When I bought my first Lamy Safari, I accidentally added two converters to my cart so in order to not put the 4.5-dollar into waste, I decided to spend an additional 22 dollars to buy another Safari even though I didn't like the first one. Moral of the story -Who needs economic stimulating package when there is woman logic?
Since I already wrote a novel about the first one, I won't be yapping again for what's essentially the same pen. The color red is glossier, prettier and consequently shows scratches much better. Well, you get some and you lose some. After several weeks of use, I notice that small internal crazes started to appear on the side of the grip as well as the on both sides the barrel (extending from the ink window down the the LAMY logo). I suppose they are suppose to be budget pen but I can't say that I wasn't a little irked...
This time, I opt for the fine nib which unlike the extra fine, is quite smooth and started to write as soon as it's inked. As with most European fine, this is quite thick for the Asian standard that it's already non-usable for normal Chinese writing. When you use it on normal college ruled paper (or Chinese composition paper that's grid-like), you can barely write words more detailed strokes with it. Even for English use, I find it a little too thick for wordier homework or condensed note-taking but I suppose that's just a personal preference.
The nice thing about lower-end Lamy pen is that, their nibs are all interchangeable (just pull them out with a piece of scotch tape) so I can use a smooth fine nib on the prettier, apple green body. Something I notice about Lamy nibs is that they they tend to leave a spread-out and sheerer trail of ink. While the property allow greater level of shading, it also means a more watered-down writing.
The converter actually match this color quite well but since the nib is relatively wet, one fill (around .75ml) usually last for less than a week. You could also refill ink in a cleaned Lamy cartridge which will give you twice the capacity. (Just note that the some Lamy cartridge aren't necessarily made of tough plastic so they can break and that the interior is rough enough to trap black in residue).
One thing I do like about the red one is that the cap has a black tip, which only shows up in some limited edition Safari. I like to fill it with black (I usually like the color-matching thing but the only red ink I have doesn't look that good when it's sheered out on this nib) to do the lady-bug theme.
Writing sample with the included Lamy blue ink cartridge, which is actually a rather pretty sapphire blue (a little lean on violet) it's vibrant enough to jump from the page without being too showy.
Overall: A great, smoothing writing pen for jotting things down, drawing and doing to-buy/grocery list (or even grading homework if you are a teacher) even though I personally find it a little too thick for my own homework need. The plastic body could be a little tougher (I mean, some 8-dollar Pilot pens use better plastic than this) but I suppose I shouldn't compare German pen with Japanese pens. Wait...I can't? *Cues inappropriate Axis of Evil joke*
Ah, forgive me. I do love Beethoven and Johnny's Juniors...