What do you do on a perfectly clear and breezy day? For me, I take backyard glamour shots (of different junks I own). This time, I managed to snap some close-up of some Lamy steel nibs on Safari and Al-Star. I guess now I really need the new special edition shade Safari, just to complete the Primary Colors (of light and pigments) theme.
The extra fine nib was very problematic at first (it was scratchy, laying down lines that are thin, faint and uneven) but after 8 months of breaking-in (didn't even work despite it gave me another bump on my middle finger), tine flossing (worked a bit but I suspect it's just because I switched ink), nib-swapping (I yanked it out too hard so the tine misaligned further and turned extra scratchy) and messing around with tweezers, it finally became usable!
Al-Star Medium (you can see the pink precipitate and yellow sheen from Diamine cerise)the nib is the same but it's difficult to hold all three Safari together with this in a straight line. Starting from fine, all the nib have been smooth, consistent and reliable for daily writing. My writing looks the neatest with the EF but I usually go with fine/medium (they don't look all that different) because ink flow better on the two. The broad is nice and wet and a perfect replacement for marker pen (when I draw/doodle) but it sometime slips on the page.
Writing sample of the different nib sizes: Extra Fine - Diamine Meadow (another killer shader), Fine - Noodler's Bulletproof Black, Medium - Diamine Cerise, Broad - Lamy Turquoise.
As you can see, the Lamy EF is the only nib size that's suitable for daily Chinese writing (on standard notebook ruling). The horizontal strokes start to merge when using the fine nib and I am not even writing traditional characters (which are more complex in form and favored when it comes to calligraphy). The three horizontal strokes becomes a big glob when I use the broad.
Overall: Lamy Safari and Al-star are pretty good writers even though they are not as good (in terms of performance per unit price) as those more affordable Japanese pens. I bought them for the limited edition factor and design so I guess they are worth it...sort of.