The Lamy Vista, a stranger amongst the other Lamy fountain pens?
Since February 2020, I am the owner of a Lamy Vista. In the word of fountain pens, Lamy is a big and important player from Germany, so my expectations were high. I ordered this pen at Amazon.de for 17,85. The Lamy Vista is a transparent pen very similar to the Lamy Safari. The nice thing about a transparent pen is that you see everything the pen does, whether it is good or not. The see-through body really tempts to use a nice colour ink. And that’s what I initially didn’t do, I filled her up with black ink. Now, when writing this I realise that I have Pelikan Violet ink not being used so far, so as part of this review, I will clean the pen and re-ink it to improve the see-through effect.
As mentioned, my expectations were hight and I didn’t expect any big problems. Initially I used Lamy black ink from a cartridge. When I started writing with the pen, I didn’t satisfy me at all. I was disappointed in the performance of the nib. The writing felt very scratchy with a lot of interruption of the inkflow. Let it be that writing performance is one of my top priorities when reviewing a pen, so this is not ok. I started searching on the internet for solutions. The causing problem was for sure the nib because when I changed the nib with the one form a Lamy AL-star, writing was much smoother. After working on the nib (nib-massage) the inkflow is good, but the nib still feels scratchy. For sure Lamy intends to do better and for sure this nib does not equal the quality standards at Lamy, but on the other hand that’s the nib I got from them. Now, I will not make a big deal about this. I will order a new nib and use the bad one for doing further nib-tuning-experimenting. A new nib costs around 7,50 Euro.
The transparent cap has the typical Lamy steel clip. This clip is wide enough to secure the pen on any paper or clothing. One thing I noticed when using this pen is that after a while I noticed some scratches appearing on the inside of the cap. With a non-transparent pen I never would have noticed this. These scratches are caused by the nib, when putting the cap back on the pen. So, to avoid this, you just have to be careful.
The transparent section is ergonomically shaped and in hard plastic. By holding the pen between thumb and index finger, the ergonmical shape of the section forces you in such way the nib makes (or should make) perfect contact with the paper. The ergonomical shape is quite overwhelming and could cause problem with users with non-ergonomicalshaped hands and fingers. I think you know what I mean. Anyway, I had no problem with it, but if I could choose, I go for a less ergonomical shaped section.
The fun thing about the transparent barrel is that it has a cut-out so you could see the level of the ink. Isn’t this strange and totally illogical? If the cut-out wasn’t there, it would be perfect to make it an eyedropper pen (ink in the barrel). This would give the pen an added value. Regrettable!
On the barrel the Lamy logo is put in a shiny reflecting way. As with the barrel, you have to be careful not to cause scratches on it.
When I replaced the nib from the Vista with the nib from the Al-Start, writing went better. No issues anymore with inkflow and performance of the nib. Also I like the violet ink from Pelikan, it looks nice in the transparent barrel.
Now, what I have learnt form the bad nib is you can ‘tune’ the nib yourself, but it’s not easy. I have no experience with with tuning nibs and perhaps I did it in a wrong way. Also for me, a bad nib will always be a bad nib, even if you manage to tune it in some way.
As a final conclusion the Lamy vista for me is the odd one out among the Lamy pens. Also first impression is important: and my first impression on the nib tempered my enthusiasm. So, with the nib exchanged, it will take time for me to come back to this pen.
The good and the bad:
+ performance of the nib (after being replaced)
– useless cutout in the barrel
– delivered with a bad nib
– the transparency of the pen let you see scratches too easily
Some technical info:
- 13,9 cm closed
- 12,9 cm without cap
- 16,4 cm posted
- 19 gr. complete (ready to write)
- 10 gr. without cap
- 1,2 cm barrel
- 1 cm grip
- 1,4 cm cap
- 1,6 cm cap with clip included
The name says it all: The popular youngster’s fountain pen is available in a transparent model, allowing a clear view of its inner workings. Transparent non-fade plastic with metal clip, ergonomic grip and polished steel nib.