It's a common question, what's the difference between the Lamy Vista, Safari, and Al-Star? I remember asking the same thing in my early fountain pen days, because I would read about these popular pens all the time. These are all staple pens in the fountain pen community with a loyal following. This video is intended to clarify exactly what each pen offers and what sets them apart from each other.
Here are the main differences:
- The Safari and Vista are the exact same pen, except the Vista is clear
- The Safari and Al-Star are (essentially) the same dimensions, the Al-Star is a hair bigger in diameter but not noticeably
- The Al-Star is made of aluminum and the Safari is made of plastic, the aluminum tends to dent and scratch a little easier than the plastic
- The grips on the Safari and Vista match the rest of the pen, the Al-Stars all have smoky translucent grips regardless of color
- The Al-Star is slightly heavier (22g) than the Safari and Vista (17g)
- The Vista only has a silver clip, the Safari and Al-Star both have silver and black clips, depending on the color of the pen (the clips are not interchangeable)
- All Lamy pens (except the Lamy 2000) have interchangeable Lamy nibs in EF, F, M, B (both steel and black) and 1.1mm, 1.5mm, 1.9mm italics (steel only)
- Both the Safari and Al-Star come in a range of colors, and Lamy releases limited edition colors for both on a regular basis
- All three pens accept both the Z24 and Z26 Lamy converters, as well as proprietary Lamy ink cartridges
- The Safari and Vista both sell for $37 (list, US) and the Al-Star sells for $47 (list, US)
This should help to clear things up! If I missed anything, let me know in the comments.