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Esterbrook J

One of the kind folks over at the FPN lent me their Esterbrook J pen for a couple of weeks. I had seen Esties at the pen shows, but I had never used one before. The J model is the largest of the line (I think) and it's still a little smaller than I really prefer, but I've found that most vintage pens are a little small. It's also a very light pen. I didn't open it up, or anything, because it's a lever-filler, and I don't know enough about these pens to fiddle with anyone else's pens.

Anyway, I couldn't wait to ink it up and use it. The owner mentioned that he had Waterman ink in it, and I only had one Waterman ink in my collection, so I inked it up in Mysterious Blue. It was an ink that I hadn't used before in a pen that I'd never used. 100% mystery!

Here's a little bit of writing that I did with it. 

As I note there, there is a huge difference between the nibs that the owner sent me. I tried the 2556 (fine) nib, and it just wasn't for me. It was way too fine, and it seemed scratchy. Perhaps with the right ink it would work well. I didn't use it much. I think that if I had better penmanship I might have liked it more. These nibs were really interesting. They had a very sharp edge on them, so the sweet-spot seemed limited. (You can see it a bit in the picture below.) It was pretty easy to find that spot on the medium nib, but not on the fine. The 2668 medium nib was way better for me.

The color on the barrel is really nice. It's a shimmery copper swirl, and my camera had a difficult time focusing on it. 

All told, I really liked this pen, and I'm keeping my eye out for one in the future. I'm a little leery of the repair-needs of these, but it might be fun to learn how to take care of a lever-filler. 
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