Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e Pens

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e Fountain Pens

The Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e pens are quite new, only being released worldwide on February 1st (they arrived in the US later in the month). We had the unique opportunity to get some of them, and we jumped at the chance. It all began when we recently started getting into the Platinum Modern Maki-e pens, which are the same nib and body style as the Kanazawa. To learn more about the new pens, check out Platinum Japan’s website.

So a couple of things happen when we start carrying new pens. Firstly, I have to write test them and provide samples for the Nib Nook. The Modern Maki-e pens are offered in fine, medium, and broad nib sizes, but the Kanazawa Leaf pens are only fine and medium. Here are my writing samples:

Okay, so the writing for the name of these pens is prettttttty tight, it was a lot to fit in a small area! I didn’t really get to show off the best part about these nibs, which is that they are soft enough to give you some respectable line variation, almost on par with the Namiki Falcon. I wouldn’t call them ‘flex’ nibs, but they are soft and can give you variation up to about two nib sizes larger than their designation. You can see this a bit with the X’s and figure-8’s that I did in the samples.

This whole Maki-e kick really began when I purchased a new macro lens for my camera (which I blogged about here) and had used the Modern Maki-e pens as my test subjects. The idea of having  a whole new line of these detailed pens to photograph was really exciting for me! I spent a whole day photographing main pictures for these new Kanazawas, and yet another full day just with the macro lens to get the incredibly detailed shots you see below. I think these are some of my best pictures to date, I’m pretty proud of them! I will say that these pens are gorgeous, and the only editing on these pictures that I did was to make the detail as crisp as possible and to edit out dust. The rest is all the pens…

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Goldfish

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Mt. Fuji

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – The Moon and a Rabbit

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – The Moon and a Rabbit
Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – The Moon and a Rabbit

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Changing Autumn

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Changing Autumn

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Changing Autumn

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Changing Autumn
Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Changing Autumn
Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Swirling Petals of Cherry Blossoms

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Swirling Petals of Cherry Blossoms

Platinum Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e – Swirling Petals of Cherry Blossoms

I’d love to hear what you think, of both the pens and my pictures. I’m really diving in deep with my macro photography, taking a great personal interest in getting highly detailed images. It’s time consuming but I am enjoying it! If you all like these pictures too, then I will certainly keep them coming with a lot of the other pens I have on hand. Feel free to comment!

2017-10-11T02:21:32+00:00 March 4th, 2012|Pen Reviews|26 Comments
  • This is indeed some of your best work, not to say that photos taken with your old equipment were bad. On the contrary…

    Is that a marijuana leaf I see there? 🙂

  • Rod

    Brian, I think that the photography is excellent! Keep the pictures coming.

  • Marc Bloom

    It's not subliminal if you talk about it. 🙂 Seriously I doubt it. These are great pictures Brian. BTW have you seen this site yet?

  • Doctoralberto

    This are beautiful pens but I found a little feminine. They write very soft and sweet

  • Freddy77mac

    Of course keep those beautiful photos coming.  Not only are they great eye candy but they help us understand about the product (in this case these beautiful pens) even more.

  • Umm…I don't think that's what it is…. 😛 Sure does look like it though!

    Thank you for the compliments, I'm spending a lot of time, effort (and money!) on the photography these days, and I'm pretty happy with how it's all turning out 😉 

  • I've never heard of it, I'll check it out though.

  • Thank you! I definitely will 🙂 

  • They are a bit feminine, some more than others. The Cherry Blossoms and the Rabbit/Moon one are in my opinion, but the goldfish, leaves, and Mt. Fuji are pretty neutral to me. 

  • Will do! These pens were just dying to be shown off with macro work, I'm happy to do it. 

  • Rocky Huang

    That would be a Japanese Maple leaf. My girlfriend had a Japanese Maple bonsai and everyone thought the leaves looked like marijuana leaves when she first got it.. Marijuana leaves are more separated and the sections and more narrow than Maple leaves.

  • Rocky Huang

    Delicious details, and the bokeh's not too bad either! Were these shot at f/2.8? The lens captures reflections off shiny surfaces really well! Making this perfect for maki-e patina. Excellent photos Brian! Were there any chromatic aberration with your shots that you had to edit out? Looking forward to more awesome shots!

  • Very nice! On some of the pens, I notice what appears to be a raised area of clear coating around the maki-e parts of the pen. Is this really a raised area? Can you feel it?

    Regarding the leaf, it is indeed a Japanese Maple. I have a leaf from one on my bulletin board at work.

  • Brian, the pens are gorgeous and your photography is simply amazing. These are great shots!

  • Brian, sometimes I think I became a painter because I'm such a horrible photographer. I'm better off capturing an image in paint! So, I really appreciate what a fabulous job you did on these photos. I love the way those pens look. Just might have to break down and get one someday!

  • Anonymous

    Is it safe to post these pens or depending on the design, are you risking scratches/wear and tear to the artwork? The Mt. Fuji looks like it comes up pretty high, the others like maybe you could post without it touching the design.

  • I think you'll be okay, there is a plastic insert on the inside of the cap that actually seats the cap on the back of the pen when posting. That said, these pens have only been around a few weeks and I can't say for sure over time if posting will affect the pen at all. If it's of great concern, I would just avoid posting altogether. 

  • Thank you so much! I didn't know anything about photography a while back, and I just made up my mind that I was going to be great at it. I pretty much focus solely on pens (and my kids!) for my shooting subjects, so I've become a bit of a specialist in that respect. It's all about lighting!

  • Thank you! I agree, I was thrilled when these pens were announced mainly because I knew how much I was going to enjoy photographing them!

  • Yes, that is a raised area. It's the lacquer that protects the gold leaf, and you can feel it but it's very subtle. 

  • I'll have to check on my work computer (I'm at home now) about the settings, but I know it wasn't F/2.8. If that was the case, only about 1/16" would be in focus! My macro lens has CRAZY bokeh, like nothing you've ever seen. I want to say I shot it at something like F/6.3 or something like that. No CA to worry about, but oh my gosh was there dust! Each picture took me about 20-30 minutes to set up and get the lighting just right, but it took at least 30-45 minutes to edit each picture just for the dust. I wiped each pen with a microfiber cloth, set it in place, then blew it off with my air blower, but the combination of the pens being black and the fact they're so shiny meant you could see dust in the image that you couldn't even see with your naked eye. If you want macro shots of pens, prepare to edit a lot of dust!

  • Jules

    Oh my! Your photos are dangerous, Mr Goulet. I'm in danger of being lured to temptation!

  • Haha, that's one way to describe them! 😉 

  • Rocky Huang

    Oh yeah I forgot that these are pens not ladybugs, silly me. f/2.8 would be ridiculous for shooting fountain pens. Yeah the bokeh is pretty intense and very smooth. The dust sounds like a big issue as I can imagine, especially with lacquer pens, since they're pretty much the strongest dust magnet you can find in the pen world. xD It must have been a pain to edit out all the dust. The thing with macro shots is, everything small, even the undesirable things become huge in the shot. Thanks for the update and the tips, cheers.

  • Dennis Meade

    I seem to be catching up on Ink Nouveau and found this particular item. I came looking for an explanation of the difference between Kanazawa Leaf Maki-e and Modern Maki-e and found the photos which are wonderful. It's very interesting to see so much more of the detail. I'll follow the link to Platinum's web site for my answer.

    You mention the softness of the nibs on the these pens. Do you think it has something to do with the fact that they are gold nibs? The 14K gold nib on the Lamy Studio Palladium that I asked about before seems soft and you can certainly vary the line width that it produces. I even thought there was something wrong with the pen when i first noticed the softness. I thought the nib might not be seated properly. The pen has a broad nib and I just experimented with it and I can get a line width that's slightly wider than a 1.1mm italic nib and then it railroads just like a Noodler's with their Flex nibs.

  • anonymous

    It looks to me like some (many) of the decorations are decals – the "raised area(s) of clear coating) are their borders.