Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Lamy 2012 LE Green Safari Fountain Pen - Extra-Fine

I know you've all heard of Lamy Safaris before. You probably have like 50 of them (I'm jealous. Do you have the whole rainbow? Can I have it?). But this 2012 limited edition green Safari is my very first Safari so I wanted to share my excitement with you! Thank you JetPens for your sponsorship that allowed me (or encouraged me anyway) to splurge!
Lamy Safari LE Green
I didn't take a picture of my packaging because the box was a bit squished from shipping. For a good shot of the box, check out the FPGeeks review!
The packaging of the Lamy entry level pens is not spectacular. It's basically just a cardboard box with one blue Lamy ink cartridge enclosed. However, the design of the box protects the pen well enough. If fancier packaging will increase the pen's price, I'm content with what it came with.
Lamy Safari LE Green
Personally, I love the design. Tough, functional, pretty.
Features of this apple:

Body Material: ABS plastic
Trim: Chrome
Origins: Made in Germany
Length (capped): 5.5"
Length (posted): 6.5"
Barrel diameter: 0.47"
Weight: 17 g
Nib type: Extra-fine, normal
Nib material: Steel
Barrel design: Rounded and faceted
Fill type: Lamy ink cartridge or Lamy Z24 converter

To be honest, at first I was concerned about buying a plastic pen for $29.00. I was thinking, is a plastic pen worth that much? YES. It sure is! In hand, the pen feels great. The plastic warms in my grip quickly, and it is so smooth and nice. I can hardly tear my eyes away from this bright pen - it's so pretty, cheery, and warm!

I think the design of the Lamy Safari is a love it or hate it kind of situation, especially when it comes to the grip. Whether the grip works for you or not really depends on how you hold your fountain pens - because it's a hard plastic grip, so it's not going to change for you! Either your grip fits it well, or you'll have to learn to accommodate it, or you'll hate it. The back side is rounded, and the top side has two facets that are flat. For me, this is perfect, because it suits my grip. The body is similar - with two flat sides (with little ink windows) and two rounded sides.
Lamy Safari LE Green Taken Apart
The converter has two little nubs to guide its entry for attachment.
The clip has a simple design - it's not solid and flat but rather curves down from the top of the cap, and has a little "cowlick" at the end. I'm not huge on chrome trims, so I'm not sure how I feel about the color, but the design suits the Safari. One nice thing about the clip is because of the cowlick at the end, it glides onto stacks of paper very easily, and stays snug, so it functions well.
Lamy Safari LE Green
Cowlick clip.
Lamy Safari LE Green Clip
Secures snugly to a Field Notes memo book. They also make a marvellous pair.
For the first time ever, I opted for an extra-fine nib. I thought, if I'm going to get this whacky pen, I should get a nib that I don't have already. I have an Al-Star with a fine nib and plenty of other pens with medium to broader nibs, so that's how I settled on extra-fine. I was concerned that the extra-fine nib would be scratchy and upon looking at it, I was thinking, what have I gotten myself into? The nib came to such a teeny point that I was worried that I would just tear the paper when writing. I used a Z24 converter to load up with Noodler's Apache Sunset and hit the paper for a test run.

The extra-fine nib wrote straight out of the box, without any problems. No skipping, no scratchiness, no pulling on the paper. I am more than impressed with this nib. It writes easily on both uncoated (i.e Leuchtturm 1917 paper) and coated (i.e. Rhodia paper) - something I can't say some of my other, more costly fountain pens do. It's a very tidy, clean writing nib - not wet, not dry.
Lamy Safari LE Green Writing Sample
Writing sample in a Field Notes memo book.
The second inking was with Organics Studio uranium green - which is a little wetter flowing than Noodler's Apache Sunset, therefore the extra-fine line appeared a little bit wider. The green-green combination was very fun, by the way!
Lamy Safari LE Green Writing Comparisons
Second inking here and some line comparisons. You can see the extra-fine is certainly finer than the others! I avoided using Japanese nibs since they all tend to be much smaller anyway. 
There are two wonderful features about the Lamy Safari that makes it appealing to me, and makes it a contender for one of my favourite beginner fountain pens - first, the nibs can easily be swapped (making having different nib sizes more economical). Second, the pen is easy to clean, which is an important habit one must get into when using fountain pens.

This is a great fountain pen. I'm now the proud owner of three Lamy Safaris, and one Lamy Al-Star! I'm still missing the 1.9mm calligraphy nib in my set so obviously, I will have to acquire another pen. I like having a pen for each nib.

I do feel as though Lamy should include the Z24 converter in the price, but alas, that's probably asking for too much. If not with the Safaris, at least with the Al-Stars.

Have you tried the Lamy Safari? How do you feel about it?

A Great Green Safari Review
Rants of the Archer

JetPens - $29.00 (free shipping) & if you want Z24 converter - $4.50
Goulet Pens - $28.00 (+ shipping)
ISellPens - $27.65 (+ shipping but with free converter)
Goldspot Pens - $25.95 (+ shipping)

YES. If you don't own a Safari yet, and you're on the fence, I encourage you to pick one up, and if you're not afraid of colors, the green is the way to go! It's a lovely, cheery, bright color. The Lamy Safari is a reliable, dependable pen. I have three now and have had no problems with any of them. Easy to clean, great to write with. Highly recommended as both a beginner fountain pen, as well as for connoisseurs.


Bonnie Jean Woolger said...

I am happy you have one of these they have just looked so wonderful to me great review :)

Aisazia said...

Ohhh I love green! I'm definitely going to have to get one. Although I already have 2 others...wish it was a matte finish. I prefer that. XD Oh yeah I had to fix my grip because it didn't work for me but it probably helped me because I death-grip mine. XD Aww I would have loved to see a Safari drawing! lol But that's ok love the sun and flower doodles though! Ohhh you're adorable, I love the side comments you put with your list. XD

Azizah Asgarali said...

It's beeeooootiful! I even contemplated getting a second one (also because I love these pens in general now...). I figure so long as I'm getting different nibs, it seem justifiable, right?! Sorta... LOL!! I was like "I made side comments?" HAHA oh man. I must be careful about what lists I share... buahahaha

Thanks for reading and commenting <3

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank you :D I was so excited to try out my first Safari! They really are a nice pen. Loves the green hehe

Estivalia said...

The Lamy Vista was my first "serious" fountain pen ever, the first one I dared to order online. I've never regret it, it's a reliable and practical pen. Even so, last year it was hard for me to justify getting a Lamy Safari Aquamarine.

Why, I said to myself, why would I need THE SAME PEN, only in a different color? But it's turquoise! it's PUH-RETTY. I tell you, I struggled.

DF got it for me as anniversary gift, so it was good. But it was all downhill from there. Have you seen me on Twitter? I'm going nuts looking for a Pink Safari xD (I found one on eBay, $25 shipping though, but I'm considering it anyway).

tl;dr I loved your review! It was thorough and objective. Personally, I'd recommend the Lamy Vista/Safari to any fp newbie any day, it's a pen that won't dissapoint (unless you're a leftie and get an EF, it's a scratchy mess for me)

Azizah Asgarali said...

Pffft hey, I figure if I'm getting different nibs, it's okay, right? ... When I start doubling up on nibs, then I have a problem. I still have broad left so that leaves me one color option lol. I didn't even hesitate on the pink/aquamarine - you are a better person than I for even struggling LOL

$25 shipping?!?! That's seriously insane. Whaaat. You may as well order a whole bunch of things and make it worth it.

Thank you for the EF, LOVE EF now. Can't believe how small and adorable it is in the little plastic case hehehehe.

Estivalia said...

I didn't grow up in a tight economic situation, so I don't know where that comes from either.

I though about asking someone in the US to receive and then re-send to me, but I don't like bothering my friends with such things. So I might as well do what you suggest and make it worth the trip :)

howie86 said...

Safari nibs really are great. Your comment about handling many paper surfaces is true, but they write well with a lot of inks. Very versatile.

Azizah Asgarali said...

I agree. I have (somehow) collected several Safaris and a few extra nibs and they all perform so well. I very much enjoy them!

Carol F Metzger said...

My yellow Safari broad nib writes beautifully, but I rarely use it because the grip feels too cramped and the cap hits my hand in an irritating place at the "web" between thumb and finger. Unposted, it still feels wrong. I have short-ish hands.

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