My favorite pen color combination is black & silver.

My new charcoal Safari is actually one that's been around for a while - and I think they may have even stopped making it.

I see a few subtle differences between the charcoal and other Safari models.

Lamy Safari's

For one, it's got a textured surface rather than the ultra-shiny versions. It might be my imagination but it feels a little lighter in my hand. I'm just ok with the textured surface. I don't love it and I don't hate it.

Lamy Safari's

The shiny black Safari has a silver steel nib to the black steel on the charcoal. I haven't met an ink that hasn't showed nib creep on a Safari. No big deal - I just wipe it off if it gets really bad. Interestingly, each of these nibs are EF's, but the silver one writes really, really fine and dry. Probably the finest driest Lamy nib I own. That may be the only rub with the Safari is that their nib widths are sometimes inconsistent. I have a fine that's more like an EF, a few EF's that write like F's, and an EF that's more like a Medium. I don't care. I still love them. Replacement nibs are inexpensive and you can always have them fancied up like my Cursive Italic that Pendemonium cut for me.

I will absolutely be switching the nibs on these two pens. Black nib has to go on the black pen. No two ways about it.

Lamy Safari's

This is the only thing I don't like about the charcoal model. The rim of the cap is cut differently than on all of the rest of my Safari's. It's got a sharp edge and I'm not sure if it was a production flaw, or just the way that the charcoal model came out. I even called Filofax (Lamy Repair) and asked them if this was a new version of the Safari and that was when I was told it was an older model.

Lamy Safari's

99% of the time I post my pens as I write and the sharp edged cap digs into my hand. I'm wondering if I could maybe smooth the edge with a polishing cloth.

All said, these are still my favorite pens.

Go buy a few of them from Swisher Pens and don't forget a converter because I'm sure you will want to be trying out lots of different bottled ink- though these pens also take Lamy proprietary cartridges.



Andi said...

I've got a charcoal Lamy Safari -- my only Safari, actually -- and it has the same type of edge as the one in your picture. So apparently this is by design.

Henry said...

Sigh... the Charcoal safari was my first fountain pen. It's still in rotation. I tried the EF nibs. They seem so scratchy compared to the M or even the F Lamy nib.

Also, I got a replacement Lamy Vista... I love it! You should definitely get one, since you like safari's so much. I think demonstrators should be industrial, not covered in gold trims, like the M800 demonstrator. They should be minimalistic and that's exactly what the Vista is!

Nrepose said...

Great review! I am glad that you did it because the charcoal model is my next planned purchase. It looks great, I love the black nib. Nr

Piscean said...

I didn't care for the rough surface of the charcoal model when I first got it. I wonder if they did that to make it more scratch resistant. The rougher surface will hide minor scratches and blemishes.

I used to work in a plastics molding shop and I can guarantee the rough surface is much easier to mold. They will have a lot less waste than on the smooth pens.

And lastly, I suspect the sharp edge you mention is due to the new mold design. With the smooth finish models, they can use the same mold for all the colors, just flush the plastic and run a new color. But the rough texture will require a new mold, so if they didn't build it the same way, that would explain the sharp edge on the charcoal.

La Duchesse said...

I wonder if a gentle rub with some fine sandpaper would void the warranty...

lee said...

After reading your reviews I went out and purchased a Lamy Safaria with converter and love it. I love the way it writes, its crisp and clean. Now on the search for Sumi ink. I love your reviews keep up the great work

Iranna said...

I really enjoy your blog and your art, I'm impressed! What I'm here for is I was wondering how serious the dryness problem of the EF or F nibs is? I've been thinking of getting this pen but am not sure which nib I should choose. I'd really appreciate your opinion!

Biffybeans said...

Iranna - to be totally honest, you can put 2 EF's next to one another and they might be different. I have an F that writes thinner than my EF's. Sometimes the dryer writers just need a bit of a break in time - and using an ink with good lubricating qualities can certainly help.

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