I've been looking into getting an Intuos4 (still working off of an [ab]used Wacom Graphire) and something I've seen in the reviews that concerns me is the increased nib wear.
The Intuos4 comes with 4 different kinds of nibs:
My question is do all of these nibs wear out faster than the Intuos3's? or is it just the Felt ones?
And which of the Intuos4's nibs is more like the Intuos3's default nib?
I've had my Graphire for years and years and never replaced the nib once, and I've heard similar testimonies for the Intuos3.
I'd rather get a tablet that's a step behind the times instead of something designed to make me buy new nibs every five minutes, you know?
I've also heard conflicting reviews about the surface, is it rougher or the same as the Intuos3?
thanks for any help!
It's rougher than the intuos3, but it's not noticeable if you slide your hand over. What I understand it's basically some of the functions of the Bamboo (detachable cord, surface and black nibs) and integrated with intuos4 tech.
The Standard Black nibs are basically the standard white nibs. However, for some reason when using the white nibs, I get that odd "tailtip" when inking. Like the stroke has a "tick" at the beginning. I'll have to play around a bit more to find out. I have a lot of extra nibs I've acquired over owning a lot of intuos previously XD.
The Stroke nib is the one with the spring, these also wear down fairly quickly. I just did a drawing project and noticed it made an angled chiseled point in a day from actual use (I mean like doing a project that will take hours). Not good.
There is one new nib which is the "Flex" it looks like a "Q-tip"
The other nibs came in more or less the same as the intuos3 ones given to you.
Now, what could be done is that wacom can release a frictionless sheet, because at the same time, they've released friction sheets for the intuos3. So basically gotta wait for more parts and accessories for the intuos4.
Thanks for the knowledge Arshes! and let me know how the older Intuos nib models hold up for you if you can get them to behave.
I really enjoy the slippery plastic on plastic feel, would I be giving that up on the Intuos4? I think I've seen in other threads people say it feels more realistic, like drawing on paper.
Aren't there widescreen format intuos 3s?
You could buy those friction sheets and use them on intuos 4.
I just received an Intuos 4 a week ago, and after a week of daily use with a standard nib, it is indeed already wearing down.
Overall, however, I consider the tablet a definite improvement from my Intuos 2. The new tablet feels much more like drawing on paper (instead the slippery plastic-on-plastic my Intuos 2 had), and I've needed a new wide-screen aspect tablet to match my monitor for some time.
For me, it was a no-brainier, anyway. I had to purchase a new Photoshop license, and getting the Large tablet + Photoshop was only $50 more than Photoshop alone. I'm very, very happy with it.. even if I can tell already nibs are going to need occasional replacement.
Oh, for people that only have so many USB ports and choose to use the Wacom mouse... movement is now in relation to the mouse orientation, instead of the tablet! (Maybe Intuos 3 did this as well, but it was a nice surprise!)
I'm hoping they come out with the pen accessory kits and overlays soon like the Intuos3 had.
It's exactly the same texture as the bamboo fun's, which is a shame. I just sold a bamboo fun medium to buy an intuos4 small b/c I hated the surface, and got the same one. I also have an intuos3 6x8, that I have to return to school and I actually like that one more.
My plan is to buy an intuos3 surface sheet ($14.95+ s/h) that is a size bigger and cut it to fit. I'm not sure how well I'll be able to do that with an exacto, especialy the beveled edges.
I have my sensitivity bumped up almost all the way. I've been working on a painting for a few hours tonight and I can already see wearing on the nib. They need to make replacement surfaces soon!
An e-mail I received back quite quickly from Wacom:
Thank you for sending in the email and voicing your dissatisfaction of the surface sheet on the Intuos4 tablet. If you use the standard plastic nib, you should not go through them very fast. Try adjusting the settings to a softer tip feel. Wacom does not have any plans at this time to change the surface sheet on the Intuos4, but I will pass along your email to our product managers.
You can also go to your local craft / art supply store and get “Mylar” paper and cut to fit your tablet. Use double sided sticky tape along the top to hold it down to the tablet.
We are sorry to hear you are not happy with the tablet surface sheet.
I only use the stroke nib and it has lasted for 2 years without needing to be replaced. 8 hours a day. I work on soft to medium pressure on the wacom options. Nibs last longer the softer you have to press.
Jason, you're missing the point. Your nibs are lasting for years because of the surface you're using.
Interesting... I did have to replace my nib once on my Graphire3. I've own it for 5 years but there was a year or two where I barely touched it. I think it may also have something to do with the pen pressure of the individual, besides the surface/model.
I don't own an intuos4 but looking at photos of it give me a turn on. o__o'
Hi. Sorry for reviving what might be considered a dead thread, but I just purchased an intuos4 recently and I am having some issues with the feel of the drawing area. It is considerably rougher than the last tablet I used, and it's driving me a little crazy (I thought I might get used to it after a while, but I've worked on it for about a week straight and it still feels 'wrong'). The finish is also wearing out my nib already, which is amazing to me considering I never replaced the nib on my last pen/tablet and used it consistently for 15 years!
I'm tempted to head out to the art supply store tomorrow for a sheet of mylar as suggested above, but I thought I would ask the community if anyone knows of an official accessory to mitigate this problem. I see that you can buy replacement sheets from wacom directly, but the product description doesnt indicate if the sheets come in a variety of finishes:
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
I am not really happy with intuos 4 tablets.. I prefer 2 and 3.. feels so flat HARD.. and the nibs wear out so much quicker.. I am using intuos3 nibs and they seems a little better. I had to replace 4 nibs twice in the past 6 months.. and I use the softest setting..
The replacement sheets aren't smooth. From Wacom customer support:
"The transparent replacement sheets has also a rough surface. If you pull off the current sheet and turn it around to use the backside, that is rather slippery."
( http://forum.wacom.eu/viewtopic.php?...lacement+sheet )
I wonder what glue they recommend.
I found a very nice piece of thick, semi-flexible clear plastic at the office store. It is the kind used to protect the top of desks from daily wear and tear. Very slick and resilient. I'm cutting it up to size and mounting it over the work area on my int4. I'll let you know if this turns out to be a viable work around.
Ok, got the work around installed and used it all day. So far, this is working out pretty well. Here's a bit more info in case anyone else out there is considering it:
The plastic I used is a Clear Glassy Top Desk Pad (item #660-763) I picked up from Home Depot for about $15. There was almost (but not quite) enough plastic left over for two large intuos4 surfaces. You could easily get 2 medium tablets covered from one desk pad (use one, with a second for back-up?). The pad is pretty flexible and a couple millimeters thick. If you cut it on a professional cutting board, you can get nice, straight edges, which look tidy. Anyway, a half-dozen small pieces of double-sided scotch tape have secured the pad over the tablet firmly, but not so firmly you cant get it off if needed. The pad is made of pvc and is smooth as glass, which is how I like it. My nibs seem to like it too, as they glide over the work surface like ice (as opposed to sand paper, which is how it felt before). Prior to this work around, my nibs were getting chewed up at an alarming rate (see my above post). I think this new low-friction surface will improve the life of my nibs a hundred fold.
The one potential drawback I identified today is that pressing super hard on the surface can dimple it. Like I said, this type of pad is a couple milimeters thick: while it is pretty durable, nibs are pointy and pushing very hard can leave marks. I dont have my sensitivity settings tweaked yet, so maximizing them might do away with this altogether. Another way to avoid this would be to get a different type of pad which isnt so thick (a flat sheet of mylar, for example). If this gets to be a problem in the days to come, I'll edit my post and let you know.
So far so good, though. Love the new slick feel. Cant believe Wacom doesnt have options for this to cater to those of us who dont like the new, rougher texture.
I'm really glad I found this thread. I had heard about the nibs wearing down quickly. I've had a graphire4 for about 3 years, and have needed to replace the nib for the past 4 months but have never gotten around to it. I'm hoping to get an intuos4 sometime within the next two months.
I'll probably be purchasing some mylar sheets like Wacom suggested, and if I do get the intuos4 I'll let you know how they work.
update: Got the intuos4, still trying to get used to it, feel is much different then the graphire.
After using it for a few hours the nib did indeed wear down the slightest bit. I tried putting it at the highest sensitivity but it was way too sensitive so I have resorted to putting a piece of plastic wrap over the nib on the pen, which seems to be working. Going to buy some mylar paper as soon as I can get a ride to the craft store.
Last edited by Mystic-Spiritus; December 26th, 2009 at 10:56 PM.
It's easier to draw with though, and the change in levels of pen pressure is very obvious. I find the active area is much more proportional to my screen then the graphire with it's more square shape.
The only thing I don't like about it which has nothing to do with its working ability is because of the black shiny surface, it gets dirty-looking very quickly. The expresskeys are very useful, but my favorite part is the touch ring, which lets you adjust brush size quickly and zoom in/out as if you were using an ipod.
All in all, I think you should get it. I'd love to know if you do get it though if you find the roughness of the active area odd like I do.
Hello, everyone! I'm new to this site and was glad to find an article addressing my concerns with the Intuos 4. You all seem to have a helpful, vibrant community here. I decided to join so I could ask for some clarification on this Intuos3 versus 4 issue. I have never owned a computer tablet before and will be getting an Intuos4 in the mail either today or tomorrow. I've read online about peoples' concerns with the device and I must say it has me concerned too! Thank you in advance for your time; here are my questions:
I'm under the impression that the Intuos3 and earlier nibs are better than the Intuos4 nibs. Can you, in fact, use the older nibs with the Intuos4 pen?
If you can use these older nibs, where is the best place to buy them?
Lastly, what are some things I should know before first using my new tablet? Are there any tips or things I should have in mind to make my experience with it as best as possible?
My nibs have stopped wearing down... because my surface has worn out! I've not had it a year yet and it's polished all slick like the Intuos3. Suppose it's good news for those who like it like that... just persevere!
I'm not happy about it, but I love the new surface too much to want to cover and protect it. I just ordered a replacement surface from the Wacom store... along with some nibs
Nananaw: I just popped an intuos3 nib into my pen and it works fine. I imagine they can be found in the official wacom store, amazon or ebay. The Intuos4 comes with plenty of nibs though, I've still got most of them left. The only one too worn out to function is the new "flex" nib, which is what I ordered.
Thanks for posting your experiences Liz, I just got an Intuos 4 for christmas after using an Intuos 2 for about 8 years and completely *hate* the roughness of the surface, im glad to know its going to get worn down to that glassy feel once again - the pen drag is driving me nuts after just one day.
Amazon is selling the intuos4 nib accessory kit for those interested in getting a lot of nibs.
I also saw this: http://www.amazon.com/invisibleSHIEL...dp/B002AQO7XS/
Here are some surfaces that people use and that you could try to avoid nib wear:
- laminating photo paper
- super-smooth 250 lb color-copier paper (Siedler/Canon)
- transparent printing paper, overhead sheets
- Intuos3 sheet (don't know if this is gluey on the back, so might not actually work without messing up the tablet)
- clear plastic desk protector, clear glossy TopDeskPad, PVC
- Mylar, paper vellum (plasticized)
- thin plexiglas/acrylic glass
- thin tracing sheet (plastic)
Apply to Intuos4 with double sided painter's tape, electrical tape, scotch tape or medical tape.
Some people also use smoothed toothpicks which I find to be a bit ridiculous. Since the nibs don't have any function except activating the pressure sensor, it is a better idea to find a local craftsman who can make you a couple of nibs out of a hard non-metallic material like glass, or cover your existing nib tips with such.
This should make the nibs indestructible although the surface sheet of the Intuos4 will still wear down. This can result in an uneven distribution of smoothness, so using an alternate cover sheet might still be in order.
The other option is using smooth sandpaper to evenly smoothen the existing Intuos4 surface to the level of an Intuos3. From that point on the surface and nibs should only show minimal wear, if any.
Depending on the surface you choose, you might have to use an artist's glove since not all of them (but some) allow skin to glide smoothly. This comes down to trying different materials at an art or office supply store.
Hope it helps.