Seeking Namiki Vanishing Point feedback

I have two Waterman fountain pens that I absolutely adore -- an Ici et La (my first fountain pen), and an Expert II, the only pen I use more than the first.

Now I'm looking for something just a little more travel-friendly. The Namiki Vanishing Point II's have attracted my attention. Has anyone here experience with them?

What are the size, weight, and balance like?

How do they write, compared to a Waterman or Mont Blanc? What kinds of ink do they like?

How well do they fare in everyday travel? Do they drip when jostled hard, as in a pocket during a busy day, or in carry-on luggage (train not plane, so no pressure issues); if not, what prevents them from doing so?

Thanks in advance for all responses,

Susan

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Be sure to try it before you

Be sure to try it before you buy it; it is my understanding that the placement of the clip can be annoying for some folks. There is, if you search hard enough, find a Pilot Decimo online that may come clipless. I do not know, i am not a vp fan.

My Vanishing Point doesn't

My Vanishing Point doesn't get much use, but when it decides to write, it writes very well. I think if I used a less hearty ink than Pelikan it would work better -- the only pens I have that consistently get along with Pelikan ink are Pelikan pens. The VP's nib is very good indeed.

I don't think the VP will leak under any conceivably near-normal conditions. The balance of it is pleasant enough; the clip placement may bother some (including me) but the alternative would be no clip, so...

Some users have reported that the Vanishing Point works better with cartridges than with the converter. If so, no problem; it's very easy to refill your own cartridges if you don't want to buy new ones all the time. (Use a syringe included in an inkjet-refill kit.) I normally will not use cartridges so I can't confirm or deny this.

My feeling is that the Vanishing Point pen is good for carrying around here and there; but how hard is it to uncap a more conventional fountain pen?

The trouble with caps...

My trouble with caps is the ease of losing them. My Expert II has a cap that clicks on quite crisply -- so far, so good. My Ici et La has a more delicate cap -- I've lost one and had to send the pen to Waterman to have a replacement fitted. There are a number of places that I just don't take my fountains since the Ici et La cap loss, as I'm afraid of the cap popping off during transit, either becoming lost entirely, or allowing the container the pen is in to become horribly ink stained.

Pen cases help with that, but make for a bulkier carry and add an item to be set aside every time I write -- not always convenient when I am writing on the train or somesuch.

If the VPs live up to the hype, I'm hoping to finally have a fountain pen that goes *everywhere* with me. As no one near me sells them, I'm relying on my fellow scribophiles (writing instrument enthusiasts) to clue me in on whether or not the purchase will meet my expectations.

Susan

Try it first

I agree with Xena, try it before you buy, if you can. I have one regular one and two Décimos and love the Décimos but rarely use the regular sized one. That last is too big and uncomfortable for me to use much, but the smaller Décimos are just right for me. While the clip bothers me with the larger pen, the smaller ones don't at all.

The only issue I've ever had with them is that the converter just doesn't hold much ink. I've taken to refilling an empty cartridge to get a longer lasting fill of ink. There is a squeeze converter that seems to hold more than the screw top converter but I haven't measured to see for sure.

You can see the regular ones on Richard Binder's site (no affiliation other than a happy customer) -

Richard Binder pen site

but for the smaller Décimo I think you'll have to find an overseas source.

I like mine.

As someone said, the clip placement annoys some people, but I love my VP. It gets bounced around in my bag constantly and has never leaked, despite normally laying on its side in said bag.

Namiki VP

I have one of the black "stealth" VPs given to me by a friend, and I do use it on occasion. The "fit and finish" are great, it feels well-balanced (at least to me), and I've not had any leakage problems. The clip placement doesn't bother me. I have F and M nibs, and I like being able to swap them out for different uses (I use the F more when I'm scribing in my hPDA and the M when I have more real estate or if I'm doing illustration). The nibs are smooth and just buttery enough to give an expressive but controllable line. I've used Conway Stewart, Levenger, and Noodler's in it with no problems.

On the flip side, I find the filling and cleaning processes to be much more laborious than other pens. Getting a full tank on any piston-filler is a multi-step process; first you dip the nib and turn the piston to draw the ink in; then you take it out, turn it point-up, and slowly turn the piston the other way to bleed the air out; then you dip it back into the ink bottle and draw in another batch. Takes at least 2 times for me to get a reasonably full tank.

Cleaning: you're disassembling and cleaning both the pen body (the nose frequently gets gunked up with stray ink -- especially Noodler's permanent, which tends to coat the nib) and the nib/tank components. It feels a little bit like field-stripping a weapon -- when I'm done I feel like I should slap it down and yell "Sir done sir!" :-D

On balance, it's a nice device to bring to a meeting when I want to impress people, but I don't use it as often as I would because of the above.

HTH,
RollaFool

Vanishing Point

I use my VP frequently for journaling and miscellaneous writing and often carry it in my purse, not in a case but just clipped onto one of the purse's inside pockets. Have never had an ink accident with it. It's one of the best pens I own for the kind of everyday use you describe. My VP's only travel competitor is a Lamy Safari, which seems to be tough as the proverbial nail and which always writes for me no matter how it's been carried or jostled or just left lying around.

My two cents...

I have about 5 VPs, 4 standard current model VPs and 1 Decimo. The standard VP is fairly large around the barrel, probably pretty close to a Lamy Safari. I don't have experience with either of your Watermans, but the Ici et La is a fairly slim pen, so the VP would be larger in diameter. The barrel is also made of brass, so it's got a little heft to it. I find the nibs to be very smooth and reliable, although as you may have heard, Japanese nibs tend to run narrow. So, a fine is close to an extra fine, and a medium is like a fine. The fine is great for journaling and taking notes in small notebooks though. (And the ink lasts longer!)

The Decimo is lighter (barrel is aluminum) and slimmer than the standard VP. If your hands are small, you might find the Decimo a better fit. However, you'll have to get one overseas or find a used one for sale on one of the fountain pen boards. They show up occasionally. I bought mine from an outfit called Ujuku Pen Shop in Japan and was very satisfied with the service. Note: he normally ships with EMS, which is like an express service. It's best to order more than one item, so you spread the shipping cost out over several items. Their URL is: ujuku.ath.cx/ujuku-shop/kaimono/pentop3.htm. Add the http:// in front of this. Ujuku also has an eBay store.

As some have said, the piston or squeeze converter doesn't hold much ink. The cartridges hold more, which is why a lot of people like them. Pilot/Namiki cartridges are available from US suppliers or you can refill them with your favorite ink.

I have taken a VP travelling and it's held up well. I usually take pens that use cartridges and travel with them empty (i.e., no cart). Then when I get to my destination, I put in a cartridge and scribble away.

Try before you buy is good advice. Adjusting to the clip is strictly a personal thing. You won't know until you try. The VPs should be available at a pen shop that sells other Pilot or Namiki pens.

Good luck!

Walter

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"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once." Albert Einstein and Buckaroo Banzai

have 2 vanishing points

Kristel and I each have a Namiki VP. We like them because of how they click open and closed. Kristel uses the ink cartridges, I use the converter with a mix of 2 Visconti inks. Kristel has the FP and I have a MP nib. On a scale of 1-10, compared with my other pens, I would give them a 6.5 for how well they write on different surfaces in terms of ink flow and smoothness. Namiki nibs are not my favorite. I am always afraid of breaking the clip when I clip it onto something. It is sturdy enough but is not wide or spring loaded like some of my other pens. I have never had this pen leak on me ever while doing anything, including flying. Kristel has the dark blue carbon fibre. I have the orange LE.

Arthur
www.renaissance-art.com

Perspective

Arthur, when I saw your subject "have 2 vanishing points" in the recent comments, I thought "interesting..a discussion of two-point perspective drawing here at DIYplanner..."

Guess I'm out of the pen loop (not the one on my planner)

Julie

a nice compliment with my coffee ice cream

Julie.... I just got back from errands, sat back with some of the coffee ice cream I made yesterday and tuned into DIY planner. Your comment gave me a nice chuckle to go with my ice cream. Thanks :)
Now I need to go truss the chicken I am rotisserie-ing for dinner.

Oh... being out of the "pen loop"... intentional or accidental pun? Clever!

BTW.. I carry my Namiki VP LE Orange with the cPDA cover I am field testing.

Arthur
www.renaissance-art.com

Nice pen, but

I tend not to use it so much. I prefer larger pens which I don't consider this one to be, the nib is especially small and that takes away some of my enjoyment of writing with it, feels kinda scratchy. The colors seem somewhat strange also. I ordered a gray one and it turned out to be an unusal dirty blue kind of color. The folks at Pendemonium were nice enough to exchange it for me, but the only other one I liked was silver - I've got silver pens already thank you. I would suggest you get it through Pendemonium who have always done right by me (no affiliation of course)so if you don't like you could exchange it.