All posts by edjelley

Lamy Studio Platinum Grey 14k Nib Fountain Pen Review

Lamy Studio Platinum Grey
14k Nib Fountain Pen Review
– Handwritten Review –

  • Review Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Momiji
  • Review Paper: Rhodia Graph Pad

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review-4116Specs:

  • Description: A modern cousin of the Lamy 2000 featuring a Safari style 14k gold nib
  • Nib: 14k gold, fine
  • Filling Mechanism: Lamy Converter (proprietary)
  • Weight: 4.6oz
  • Measurements:5.5″ capped, 6.2″ posted, 5.1″ uncapped
  • Color Options: Several

Writing Sample:

IMG_1089 (1)


Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review Black-6039I’ve been super on the fence about the Lamy Studio for years now. I think the most appealing part about it is the Safari / Al-Star style 14k gold nib. When I received the pen from Pen Chalet, the real test was to see if I was excited about the pen as a whole, or just the fact that I could trick out my Lamy Safari with an awesome gold nib… Read on to see how the Lamy Studio holds up!

Huge thanks to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending me a
Lamy Studio over for review!

Appearance & Packaging:

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review-4114The Lamy Studio comes in a nicely designed cardboard box, just like the Lamy 2000. I’ve said it about a million times now, but packaging isn’t a huge deal to me. The box is nice, not wasteful, and more than enough to make an impression should you decide to give this pen as a gift. The pen itself is a torpedo shaped, completely flush pen with a bright silver end cap on both the tail and cap of the pen. There’s a super glossy (fingerprint magnet) metal grip and propellor style clip made from the same material. There’s definitely a sense of style about the pen – it just looks sleek. I would say it looks like a Lamy 2000 that had to dress up for a slightly more formal occasion — less utilitarian and a bit more classy.

Nib Performance & Filling System:

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review Black-6055The shining star of this entire pen is the 14k nib. It’s the same style as that seen on the Safari / Al-Star / various other pens in the Lamy lineup. It can easily be removed for cleaning or swapping over to another pen.  It lays down a super wet, silky smooth line with just a tiny bit of cushion, courtesy of the 14k gold. I really like writing with this nib, and yes, I’ve already put a gold nib on a $24 Safari, and yes, it’s also great.

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review-4117Unlike the 2000, the Studio fills via a proprietary cartridge/converter. I’ve never had an issue with this Lamy filling system, and I don’t foresee any problems with this one either. I can’t help but compare this pen to the 2000 again, because for the same price you get an awesome piston filling mechanism.

Feel & Construction:

untitled-4118-2Feel. This is where my issues lie with the Studio. The platinum grey coating has a wonderful textured feel to it, but it all goes out the window thanks to the grip. The super shiny, fingerprint magnet of a grip is incredibly slippery. It makes it hard to hold the pen for long writing sessions, and even then it takes me a few tries to find a comfortable grip where I don’t feel as though I’m going to drop the pen. The Studio does come in several other finishes and materials with different grips. I’d definitely recommend checking one of those out over this version BUT most of the better performing  (hopefully) grips do not include the 14k gold nib.

Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review-4123Overall, the finishing on the pen is pretty decent. There are no blemishes, the grip fits into the body nicely, the nib wrote well right out of the box. There’s a small gap when closing the cap that makes me feel like the pen isn’t completely closed. If you look closely, you can see the grip shining through in the image above. It’s not ideal, but I’ve yet to have the pen pop open. I’ve also found that the cap snags a little when being put back on. This could be user error, so just make sure you’re putting the cap straight on should you pick one up.


  • 14k gold nib is great
  • Matte body texture is very nice
  • Sleek design


  • Slippery grip
  • Some less-than-ideal finishing
  • Highly competitive price range


Lamy Studio Fountain Pen Review Black-6066By this point, you may be able to tell that I’m not a huge fan of the Lamy Studio. It’s by no means a bad pen, but the $150ish price range is highly competitive and there are plenty of better options out there. If it was between this pen and the Lamy 2000, I couldn’t see myself recommending this over it. The pen is highlighted by its 14k gold nib, but the ergonomics and finishing have me swapping the nib over to an Al-Star before reaching for the Studio. Let me know in the comments below if you have a Lamy Studio, I’d love to hear your experience with the pen!


Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review-3What is it? Well, it’s probably one of the most famous pencils out there. They’re made of genuine incense cedar, feature a matte black body, and a large golden ferrule with a replaceable eraser. You can pick them up on Amazon for around 2 bucks per pencil. Yes, pencils can be famous…this is one of them. It’s been cited by John Steinbeck as his favorite pencil, bringing a lot of attention to the brand. Read on to see how it’s held up in the hands of a fountain pen fan…

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review-4Notes: You hear a lot about this pencil, people love the brand, they release special limited editions, and there’s an “aura” around it that people are drawn to. The only reason I bought one was to see what the big deal was. The classic Blackwing is a nice looking pencil featuring a matte black body and a large, golden ferrule that you can even replace the eraser in. Initially, I found the pencil to be quite long and slightly off-balance. After some use (and sharpening) the pencil became easier and more comfortable to write with. The Blackwing pencil even has its own motto – “twice the speed, half the pressure” – which for the most part, I agree with. It’s very smooth, produces a nice dark line, and I can see how other pencils are “slower”. Rougher leads just lead to a less smooth experience overall, which does give the impression of writing slower.

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review-5-2There’s one glaring issue for me, and that’s the point retention / lead hardness. Since the lead is so soft (what makes it so smooth and dark), you need to constantly rotate the pencil to keep a crisp line. You can see a huge difference in the writing sample between the beginning and even the middle of the page. A harder lead will solve this problem, but those tend to produce a lighter line. To me, finding the right pencil is all about finding the right balance of hardness and darkness of the line. When the pencil is sharp, it’s great, but unfortunately that isn’t for a very long time.

Palomino Blackwing Pencil Review-1Overall, the Palomino Blackwing is an okay pencil. It does write nice and dark, and super smooth. Unfortunately for me, that writing experience is a fleeting moment, as the line produced quickly becomes wider and significantly less crisp. There is light at the end of the tunnel, as Palomino makes a Blackwing Pearl. I’ve recently picked up one of these , so expect a review shortly! If you’ve been looking to add a premium pencil to your collection, and prefer a soft lead, definitely consider picking up some Palomino Blackwings!



Disclaimer: This review contains Amazon Affiliate links. They provide me with a bit of revenue to keep the site functioning and help buy new products to review.

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A video posted by Ed Jelley (@edjelley) on Top Posts of 2015 Top Posts of 2015

Another year of blogging is in the books. I always enjoy looking back on the top posts of the year to see what you, the readers, liked the most and ultimately want to see more of in the year ahead. First thing’s first, I want to thank each and every one of you for reading the site, following me on Instagram, Twitter, sharing my articles on Facebook, and commenting on FPN. It means a lot that people appreciate the work that I do, and it makes it all worth it. The site’s views have increased by 35% in 2015, and I hope to continue that trend. While we’re here, big shoutouts to the FPN group on Facebook, Pen Addict, and Reddit r/fountainpens for sending the most views my way in 2015. Also, thank you to my sponsors Jetpens and Pen Chalet for providing me with some awesome stuff to review and give away. Read on to see the Top 10 Posts of 2015, and hit the links to catch up if you missed them!

10. TWSBI Eco Hands On / First Impressions

Noodler's Dark Matter Ink Fountain Pen Ink Review9. A Comparison of Noodlers Black Inks

Sailor Professional Gear Imperial Black Fountain Pen8. Sailor 1911 Pro Gear Imperial Black

HOLIDAY 2015 FOUNTAIN PEN GIFT GUIDE-17. Ultimate Gift Guide for the Fountain Pen Fanatic

Pocket Notebooks Review Field Notes Doane Rhodia6. Pocket Notebooks: What Does Fountain Pen Friendly Mean?

J. Herbin 1670 Emerald of Chivor Review-95. J. Herbin Emerald of Chivor

EFJF25304. 5 Best Inks for Everyday Use

IMG_81383. Top 7 Beginner Pens Under $25

Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review Redux 2015-102. Lamy 2000 Fountain Pen Review

Why You Should Write With A Fountain Pen1. 8 Reasons Why You Should Write With a Fountain Pen

There you have it! Expect some more guides, a bunch of reviews, and more in 2016. Thanks everyone!

Field Notes “Shenandoah” – Fall 2015 Colors Edition – Review

Field Notes
Fall 2015 Colors Edition

Specs From Field Notes:

“Our Fall limited-edition seasonal release, “The Shenandoah Edition” features three green French cover stocks that match the leaf color of three trees found at Shenandoah National Park: the Sweet Birch, the Chestnut Oak, and the Red Maple. Our new friends at Platinum Converting in Itasca, Ill. fused each of the green papers to a contrasting French text-weight paper that matches the tree’s fall foliage.

Field Notes Shenandoah Colors Edition Notebook Review-12 copyThese extra-sturdy duplexed covers have a classic, beefy feel to them, reminiscent of early COLORS releases like “Mackinaw Autumn” and “Just Below Zero.” Beefier, actually, since we’ve upgraded our body paper to 60#T Finch Opaque “Bright White,” with a 3/16″ graph. Each features an illustration of a leaf on the back with some facts about the tree. The belly band is real birch veneer, just because it looked so darn good with all that green.”


Field Notes Shenandoah Colors Edition Notebook Review-4 copySo, it turns out that I TOTALLY skipped coverage of the Fall 2015 Field Notes Colors Edition: Shenandoah. Maybe it was the excitement over the announcement of the color-changing Snowblind, or maybe I took the photos and forgot about them (yeah, no it definitely was this). Anyway, this edition is still available for sale from Field Notes, you can snag one here.  Shenandoah is made up of three books, each representing a different type of tree found in the national park. The inside of the book is the color that the tree’s foliage turns in the Fall. It’s a great edition that highlights some of the most breathtaking scenery around. If you’re not so into trees, you will enjoy the extra heavy, double layered covers and slightly thicker internal paper.

Field Notes Shenandoah Colors Edition Notebook Review-3 copyEach of the three books has a leaf on the back with a few facts about the tree, inside you’ll find the standard “information” page and some wacky uses inside the back cover.

The paper inside holds up decently well to a variety of pens, but your best bet here is either a pencil, ballpoint, or gel pen.

Field Notes Shenandoah Colors Edition Notebook Review-11 copyThe Shenandoah edition makes a nice addition to the Colors lineup, and it’s the little details like a real birch belly band and custom-made twin layer covers that set these apart from the rest. I’m sure at this point in time there aren’t quite as many books available as there were when they were announced, so don’t sleep on these.