Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Pilot Namiki Falcon Collection Fountain Pen, Black with Gold Accents, Soft Fine Nib (60152)
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Size: Fine Nib|Color: Black/Gold|Change
Price:$152.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on February 29, 2012
I was looking for a pen for Copperplate calligraphy, and most of the reviews tend to focus on everyday writing, so I wanted to add some thoughts on the flex nib aspect. I also uploaded some sample flex writing using both the medium and the fine nibs for comparison.

1) On the flexibility scale, it is semi-flex. So compared with vintage true-flex pens, you have to apply more pressure to achieve decent line width variation. The amount of pressure needed tires and strains the hand, and the steady pressure required also makes it harder to write flowing letters, especially compared with a dip pen nib. Still, it's hard to beat the convenience of a flex fountain pen.

2) There is a break-in period. The nib will feel super resistant at first, but gradually softens after some flex writing. The initial resistance may be disappointing, but it does decrease over time.

3) In terms of modern flex pens, Namiki's only competitor is the Noodler Flex pens (which retail for around $20). But you really do get what you pay for. When the Noodler works, it works great, but more often then not, I found myself having to tweak the Noodler and still found it unreliable. The Namiki Falcon on the other hand has reliable ink flow, and seldom rail-roads.

4) The flexibility of the nibs doesn't change between the nib sizes. This means that the max line width you can achieve is the same. Thus, you get maximum line width variation with the Fine nib, and reduced line variation with the medium nib, etc. If you're choosing between nibs for flex writing, the Fine nib is best to accentuate swells.

5) In terms of the spectrum of flex pens price points, I think this is the best entry point. The Noodler is too unreliable. The next price point begins at around $250, by custom nibmeisters such as Richard Binder, or vintage pen restorers such as Mauricio Aguilar.

As others have noted, the Namiki Falcon has a subdued elegance, and just feels right in the hand. To be honest though. If you're just looking for a pen for everyday non-flex writing, the TWSBI Diamond 540 is what I would recommend. It's $50 and in terms of smoothness in normal writing is comparable to the Namiki Falcon.
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on July 1, 2011
A good fountain pen isn't cheap. This one gives me my money's worth. I'm not a pen collector, I'm a 68-year-old author and cartoonist who likes to write and draw with a fountain pen. This one writes smoothly, its nib is somewhat flexible (not as flexible as the pens of yesteryear), and it never skips or leaks, no matter what I do to it. I carry it constantly in my shirt pocket with no problems. I intend to keep using this pen for the next forty years. The Namiki Falcon isn't a fancy collector's item. It's a hard-working smoothie like the pens your grandparents loved. If you love to write and sketch, I urge you to try a good fountain pen with the right ink and paper. There is a sensual pleasure to it, even when writing algebra calculations. Maybe especially when writing algebra calculations.

I bought a bottle of black Noodler's Ink to go with it. This has also been very good. A full discussion of the issues of fountain pens and inks would take up many pages, so let me just say one thing for you folks who are new to fountain pens: there's really no such thing as waterproof ink for fountain pens, no matter what the advertising says. There IS waterproof ink -- you can use that when you intend to watercolor your drawing -- but never, never put that kind of ink in your fountain pen, it will ruin it.
2020 comments| 161 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Namiki Falcon is one of the great bargains in contemporary fountain pens, now that it is has become difficult to find gold-nibbed pens under $200. The Falcon has a 14 KT soft gold nib that is semi-flex. The barrel is black plastic with goldtone metal accents. It has a nicely finished, classic appearance. The pen is 14.8 cm long, capped. The barrel is 11 mm in diameter in the center of the pen. It has a nice warm feel and would be comfortable in small or moderately large hands. It weighs just under 20 grams with the converter in it. I had wondered if this pen would be too lightweight for my taste, but I have come to appreciate it, because flexing the nib for long periods of time makes my hand tired. I wouldn't want a heavier pen, but, if you do, the Falcon is available in a metal version.

The Falcon comes in a handsome black box that looks too big for it. The removable tray has space for 3 pens, so I am using it to store my most-used fountain pens, which now include the Falcon. The pen comes with a converter and one ink cartridge. Namiki/Pilot converters and cartridges are proprietary. Like many Japanese pens, they have a much larger hole for the ink supply than standard international cartridges. That's good, since a flex nib requires good ink flow. But I'm not fond of Namiki inks, so I've been using the converter, which is metal with a plate press on the side. It is easy to clean between ink refills because of the gaping hole in one end. But the nib is difficult to flush with an ear syringe, nasal aspirator, or soldering bulb. To make it easier, you can cut an empty Namiki cartridge in half, attach it, and flush the water through there.

Of course, you are considering the Namiki Falcon for the nib. It's one of very few flex nibs available on contemporary fountain pens. It's semi-flex. It requires a fair amount of pressure to flex to its maximum. If I am writing for a long time, it makes my hand tired, which a wet noodle might not. But semi-flex is an advantage with my small handwriting. If I used a more flexy nib, I would have to write unnaturally large. Semi-flex is perfect for everyday writing and letter-writing. I have the fine nib, which, being Japanese, is more like a European extra fine. It writes a line about 0.2 mm wide unflexed and flexes to 1 mm. The Falcon nib does not have an overfeed, and it separates partly from the underfeed when flexed, but it lays down a lot of ink. It's not for thin paper. I recommend at least 80 g paper.

In conclusion, some advice on writing with a flex nib: Don't be disappointed if the Falcon nib doesn't flex as much as you would like right out of the box. It took a few days before mine loosened up to its full potential. If you're not accustomed to flex nibs, look around online for advice on how to write with them. You apply pressure in the downstrokes and release pressure in other strokes. The nib has a nice bounce, and this will become natural with practice. At first attempt, it may seem impossible to get the pen to flex when writing cursive, if you normally hold your pen in the 4:30 (o'clock) position. That would be the correct position for normal cursive writing or italic or blackletter calligraphy. But, in order to flex on downstrokes, you must hold the pen closer to the 6:00 position. If you want your handwriting to slant to the right, turn the paper. I love my Falcon.
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on October 2, 2013
I am a regular fountain pen (and an occasional dip pen) user since school days, and I have a variety of pens including some high quality pens. Most of the time I write in an ordinary style, but I can write in a calligraphy style using an italic or an oblique nib.

I bought this beautiful looking pen with a view to having my first "flexible nib" fountain pen, for daily use (dip pens are fantastic but you can't carry them around). I wanted a modern pen as opposed to an antique/used pen, and I chose a Soft Fine nib.

The Soft Fine nib is slightly finer than the usual fine nibs we get in the UK. The pen has a wonderful ink flow. The nib gives a little, but is NOT a "flexible nib". Posting the cap on the body makes the writing lighter and better. The line width variability, a key feature of "flexible nibs" is imperceptible. (The writing is nothing like the sample writing shown on the website. In fact I felt misled, but I won't return the pen.) It writes like a pen with a rather nice fine nib; but the scratchiness is distinctly audible, although reduced after writing some 200 pages of A5, so far. Recently I had to complete a lot of forms and the fine nib was excellent for the purpose. Also the SF nib deposits less ink on paper compared to say a M or OBB. With so many notebooks sold with somewhat thin paper, it is an advantage that this nib does not soak through, and one can write on the reverse side of the paper.

The refillable ink converter has an infuriatingly tiny capacity. A disappointment for a pen that carries the founder's name - Pilot should re-think. Cartridges have their advantage, but with such a wonderful range of inks now available today, users want refillable pens. (Since bottled ink is far from cheap, I don't see manufacturers or retailers making less money selling bottled ink as opposed to ink cartridges. So why not provide decent size converters?)

It is a good pen with a Fine (not flexible) nib. Without a good size converter it is not practical/dependable enough for daily use. Over priced, I think.
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on July 28, 2014
I love it.
I usually practice calligraphy with a dip pen and antique nibs and this is a perfect addition to be able to write on the go.
I can carry it with me wherever I go.
Perfect for me.
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on December 10, 2010
I've tried a lot of different fountain pens over the years and always have been disappointed. This one is the first that meets all of my expectations: it flows beautifully, has lovely thick and thin lines, is light, and is made for a smaller hand. Any handwriting with this pen looks fantastic. Used with Noodler's Black ink, it seems to never clog, even after going unused for a long while. It doesn't leak ever, even on the airplane. I use it for general writing, sketching, inking illustrations, etc. I was able to try this pen vs many others in a pen store in Manhattan, and this was able to make finer lines than any other pen I tried. The flexibility of the nib makes linework very organic and beautiful. The "ink expert" in the store recommended using Noodler's ink with this pen, and that hasn't disappointed me at all--a great ink that seems never to clog up the pen. I can't praise this pen enough.
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on May 27, 2010
This pen's extremely flexible nib is just a dream to write and draw with. A light bit of pressure spreads the point and widens the line. The ink feed begins instantly as soon as you begin to write or draw, so the start of the stroke is clean and neat. What an extraordinary pen! It's good both for loose sketches and for more controlled drawings. A huge plus for me is its light weight -- as light as a dip pen.
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VINE VOICEon January 7, 2010
I received this pen as a Christmas gift, and I am thrilled with it. I have a lot of pens, including a few Namiki vanishing fountain pens. No surprise that Namiki made a good product.

The pen is lightweight, but still has enough balance to not feel "too" light. I usually like solid pens. This is a solid pen, but light. It reminds me of ... a quill. A bird feather is strong, but hollow and light. Though I've never written with a "real" quill, perhaps this is the inspiration.

The nib (mine is fine) is fine, but not scratchy. It seems perfectly balanced with the instrument. The ink flows gracefully as a bigger nib, but with a finer line.

The cap screws off/on, which is great for a pen with such fluid ink; no accidental cap slipping off in a pocket, or coming loose. It is solid all the way around.

The style is nice, and understated. It looks like the fine pen that it is.

Strongly recommended!
33 comments| 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 29, 2012
I was looking for a pen for Copperplate calligraphy, and most of the reviews tend to focus on everyday writing, so I wanted to add some thoughts on the flex nib aspect. I also uploaded some sample flex writing using both the medium and the fine nibs for comparison.

1) On the flexibility scale, it is semi-flex. So compared with vintage true-flex pens, you have to apply more pressure to achieve decent line width variation. The amount of pressure needed tires and strains the hand, and the steady pressure required also makes it harder to write flowing letters, especially compared with a dip pen nib. Still, it's hard to beat the convenience of a flex fountain pen.

2) There is a break-in period. The nib will feel super resistant at first, but gradually softens after some flex writing. The initial resistance may be disappointing, but it does decrease over time.

3) In terms of modern flex pens, Namiki's only competitor is the Noodler Flex pens (which retail for around $20). But you really do get what you pay for. When the Noodler works, it works great, but more often then not, I found myself having to tweak the Noodler and still found it unreliable. The Namiki Falcon on the other hand has reliable ink flow, and seldom rail-roads.

4) The flexibility of the nibs doesn't change between the nib sizes. This means that the max line width you can achieve is the same. Thus, you get maximum line width variation with the Fine nib, and reduced line variation with the medium nib, etc. If you're choosing between nibs for flex writing, the Fine nib is best to accentuate swells.

5) In terms of the spectrum of flex pens price points, I think this is the best entry point. The Noodler is too unreliable. The next price point begins at around $250, by custom nibmeisters such as Richard Binder, or vintage pen restorers such as Mauricio Aguilar.

As others have noted, the Namiki Falcon has a subdued elegance, and just feels right in the hand. To be honest though. If you're just looking for a pen for everyday non-flex writing, the TWSBI Diamond 540 is what I would recommend. It's $50 and in terms of smoothness in normal writing is comparable to the Namiki Falcon.
review image
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on April 13, 2013
I bought this pen over a year ago, most of all because it was stated to have a flexible nib, which I wanted for sketching in my design journal. Since it has a fine nib, it's a little "scratchy" for anything other than casual note-taking. I use Noodler's Polar black in the (supplied) converter, and this pen is so well-behaved, I think it should have cost much more. I tried a Mont Blanc Meisterstuck once, and that pen wrote no better than the Namiki, and was almost useless for drawing. The Namiki fountain pen I ordered has no trouble with any ink I've tried, save for a slight amount of nib creep with seems only to occur with Noodler's Polar inks, which I buy exclusively these days for its bulletproof qualities. Wonderfully made product. The price of the Falcons seems to be creeping up, but if you like a reasonably gestural pen, I recommend it. Light in weight, with a screw-top cap, if it was lost, damaged or stolen, I'd buy another right away.
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