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Thread: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

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    Default Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    Many people know I am a bit of a Nakaya freak and have more than 100 of the little gems. A friend recently asked if I could provide comparative writing samples of the various nib sizes so I agreed to give it a shot. I have decided to post the results here on the remote chance it might be of interest or possibly even helpful to someone else. I will summarize my methodology, post the actual writing samples, and then list a few conclusions.

    Notes on the Methodology

    This was an unscientific study. Writing was done as simple dip samples done by hand. While I tried to minimize process variations, some uncontrolled variations would be expected.

    Not all pens were new, right out of box. Some had been previously owned, and came from a variety of sources. This fact would of course introduce variations depending on who originally tuned the nib and whether a previous owner had any adjustments made. To the best of my knowledge, none of the nibs had been ground, though it is always possible some had been smoothed a bit or adjusted to provide more or less flow.

    Ink was Waterman Serenity Blue and paper was Franklin Christoph Sugar Cane paper.

    Samples were produced with a single dip except if the pen ran dry requiring a second dip (see samples using BB and EF Elastic).

    Samples were produced showing cursive writing and printing, then vertical and horizontal lines, and finally four vertical lines using increasing pressure from left to right.

    A Few Informal Conclusions

    I should mention my personal prejudices right up front so that my conclusions can be viewed with the proper context. In general, I am a big fan of Nakaya and love the way they write. I prefer stiff nibs (which Nakaya generally are) and do not make use of flex features when writing. So with that in mind, here is what I concluded from my unscientific experiment:

    Widths seemed to progress as expected as I moved from finer to broader nibs with one notable exception. The Ultra Extra Fine nib seemed to me to write broader than either the Extra Fine or even the Fine. I can not explain this. If I didn’t hate cleaning pens so much I might have tried a second Ultra Extra Fine pen to see if results are different. But I don’t like Ultra Extra Fine nibs anyway, so I will leave that experiment to someone else.

    Not really an aberration or exception, but actually a confirmation of something I already knew through experience and could be expected based on visual inspection prior to writing. Nakaya BB nibs have monstrous balls of tipping and produce a significant increase in line width and wetness compared to Broad nibs. The tipping is so large most nibmeisters find it a perfect canvas for any grind someone might want. My personal favorite is architect.

    “Soft” treatment on Nakaya nibs really does work as seen in the 4 vertical line portion of each writing sample. “Soft” nibs had a noticeably different feel and certainly produced more line variation with increasing pressure. While I have always preferred stiff nibs, I really did like these much more than I had expected.

    I am not the right guy to evaluate the elastic feature (cutouts on side of nib) as it is a feature pretty much lost on me. In addition, the only such nib I have is an EF and may not be the best nib width to demonstrate the feature, but most certainly mine is not the best hand with which to try it.

    I still love Nakaya nibs and the way they write.

    Thanks for reading. I hope this might be useful or at least interesting to somebody somewhere

  2. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to whichwatch For This Useful Post:

    carlos.q (March 25th, 2022), catbert (March 25th, 2022), Chrissy (March 25th, 2022), elaineb (March 26th, 2022), junglejim (March 30th, 2022), Robert (March 25th, 2022)

  3. #2
    FPG Donor ♕ Chrissy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    Thanks for this. It's very helpful.

    I've never seen a Nakaya pen in real life but looking at your writing samples my favourite would be an extra broad.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

  4. #3
    Senior Member Lloyd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    My understanding is that the elastic nibs are more about the ride than the output.

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    Default Re: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    Thank-you very much for this. It's very helpful!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    Well done, Rick. Between the visual and the commentary, a helpful resource.

    I remember in high school band on bus trips, singing "One hundred Nakaya pens on the wall, one hundred Nakaya pens..."
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Writing Samples of Nakaya Nibs

    I remember when trying the various nibs at the SF pen show last year noting that the UEF seemed broader than the EF and comparable to the F. Of the ones they had there the Extra Broad also seemed finer than the Broad. I think I tossed the paper where I'd done all the samples though.


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