FPGeeks ScoreCard Lamy Studio

Review Specificaitons

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Specs

 

Pen Class: Intermediate ($26 to $99)
MSRP: $75.00
Street Price:: $60.00 to $68.00

Body Material: Metal
Nib Material: Steel
Nib Size: Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, Broad, 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm
Cap Type: Slip On/Off
Post-able: Yes (snaps on)
Filling Mechanism: Cartridge / Converter (both proprietary)
Ink Capacity: Cartridge: 1.15 ml / 0.039 oz // Converter: 0.8 ml / 0.027 oz
Overall Weight: 30 g / 1.06 oz
Cap Weight: 8 g / 0.28 oz
Body Weight: 22 g / 0.78 g
Overall Length Capped: 140 mm / 5.51 in
Overall Length Posted: 153 mm / 6.02 in
Body Length (not including nib): 112 mm / 4.41 in
Nib Length: 16 mm / 0.63 in
Body Length (including nib): 128 mm / 5.04 in
Cap Length: 57 mm / 2.24 in
Cap Diameter w/o Clip: 13 mm / 0.51 in
Cap Diameter w/Clip: 13 mm to 17 mm / 0.51 in to 0.67 in
Body Diameter at Widest Point: 12.5 mm /  0.49 in
Body Diameter at Blind Cap End: 9.5 mm / 0.37 in

If this pen were a movie, it would be…

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Review Dealer Prep

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Dealer Prep

Dan: 7 – It’s always refreshing when a pen doesn’t come in the typical clamshell style box. Thankfully Lamy takes a different approach to their packaging. Once the outer sleeve is removed the black, corrugated-like cardboard, try-fold style box can be opened to reveal the pen, a blue cartridge, and converter. Also included in the box is the warranty and pamphlet that includes all of Lamy’s current pens on one side and operating instructions on the other.

This is where you will first experience Lamy’s attention to detail. There’s a distinct black and silver theme to their packaging. Four of the outside surfaces are black with both sides being silver, providing a very nice contrast. The Lamy logo on the top of the box that holds the lid closed is also silver. The manual and warranty papers are even printed on matching silver paper. Lamy did a great job of making the packaging attractive, compact, and functional.

Eric: 6.75 – The Lamy Studio is presented with an outer sleeve of heavy, grayish paper. Removing that sleeve reveals a high-quality, cardboard, tri-fold box that proudly displays the LAMY name on a silver colored plastic plate. The cardboard box is light black in color and has very nice ribs, giving it a corduroy feel. Opening the tri-fold box reveals the instruction/catalog leaflet and the warranty policy. Under those items you’ll find the pen itself in a plastic bag, an ink cartridge and a converter, each resting in “valleys” created by the zig-zag positioning of the box’s floorboard.

The box is well designed, unique, and I like it. I like it quite a bit.

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Dealer Prep open

Review Filler Up

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Fill 'er Up

Dan: 6 – The Lamy Studio uses a cartridge/converter filling system, but only Lamy cartridges and their Z26 converter will work. You can’t use any other cartridges or converters. It’s a good thing Lamy includes one of each in the box. I didn’t bother with the cartridge and instead installed the converter and filled it with Noodler’s Red. The filling process went smooth and worked well.

Eric: 4 – The Lamy Studio is strictly a cartridge/converter pen. That’s not the end of the world and would ordinarily allow me to give the pen a score of 5 in this category. However, two things bother me. One is that both the cartridge and the converter are proprietary. The other is that when a cartridge is installed, there’s no room for a spare. Granted, the cartridge is very large. But still, you will eventually run out of ink. Given this information, the pen would have scored a 2, but I’ve given it an extra point because Lamy is nice enough to include the converter with the pen.

Review Test Drive

Dan: 8.5 – After filling the Lamy Studio with Noodler’s Red I wiped the nib and immediately jotted a few lines just to make sure the pen would write before I had to head out the door. It laid down a nice line of ink but the red seemed much lighter than I remembered. When I got to work about a half hour later I pulled the pen out again and this time the ink was much more saturated, just as I remembered it.

The flow was spot on perfect and the Broad nib was awesomely smooth. This was actually the first time I had ever used a Studio and I was very impressed. The pen felt really good in my hand. The chrome section was a little slick and I was wishing it was the same texture as the rest of the pen. Other than that, I was very happy with the Test Drive.

Eric: 8.5 – Wow. Lamy has been making pens since 1930 and with that sort of experience, they certainly know how to make a pen. I used the converter in my Lamy Studio and as soon as it was filled, it was ready for the Test Drive.

The pen instantly felt great in my hand. The brushed stainless steel has just a hint of pleasing texture. I thought the flow to be just a tad on the dry side, but the pen displayed no hard starting, no hesitations, no skipping. The Extra Fine nib felt just a bit sluggish, but kept the pace in every stroke and curve. Even the pen’s girth felt like it would be comfortable for long writing sessions.

Review Under the Hood

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Under the Hood

Dan: 8 – The steel nib on the Lamy Studio comes in many varieties. You can get a polished steel version in EF, F, M, B, 1.1mm, 1.5mm, or 1.9mm or you can get a black coated nib in F, M, or B. Since I ordered the matte black finished Studio I opted for the black Broad nib and it looks freaking fantastic! Under the breather hole the nib is marked with a “B” with “Lamy” under that. The lettering appears to have been masked or had the coating removed because the letters are clearly much more shiny than the black of the rest of the nib. One small, annoying thing about the nib is that the coating has been removed from the tipping material. I’m guessing the nib is first coated and then ground and polished to width which would remove the coating.

The nib on the Studio is shaped very differently than your traditional nib. On most pens I wouldn’t like it, but I think it fits the Studio much more than a traditionally shaped nib would. Plus, it just writes like a champ! It’s pure joy.

Eric: 6.5 – I can’t say that the Lamy Studio nib is the most wonderful steel nib I’ve ever used. There’s nothing particularly fancy about it, unless you consider the “folded shoulders” look to be pleasing. The nib’s design strikes me as very industrial, which I admit is an excellent match for the Lamy Studio.

What Lamy missed by making their cartridges and converters proprietary they’ve made up for by making a wide variety of nibs that are easily interchangeable. You’ll find nibs in Extra Fine, Fine, Medium and Broad, both in the standard steel color and in black. There are also 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm nibs in the steel color. All of these nibs can be slipped out and replaced “on the fly,” not only with the Lamy Studio, but also with other pens in the Lamy line (Safari, Al-Star, Vista, Joy, CP1, Accent and Logo). This is a tremendous feature for anyone who enjoys a variety of nib widths.

Review Performance

Dan: 7 – I’ve noticed the Lamy Studio best performs in short bursts or when I’m not quickly writing in cursive. Most of the time I write in all caps and do so exclusively for short notes, which is how I mostly used the Studio up until the Road Trip. Each time I’ve used it the flow has been wet and saturated and I’ve never had any hard starts. I’ve even let it sit for 3-4 days and it still wrote as soon as the nib hit the paper. The Road Trip was the first time I wrote in cursive with this pen and the performance started to go down hill. I go into the details about what happened with the flow in the Road Trip section. But to boil it down, I think I’ve had good experiences with the flow because I was writing short notes and giving the feed plenty of time to become saturated again. During the Road Trip I was writing very quickly in cursive and for an extended period of time. After about 7 minutes of writing like this the feed just wasn’t able to keep up. I’m definitely going to keep using this pen and will report back with any changes. Be sure to read the Road Trip for all the details.

The issue I mentioned during the Test Drive with the ink being less saturated than I remember and then becoming much more saturated a half hour later is most likely due to the way I fill the pen. With all filling systems that allow it, once I fill the pen I remove it from the bottle and will push out a few drops of ink. Then I’ll operate the filling system in a manner that would draw ink into the pen to suck excessive ink from the feed into the pen. I do this because I don’t like having such an over-saturated feed right after filling the pen. So, I can’t fault the pen for the dry flow of the first sentence after filling it, especially since it’s written consistently more wet ever since then.

Eric: 6.5 – The Lamy Studio performs very well once it gets going. My main problem with the performance is that if I do not use the pen for 48 hours, it refuses to start. To get things going again, I must resort to turning the converter knob to force some ink into the feed. That’s a simple fix, and I would begrudgingly accept having to prime the feed if the pen had been sitting for a week or longer. But a pen that refuses to write after only two days is going to either drive me crazy or ensure that I’ll reach for a different pen.

Review Design Notes

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Design Notes

Dan: 9.25 – Where do I even begin? Lamy is all about design. From their website: Lamy products embody the Bauhaus principle of functional design: form follows function. Since Lamy started making pens they’ve received 53 awards for product design and advertising. The Lamy Studio, designed by Hannes Wettstein, contributed two awards to that long list: the Good Design Award and the iF Design Award, both in 2005; the release year for the Lamy Studio.

The lines of the Lamy Studio are clean and simple. I really like that the cap snaps on because it eliminates the cap threads on the section, which is where I usually grip the pen. Not only does it make the pen more comfortable to hold but it looks better too. Also, since the cap is made from a thin metal the step from the section to the barrel is minimal. It’s hard to talk about the cap (or the pen in general) and not mention that clip. THAT clip. It’s certainly different and just looking at it in pictures I have to say I was not a fan. Dealing with it in real life, though, has changed my stance. Since the cap snaps so securely to the pen it’s nice to have that vertical edge to push against. I can only imagine how difficult it would be to remove the cap if the clip was of a lower profile like on the Lamy 2000.

I really wish the section wasn’t polished chrome and instead was of the same texture as the rest of the pen. I’ll notice issues with not being able to get a solid grip on the section if my hand isn’t scrub-in-for-surgery clean. Trying to remove the barrel is actually impossible for me until I wash my hands. Not kidding. But, the high contrast the section provides against the rest of the pen makes it look absolutely stunning.

Lamy does a fantastic job in minimalistic design. I absolutely love that there’s no cap band. The placement of the LAMY name on the cap seems brilliant to me. It’s small and placed vertically on the cap near where the clip attaches to the cap. If the pen is in the position as shown above then it’s like the pen is advertising to you every time you look at it. LAMY is just right there and nearly impossible not to look at. For some reason I just really like that.

Eric: 6.75 – Here we have it, ladies and gentlemen, a clip that I absolutely love. If you’ve read other FPGeeks Awesome Reviews, you’ll likely know that I’m not usually a fan of clips, but that I claim to understand their purpose and their basic right to exist. That does not mean, however, that I’ll accept a clip that is obnoxious, ostentatious or poorly designed. Lamy knows this and designed the Lamy Studio clip just for me. It’s beautiful. I would describe it as having a long teardrop or propeller shape. It is efficient, different and classy all at the same time. It also fits in perfectly with the sleek design lines and brushed metal of the pen. Set the pen down on your desk and you can admire it for long periods of time.

Take the cap off the pen, however, and some of the appeal is gone – at least with the Lamy Studio in stainless steel. Is that really a plastic section you put on this lovely pen? Why, Lamy, why? The shape of the section is perfect. I’ll even accept the folded wings of the nib in this case because they fit nicely with the design. But my Lamy Studio in stainless steel is only beautiful when capped. Such a pity. Here’s another eight bucks, Lamy. Make the section metal and give it the same finish as the pen. Now that would be a work of art. [Ed. It should be noted that only the Stainless Steel version of the Studio comes with a plastic section and is actually the least expensive version according to Lamy’s MSRP. All other versions of the Studio, including the Matte Black that I ordered, come with a metal section. This is not stated anywhere on Lamy’s website or any retailer’s description of the pen. If we had known this we would have ordered the same pen. -Dan]

Review Detailing

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Detailing

Dan: 8.75 – With Lamy being so obsessed with design I have a hard believing their detailing is going to be any less than extraordinary. And that’s pretty much what it is. Extraordinary. After trying really hard to find something wrong with this pen the only thing I can come up with is that when the pen is capped there is the tiniest little bit of wiggle back and forth of the cap. Also, as I mentioned earlier, on the nib the top of the tipping material is missing the black coating likely from the grinding and polishing process. The flashing on the injection molded sections threads are even less noticeable than on other pens I’ve seen. Lamy really did an outstanding job on this pen.

Eric: 6.5 – Finding anything in the detailing of this pen that could be improved is very difficult. Studying the pen’s barrel and cap with a loupe produces a landscape that is breathtaking. I’m already planning to decorate my next Christmas tree with stainless steel Lamy Studios.

A very slight niggle is that the rounded end of the clip is not closed. The clip is created by folding metal onto itself. It’s a perfect fold and the slit that it produces will be difficult to see without a loupe. But now that I know it’s there, I can easily see it and catch my fingernail on it. It’s a small thing, but now that I’ve pointed it out, you’ll notice it, too.

The one item I would classify as a major flaw is that the cap does not sit in a perfectly secure fashion on the pen. The cap certainly won’t fly off the pen by itself, but it not only wiggles slightly back and forth / side to side, it also separates from its intended position slightly, leaving a small gap between cap and barrel. Given time, this will drive me crazy.

Review 21 Minute Road Trip

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen 21 Minute Road Trip

Dan: 6.25 – My 21 Minute Road Trip turned into more of a 61 Minute Road Trip. As I suspected, the longer I wrote the more the lack of grip on the chrome section came into play. I had to wipe my fingers several times, 7 to be exact, during the Road Trip. I don’t ever recall having to do that with any other pen before. Maybe once or twice, but definitely not seven times!

I started the Road Trip writing on Rhodia dotpad paper and noticed a slight issue with the flow. I mostly write in all caps and that was all I had done until about a third of the way through the Road Trip. Once I switched to cursive I noticed the feed was struggling to keep up. I write much faster in cursive and use (excessively) large flourishes on the letters h,j,k,g, etc. During the flourishes the flow would be reminiscent of a dry nib and the stroke would nearly disappear. I made sure I wasn’t slightly picking up the nib during the flourish strokes and concentrated on applying even pressure throughout the stroke, but nothing changed. When I slowed things down and wrote the flourish the same speed as the rest of the word things improved slightly. Until they started to get worse.

About 15 minutes into the Road Trip the pen started skipping and was writing very dry. Nothing close to the saturation as before. I removed the barrel and extended the piston in the converter almost half the length of the converter before I started to see any ink gather around the feed. Where does half a converter amount of ink hide? Was the feed so absolutely bone dry that it required that much ink to make it saturated again? I retracted the piston slightly so ink was no longer visible around the feed and started writing again. The flow was saturated just like I was used to. Not all that much of a surprise. After switching to another paper and writing on the front and back of four sheets of Rhodia I noticed that the flow did start to dry a bit but not to the point where my flourishes were disappearing due to dry flow. I’m going to continue to test this pen and check the flow. I’ll be sure to update this if there are any changes.

Eric: 6.75 – My road trip with the Lamy Studio was ok, but I can’t say that it was altogether enjoyable. The pen wrote and I noticed no skipping or hesitations. The flow, however, is definitely on the dry side and will have to be adjusted. The nib is not scratchy, but it’s not buttery smooth, either. What I felt while writing really couldn’t be classified as feedback. It was more of a little tug-o-war going on between my hand and the nib. My hand wanted the nib to glide along the paper while the nib seemed to want to plant roots and stay put. I imagine this unpleasantness will be reduced with the aforementioned flow adjustment.

The pen is comfortable. My hand did not start asking for a break until very close to the 20 minute marker. Once the Road Trip was complete, however, my hand kept reminding me that moving the nib along was much more work than should be necessary.

Review The Checkered Flag

Pros:
– Plethora of nib sizes available
– Nibs easily swapped on the fly
– Striking design

Cons:
– Not all nib sizes available in black
– Proprietary C/C filler
– May need a flow adjustment

Famous Last Words:

Dan: On Lamy’s website they say, “Lamy writing instruments make a clear statement: best value for money.” It’s hard for me to disagree with that. Before I had ever used the Lamy Studio my go-to pen to recommend someone new to fountain pens was the TWSBI Diamond 540. While, this will most likely continue to be the case, if someone is looking for a pen that isn’t a demonstrator then I’ll point them towards the Studio.

Eric: I’m a big fan of Lamy. The Lamy Studio, in my opinion, is a gorgeous pen. I don’t believe, however, that its beauty will be enough for me, personally. The wiggly cap is the real deal-breaker as it is both annoying and far from what one expects of German engineering. The non-matching section? I could live with that since so many pen manufacturers have inured us to the sin. The flow? Most out of the box fountain pens benefit from an adjustment so I can’t hold that against the Studio. But the cap. The cap simply must remain exactly and firmly in its place. Anything less is not acceptable. Anyone wanna buy a Lamy Studio?


This pen was purchased for review.

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  • http://monkeyphotomcr.blogspot.com/ John the Monkey

    RE: the carts, it's worth noting that they do have a "reserve". Run out of the ink in the main body of the cartridge, and you can flick the section at the top to free the reserve. Monteverde also make a Lamy compatible cartridge (their Burgundy is quite a pleasant colour), if you find Lamy's colour range limiting. (My vista uses Lamy blue carts, my Al-Star a convertor (currently Diamine Evergreen).

    The pen stopping is something I've not experienced with Lamy convertors personally (although I've only used them in Al-Stars and Safaris. Is it possible you've a defective one?

  • Deb Tinsley

    I just located my Lamy Studio with EF nib. It had ink in the converter (Iroshizuku Yama Budo). I haven't touched this pen for 2 months (because I couldn't find it). It wrote as if I'd just used it – very smooth.

  • Linda

    I am also a great fan of the Bauhaus principle of functional design. I rarely buy anything just because it looks good. I enjoyed reading your review – great website! <3

  • http://www.gouletpens.com Rachel Goulet

    Just a head's up, Lamy increased the Studio prices effective today, 2/1. The Studio is now list price $85 for the stainless steel (steel nib), $95 for the black or imperial blue (steel nib), $195 for the palladium or platinum grey (gold nib), and $395 for the shiny platinum (gold nib).

  • david bogie

    Re; a comment above: An ink reserve is an odd concept. It adds nothing to the capacity of the cartridge although I suppose it gives you a clue you're just about out.

    The comment about a spare cartridge caught my eye, boys. Never heard of a fountain pen that carries a spare. There's certainly no room for one in any of my Sheaffers from the 1960s and 70s. Can you point me toward a pen that carries two universal or full size cartridges?

    • http://fpgeeks.com/ Dan Smith

      I'm not sure what you mean by "universal" or "full sized", but if we're talking about the common international sized cartridge then there are many pens that can easily store a second cartridge. Two international sized cartridges placed back-to-back are only about 1mm longer than a converter and will fit inside most pens. I only own 4 pens that accept international sized cartridges and three of them easily hold 2 cartridges, the Levenger Arborea, Levenger Plumpster, and Monteverde Invincia.

      • http://monkeyphotomcr.blogspot.com/ John the Monkey

        Yup, the back to back short international cart is a fairly common design. Off the top of my head, the Waterman Kultur, Pelikan Pelikano & Steno, Schneider Base all allow this – the Rotring Art Pen looks like it should, but just wedges the second cartridge uselessly in the barrel (don't ask me how I know, or the extreme measures I took to remove it!).

        On the ink reserve – I find it slightly handier than running out & having to change cartridges right there and then – flick the top of the barrel, and I can usually finish what I'm doing & change the cart at my own convenience.

        • david bogie

          Just found a couple of old PArker carts in my stationery drawer. Upon closer examination than I have ever before afforded, they have what appears to be a small reservoir at the top, separate by a very thin plastic membrane.

          I run out of ink more often than I should like to admit. One of the reasons I carry three pens. But I see where having two carts would be ever so convenient, perhaps even interesting, if they were close but different colors.

      • david bogie

        Thanks for correcting the difference between universal and international. So the two cartridges hold more ink than the convertor. Two short internationals, at 0.75ml ea, hold more than a single large International at 1.45ml. Just trying to follow the logic. Seems my single Sheaffer cartridge only holds 1.0ml.

    • http://www.soliloquyinblue.com Michelle Smith

      It's probably worth pointing out that Sheaffer made its own brand of cartridge with its own special dimensions. They only work in Sheaffer pens, so you can't really call them "universal." :)

      • david bogie

        So true, I don't think anyone would commit that particular faux pas.

  • http://wwww.justdaveyb.com JustDaveyB

    Great review!

    I really like the Lamy Studio pen – I own three. Now and again I like mixing the nib section from the Brushed Stainless Steel (which is black plastic) with body from the Black version, add a black Z50 nib and you have a very nice all black (except clip) stealth pen.

    • http://fpgeeks.com/ Dan Smith

      Oh yes, I've thought about doing this since I first saw pictures of the black Studio with a black nib. You should post some pics so<s> I </s>we can see what it looks like.

      • http://wwww.justdaveyb.com JustDaveyB

        Alas I can no longer build that franken-pen as I sold the last of black Z50 nibs during a cull earlier this year.

  • Tamara

    I have two Lamy Studios and have never had trouble with hard starts, dry nibs, or anything. The only thing I dislike about mine (other than the fact that they would be even better with a gold nib) is the Lamy converter. I hate the fact that the knob on the end is not round, as it makes it hard (for me) to turn it. As for the Studio itself, I often refer to it as Old Reliable. When I have a new ink, I ink up one of my Studios and give it a run.

  • Don

    I would like to point out that there is a gigantic difference between the steel and the gold nib on the Studio. The gold nib is extremely wet, extremely springy and while there isn't any flex, it does feel a bit like a Pilot Falcon. Also, a gold F nib has the same line width as a steel M.

    The gold also tends to give me shading. Line variation only with speed but it is very very light.

    • http://fpgeeks.com/ Dan Smith

      There's also an $80 difference which would put the gold nib Studio into a higher class.

  • Youstruckgold

    All well and good; but it remains an ugly pen! Sorry; but somebody had to say it!

    • http://fpgeeks.com/ Dan Smith

      I can only assume this comment was intended for a different post.

  • http://fpgeeks.com Eric Schneider

    If I've counted correctly, three Lamy Studios that have never had a starting problem are mentioned in the comments. That's great news, actually! It means my Studio should only need a little tweak/adjustment to stop with the drying out between uses habit. Wunderbar!

  • Ken Mc

    What ink caused you hard starts? I have seven Studios and none of them have a hard starting problem. I also don’t put Noodler or PR inks in my pens. Just sayin’

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  • snedwos

    I currently have two LAMY pens fitted with standard cartridges. They are hacked (literally) cartridges, but it wasn’t too difficult. I took a craft knife and scraped the lip that used to hold the little ball, until the mouth was wide enough to slip onto the feed. quite snugly, too. They will now serve as converters.

  • alan73s

    Is it me, or is the Lamy Studio difficult to hold?
    The lower shiny chrome section is very slick for me, I find my fingers sliding down all the time as I write.
    Other than that I just love the look and feel (weight) of the pen. It’s really a beautiful object!