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Laurie
May 7th, 2015, 08:30 PM
I am a newbie and have a small collection of medium quality pens the best of which are a Platinum 3776 Century and a Sheaffer Targa.
I have received some good advice to sit back and work out my next pen. My present thoughts (with a recommendation from a member) are for a Pelikan 400. My budget would be around $150-$200. So I assume I would be looking at a vintage pen for that price. I recently read some comments on the Pelican 400 nibs and I seem to recall the poster mentioning some earlier Pelikans had superior nibs. I am not sure and just cant find the post.
Any thoughts and suggestions would be most appreciated.

Hawk
May 7th, 2015, 11:49 PM
I feel they are great pens. On the pens I own, the nibs are great. Being a piston filler, they hold quite a bit of ink. I have found that, on occasion, the pen burps ink if one 'thumps' ones hand down on the paper, even lightly. I imagine it is due to the design of the feed. Also, the gold on the clips seem to wear more than some other vintage pens.

Laurie
May 8th, 2015, 12:20 AM
Thanks Hawk, Are the piston fillers reliable on the vintage models. Also I didnt ask originally but since I have read some good reviews on the M. 200. Whilst it only has a steel nib that doesnt really worry me as my readings and research indicate that there is not that much difference between a good gold and a good steel nib.

Jon Szanto
May 8th, 2015, 01:49 AM
The contemporary M200 bear about as much resemblance to a vintage 400 series as an ass to an elbow.

i.e. no comparison.

If you save just a bit longer, you can get yourself a Pelikan 400NN. A short-lived variant of that line (400, 400N, 400NN), there are many people that consider the Tortise-barrel version of the 400NN (which is further distinguished by the barrel, cap top and piston knob being of a very dark brown) to be one of the iconic pens. Like, ever. I'm going to leave a lot of this to you, Laurie, as an exercise to the reader for research. You could start by looking at Rick Propas' site to see what the high-end of retail prices would be, and to see good visual differences on these models. You can then see many of them on the net, eBay, etc. If you buy from a respected dealer (like Rick) you'll know the pen has been serviced and will last for years and years.

I'm the pen person in the house, but my wife has a few. By sheer coincidence, early on she saw a set on auction and said "oh, I really like the way this looks". I kept a bead on it, did my work, and got it, for a very fair price (more than fair, now that I think of it). The dang thing came and although I outnumber her, pen-wise, about 10:1, I am still jealous of that pen. For me, it is everything a pen can and should be. Beautiful, functional, and timeless.

Oh, hell, here is a nice photo. Snagged this from a post by Dr. David, this is identical to our set except for a different case (and a *lot* better photo):

18766

Jon Szanto
May 8th, 2015, 02:10 AM
P.S. Picov has 3 400NNs for sale right now on this forum, in addition to some other nice Pels. They are the green version, but great to look at and good prices.

carlos.q
May 8th, 2015, 04:38 AM
P.S. Picov has 3 400NNs for sale right now on this forum, in addition to some other nice Pels. They are the green version, but great to look at and good prices.
I would also recommend buying a 400NN from Vasco. :thumb:

Laurie
May 8th, 2015, 05:19 AM
Hi Jon, You have been most informative as usual (remember the Diamine Sherwood green ink comment which I heeded and have ordered). I have a few questions. I understand these are a piston filling system. Can I expect this filling system to trouble free for a long time and if not can it be fixed. Secondly I am not sure of the Pelikan nibs. I thought I liked a broad to medium nib. I like the medium. But my favourite pen that I have is the Platinum 3776 Century with a broad nib which I believe would equate to a European medium. So I am thinking a medium nib might be the one I should be looking for. Would a Pelikan Medium nib equate to a Japanese Broad nib? Maybe a hard question but whilst I have a Sheaffer Targa with a fine nib which I like very much I would prefer it to be a tad broader.

Chrissy
May 8th, 2015, 05:51 AM
I have a Pelikan M400 tortoise shell brown modern version and had to have the nib exchanged from a M to a F. German F nibs are more like Japanese M nibs. I also have a Sheaffer Targa with a F nib. My Pelikan F nib is slightly broader than my Sheaffer one. I think you would therefore be wise to try out a Pelikan F nib first.

Jon Szanto
May 8th, 2015, 11:08 AM
The Pelikan F nibs I've used are generous in both size and flow, and being that many of them are anywhere from 'soft' to somewhat flexible, you'll get plenty of line with an F. An M will feel certainly like a Japanese B. Remember the huge caveat, though: none of this is carved in stone, and F, M, B... these are all just letters, and you'll just have to see about the nib yourself. I know, this makes it hard when you can't try the pen first. Decide which way you can live best: if the nib is wider than you assumed, or narrower.

AntidOto
May 8th, 2015, 12:30 PM
The vintage Pelikan 400 was produced from 1950 to 1956, then came the 400N (1956) and the 400NN (1956-1964). Then in the 80's Pelikan introduced the new M400, very similar to the original 400 (the first model). The difference from the vintage 400 and the modern M400 is the nib. If not specified otherwise, the vintage pen has semi-flex nibs, while the modern one has rigid nibs.

Moreover, in the late 90s or around 2000, Pelikan changed the nibs, applying wider rounded iridium tips. So today a Pelikan medium nib writes wider than a Platinum broad.

tandaina
May 8th, 2015, 12:32 PM
The vintage Pelikan 400 was produced from 1950 to 1956, then came the 400N (1956) and the 400NN (1956-1964). Then in the 80's Pelikan introduced the new M400, very similar to the original 400 (the first model). The difference from the vintage 400 and the modern M400 is the nib. If not specified otherwise, the vintage pen has semi-flex nibs, while the modern one has rigid nibs.

Moreover, in the late 90s or around 2000, Pelikan changed the nibs, applying wider rounded iridium tips. So today a Pelikan medium nib writes wider than a Platinum broad.

All true. I would add that the old 400 nibs have very *flat* iridium tipping which means they actually have a bit of line variation in their wider sizes. A B nib will be very stubby. Which is fun!

AntidOto
May 8th, 2015, 12:34 PM
Continued:

You can find information on nib size on nibs.com website.

As for the piston, I have a vintage 400NN that works perfectly. On the vintage 400 is possible to extract the piston mechanism as in modern M800 and M1000 with a dedicated key. On modern M400 it is not so simple, and it should be done only by professionals.

tandaina
May 8th, 2015, 12:41 PM
All of my old 400s work flawlessly, none of them have needed any work at all. Super reliable.

Hawk
May 8th, 2015, 07:15 PM
All good preceding comments. I have a M200 that I like very much. I'm wierd, I like vintage pens a lot, most of my pens are vintage. For most of my writing, I use modern pens, the M200 being one of them. The new Pelikan pens have the advantage of modern engineering, materials and precision and therefore better writers, in my opinion. The way I look at it: modern pens for everyday writing and vintage pens for admiring a little part of history and occasional writing. I feel there will be some strong disagreement with my views and that is great, it will expose other views and likes or dislikes.

Jon Szanto
May 8th, 2015, 07:34 PM
All good preceding comments. I have a M200 that I like very much.

My original statement about the M200 vs the older pens has to be taken with a great deal of salt. I'm aware they are nice pens, and I hyperbole all the time. I still prefer my older Pels, but all of their family of pens are worthy investments.

Hawk
May 8th, 2015, 07:47 PM
Jon, I don't like a great deal of salt on my food except for pickled salt herring. However,I do like the grain of salt you sprinkle on some of your posts. Maybe it's my wierd sense of humor, or whatever.

My original statement about the M200 vs the older pens has to be taken with a great deal of salt. I'm aware they are nice pens, and I hyperbole all the time. I still prefer my older Pels, but all of their family of pens are worthy investments.[/QUOTE]

KrazyIvan
May 8th, 2015, 07:47 PM
I'm using an m250 right now. Nice for the price.

Hawk
May 8th, 2015, 07:51 PM
I lied. I wanted a M200 in silver trim which is the M205. Don't tell my pen that I called it by a different name.

KBeezie
May 9th, 2015, 05:57 AM
I been using a 1956 Pelikan 400NN for a while, in comparison to my Pelikan M400 (old-style, from 90s), I like the feel of the 400NN better, and they seem to have higher ink capacity, the one I have also has a semi-flex EF nib. The nibs the older you go do certainly seem to get a different feeling with some nicer semi-flex up to the very very firm modern nibs. But pretty much smooth across the board.

The piston mechanism from both my own usage and from what I've seen people say of them has been pretty much built to last, if anything going to get damaged, it's likely going to be the cap (dome, clip, possibly) long before the piston mechanism goes out. Most of the time all it needs is a little pure silicone grease to get moving again (ie: if it starts to feel stiff). Some of the larger models like the M800/M1000 (or special edition M640) can be unscrewed from the back if you just want to grease the rod a little), but I've yet to have a problem with any of the Pelikans I have piston wise (only the M250 had starting issues on the nib, but I feel that's because the previous owner sprung it, and once I got it apart, adjusted and heat-seated it, it was perfect since then).

http://i.imgur.com/xl5udid.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/UlTUrwG.jpg

The new ones since March is a Pelikan M805 in Blue Stripes with an 18K Broad, and a Pelikan 20 Silvexa (Cartridge pen) with a 14K Platinum coated Oblique Broad.