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Noodler's Socrates


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#1 Carrie

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 19:54

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#2 southpaw

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 21:36

Nice review. Might I ask how well is the color matching on your monitor? Neat looking color.
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#3 Carrie

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 21:57

All the reviews I've just done looked accurate on the monitor on my desktop, but on my laptop the Sun Never Sets looks redder than it actually is.

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#4 meanwhile

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 23:19

There doesn't seem to be anything simple about the way this ink interacts with a nib. The feathering I can understand and make I-have-a-science-degree noises about - but the colour change?

Both this and your review Sun Never Sets have been very useful - they've stopped me from buying either. You've saved me from getting excited about a new toy and the suffering the disappointment of finding it doesn't work - a category of achievement that should have its own Nobel!

Does anyone know if the other Noodlers Eternals behave anything like this??? People seem very happy with the Black and Lapis, etc.

And might it be worth trying one other type of paper - even copier paper?
- Jonathan

#5 southpaw

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 00:35

. . . but the colour change?

The color change is actually a function of nib width and the wetness of the nib/feed. This phenomenon happens with most inks.

Easiest way to see the spectrum of colors from one particular ink is to use a dip pen. Early on it will be very wet and, as the ink is used up, turns to dry. I've done this with quite a few inks of various brands (Noodlers, Waterman, Diamine, Visconti, Parker, Sheaffer, Private Reserve, J. Herbin) and the range of colors is quite amazing.

Just goes to show us / remind us that when going for an ink color, we have to consider the pen it goes into as well. Personally, I find this as an added bonus - gives it more character.
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#6 Carrie

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 07:12

And might it be worth trying one other type of paper - even copier paper?

Tried various types of paper, including bog standard copier paper and have got the feathering on all except for Richard's fountain pen friendly paper. I was using one of my lovely smooth Conway Stewart 84s on that filled with Socrates and it turned the CS 84 into the driest writing pen, I would never have thought that pen could feel so horrible to write with.

When Southpaw was asking about the feathering in the Sun Never Sets review I filled up a Hero 616 with Socrates and it came out in the darker colour as seen with the VP. The 616 was then left capped overnight and it's now dried up and I can only get intermittant ink flow out of it.

I would definitely like to know if the feathering is a feature of the eternal inks in general or if it just something with the UK market eternals. I've got to say that overall I've not been impressed with the three that I got. I wish they behaved like Zhivago and then they'd be perfect.

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#7 Inkanthropist

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 13:06

Thanks for the excellent reviews of the new Noodler's colours.

Neil
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#8 Roger

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 13:12

I would definitely like to know if the feathering is a feature of the eternal inks in general or if it just something with the UK market eternals.

No, feathering is not characteristic of Eternals, Contracts or Bulletproofs. Look only at Noodler's Black as evidence.
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#9 KendallJ

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 13:38

Tried various types of paper, including bog standard copier paper and have got the feathering on all except for Richard's fountain pen friendly paper. I was using one of my lovely smooth Conway Stewart 84s on that filled with Socrates and it turned the CS 84 into the driest writing pen, I would never have thought that pen could feel so horrible to write with.

I would venture, that papers like Clairfontaine and Rhodia would then work well with it. However, any ink that is fast drying will probably change the writing characteristics of the pen. Much of the feel of some pens depends on the layer of ink between nib and paper. A fast drying ink is probably made to be more absorbent, and as such will be drawn into the paper quickly, and require a pen that can replentish the lubrication. You may not have thought of the pen as a dry writer, but it can't keep up with the ink absorbtioin and so becomes a drier writer. Also, the nib may not feel as smooth.

I'd still buy the ink, but be careful of which pens I use it with.
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#10 sonia_simone

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 15:36

It sounds like the UK Eternals are someting like the Swishmix eternals, quick drying and correspondingly prone to feather.

Zhivago and the regular Noodler's permanent black behave very similarly, I have never had a problem with either in any of my pens. Maybe occasionally they will feature on really terrible paper, but generally very well behaved.
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#11 meanwhile

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 15:57

Does anyone know which camp Iraqi Indigo falls into? Feathery and fast drying, or slower but crisp??
- Jonathan

#12 BillTheEditor

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 16:49

Does anyone know which camp Iraqi Indigo falls into? Feathery and fast drying, or slower but crisp??

I use Iraqui Indigo in a Parker Sonnet, medium nib (wet, but not a firehose). I find that it does not fall into either of the categories you specified, at least not on good paper.

On Docket Gold white legal pads, Richard Binder's notepads, and in Moleskine notebooks and cahiers, it is very fast drying (by the time I've written the third word on a line, the first word is dry and smudgeproof), and crisp -- no feathering. Same on Levenger 3x5 cards. My experience with it on Clairfontaine and Crane's, as well as in Levenger Notabilia and Circa is the same.

On cheap office supply store index cards and on 20# Office Depot ink jet paper (the two crummiest papers I own), it is also very fast drying, but there is a little feathering in some places where the ink pools -- end of downstrokes, for example. So on cheap paper, it would be your "Feathery and fast drying."

Hope this helps. I am generally very satisfied with Iraqui Indigo. It is one of my main three or four inks, along with Legal Lapis and Noodler's Black and Zhivago.

#13 meanwhile

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 16:50

On cheap office supply store index cards and on 20# Office Depot ink jet paper (the two crummiest papers I own), it is also very fast drying, but there is a little feathering in some places where the ink pools -- end of downstrokes, for example. So on cheap paper, it would be your "Feathery and fast drying."


A little feathering on cheap paper is certainly acceptable - assuming that "a little feathering" means something quite a bit less than the above, and that you don't have to ransack through your FP collection to find a nib to achieve this result!

Hope this helps. I am generally very satisfied with Iraqui Indigo. It is one of my main three or four inks, along with Legal Lapis and Noodler's Black and Zhivago.


Of the three, which would you say performs best? Or are they all roughly the same? And could anyone say how the US permanent red (Fox Red?) performs? I think the more positive information we have about Noodlers the better - if there are problems with just a few inks it would be a shame for the entire range of permanents to be tarred with the same brush. Speaking as someone just switching over to FPs, Noodlers are immensely valuable to me - high performing permanents are something I really value for work use.
- Jonathan

#14 meanwhile

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 17:11

Tried various types of paper, including bog standard copier paper and have got the feathering on all except for Richard's fountain pen friendly paper. I was using one of my lovely smooth Conway Stewart 84s on that filled with Socrates and it turned the CS 84 into the driest writing pen, I would never have thought that pen could feel so horrible to write with.

I would venture, that papers like Clairfontaine and Rhodia would then work well with it. However, any ink that is fast drying will probably change the writing characteristics of the pen. Much of the feel of some pens depends on the layer of ink between nib and paper. A fast drying ink is probably made to be more absorbent, and as such will be drawn into the paper quickly, and require a pen that can replentish the lubrication. You may not have thought of the pen as a dry writer, but it can't keep up with the ink absorbtioin and so becomes a drier writer. Also, the nib may not feel as smooth.

I'd still buy the ink, but be careful of which pens I use it with.

I think a lot this maybe true, Kendall (but maybe not - Carrie must know the characteristics of her favourite pens and she seems very surprised) but if an ink is unlikely to perform well with most, or even a significant minority of pens, then it's either something the manufacturer should fix or warn customers very strongly about.

My business experience would always push me into going the first route or pulling the product - the second could too easily create FUD in buyer's minds, so that they weren't sure if they were buying the regular or tricky Noodlers, or when confusion ocured and the wrong sort was unknowing bought could generate bad PR.

At the moment Noodler's has an excellent brand image. According to conventional business logic, keeping and building on that should be more important to them than shipping 40 ink colours rather than, say, 30 better tested more reliable ones.
- Jonathan

#15 Carrie

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 17:24

A little feathering on cheap paper is certainly acceptable - assuming that "a little feathering" means something quite a bit less than the above

Exactly, and whilst Basildon Bond isn't the most expensive writing paper, it's a good quality writing paper which anyone in Britain will be familiar with (I don't know if the brand is sold in the States). If anyone hasn't read the review of The Sun Never Sets, I'll post a page here. It has a sentence from the Duro written in Herbin ink on the same page as the main review and the difference in line width is quite huge. The line from the Herbin ink is what I would expect from that fine nib. The line from The Sun Never Sets matches the thickness of that from the Socrates.

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I've not found a pen that produces good results for me when filled with the Socrates. I've got three pens filled with it which refuse to write after being left overnight, so they're going to have a good flushing out later.

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#16 Goodwhiskers

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 17:33

Thanks for the review, Carrie! It's thorough B) .

I've cataloged this review in the Index of Ink Reviews on the "by brand name" list, but not on the "by color list" because I don't know which of the existing color categories on the list to use. Suggestions, anyone? Thanks in advance!

#17 BillTheEditor

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 19:26


Hope this helps. I am generally very satisfied with Iraqui Indigo. It is one of my main three or four inks, along with Legal Lapis and Noodler's Black and Zhivago.


Of the three, which would you say performs best? Or are they all roughly the same? And could anyone say how the US permanent red (Fox Red?) performs?

Performance is very close, but based on flow, drying time, and crispness (freedom from feathering), I would make it Black and Zhivago tied in first place, Legal Lapis, and then Iraqui Indigo. But they are all very very close, and in particular Legal Lapis and Iraqui Indigo could change places regarding flow depending on the pen.

I have no experience with Fox Red. I use PR Dakota Red for editing, since permanence isn't a big issue and I really like the "redness" of that ink.

#18 meanwhile

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 20:08

Thanks, Bill!
- Jonathan

#19 Stephen-I-am

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 21:51

And could anyone say how the US permanent red (Fox Red?) performs? I think the more positive information we have about Noodlers the better - if there are problems with just a few inks it would be a shame for the entire range of permanents to be tarred with the same brush.

Both fox red and luxury blue for me are excellent in the feather and smudge resistance categories (even on post-it notes).

I mix the fox red 2:1 with cayenne and the luxury blue 1:1 with Navajo turquoise since I prefer the resulting colors.

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#20 Mary P

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 03:27

I have no feathering on Clairefontaine, G. Lalo, Crane, Strathmore, etc.,. My journal doesn't have a very high grade of paper and neither Legal Lapis nor Premium Blue have feathered there although my NOS Sheaffer Burgundy does feather on the journal paper.

I have some really cheap tablets for scratch paper and every fountain pen ink feathers on it. That is the only paper on which I've had the Noodlers eternals feathyer.
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#21 Goodwhiskers

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 05:06

I've cataloged this review in the Index of Ink Reviews on the "by brand name" list, but not on the "by color list" because I don't know which of the existing color categories on the list to use. Suggestions, anyone? Thanks in advance!

*bump*

#22 meanwhile

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:46

Surely Socrates is supposed to be a purple?
- Jonathan

#23 Carrie

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 20:04

That's certainly how I would have classed it.

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#24 meanwhile

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 21:42

That's certainly how I would have classed it.

Yes - if an ink is a questionable shade, or comes out as one of several shades depending on the paper and pen, the fairest and simplest thing to do would seem to be to put it under the colour it is *suposed* to be. As long as this *is* one of the possible descriptions!
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#25 *david*

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 23:31

I would definitely like to know if the feathering is a feature of the eternal inks in general or if it just something with the UK market eternals.

No, feathering is not characteristic of Eternals, Contracts or Bulletproofs. Look only at Noodler's Black as evidence.

The black is in a class of its own. All the other colours perform very differently than the black does. In general, they tend to spread a bit, making the line wider than I expected from a given pen. For me they don't feather in the usual sense (that is, they don't make messy jagged edges to the line), but they do spread the line wider in a strange way.
The black does not even have a hint of this behaviour. For me, while the coloured eternal inks' permanence is bulletproof, only the black has bulletproof performance to go with it.

#26 Roger

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 00:10

The black is in a class of its own. All the other colours perform very differently than the black does. In general, they tend to spread a bit, making the line wider than I expected from a given pen. For me they don't feather in the usual sense (that is, they don't make messy jagged edges to the line), but they do spread the line wider in a strange way.
The black does not even have a hint of this behaviour. For me, while the coloured eternal inks' permanence is bulletproof, only the black has bulletproof performance to go with it.

Yes, but at issue was feathering, not spreadability, widening or whatever we choose to call it.

I wish, at times, that Nathan's standard Black would flow a bit more and I know I'm not alone. Viseguy's mix of Black and Noodler's/SwishMix Nile Ebony is an attempt to gain both "blackness" and flow.

This colored water, aka ink, can be as complex as we care to have it. More variables than I can cope with, that's for sure! :blink:
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#27 Viseguy

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 01:54

The black is in a class of its own. All the other colours perform very differently than the black does. In general, they tend to spread a bit, making the line wider than I expected from a given pen. For me they don't feather in the usual sense (that is, they don't make messy jagged edges to the line), but they do spread the line wider in a strange way.
The black does not even have a hint of this behaviour. For me, while the coloured eternal inks' permanence is bulletproof, only the black has bulletproof performance to go with it.

A fair comment, IME. Of all the eternals, I find Aquamarine to be the closest to Black in all-around performance; it seems less prone to spreading/feathering than, say, Gulf Stream Blue or Iraqi Indigo. That said, for my purposes -- I write mostly on cheap, recycled paper -- the Eternals I've tried perform quite well, all in all.

Wouldn't it be great, though, if Nathan could make five basic colors -- Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown -- that were as "bulletproof" as Black, in performance as well as permanence? That's where he should be pushing the envelope now, 2+ years out, IMHO. We know he can do colors.
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#28 Goodwhiskers

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 05:07

That's certainly how I would have classed it.

Thanks, Carrie and 'meanwhile.' Purple it is.

#29 meanwhile

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 11:30

Viseguy:
Wouldn't it be great, though, if Nathan could make five basic colors -- Red, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown -- that were as "bulletproof" as Black, in performance as well as permanence?  That's where he should be pushing the envelope now, 2+ years out, IMHO.  We know he can do colors.


That would be excellent.

Or even better (but perhaps not achievable) if he could provide bulletproof performance primary colour inks that could be safely blended in any combination - then we could have any colour we wanted.

Let's wish Nathan well in overcoming this tiny hiccup in Noodler's history!

Edited by meanwhile, 22 June 2006 - 11:32.

- Jonathan

#30 Carrie

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 14:47

I'd definitely like to see the bulletproof inks with the same sort of performance you get from Zhivago (haven't used the black, so can't comment on that). I've given up on the Socrates, it dries out overnight in most pens and so just isn't worth the hassle. I've watered it down, but that hadn't improved performance. To be honest, my recent experience of Noodlers inks has put me off trying anymore. The Socrates I just cleaned out of a Parker 21 which had been left for a week floated in particles on the top of a bowl of water. I've never seen ink behave like that when cleaning a pen out and I just don't think it's worth the risk of putting it into anymore of my pens.

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