Camel Royal Blue is one of those few inks which I've seen around me all life long. Over here in India, this is the most likely bottle that one would get if one walked into any stationery store and asked for fountain pen ink. It's almost universally available here, thanks to a strong distribution network and a parent company which is apparently in good health. Camel blue and black are often the ink of choice among users, particularly the student community, ahead of other foreign ink brands due to availability and economy. I had not used this ink for a long time, but rediscovered it recently and fell in love.
A list of the salient features of this ink is given below:
01. This is a moderately bright shade of blue with a purplish tinge.
02. It doesn't show much shading.
03. I would say it is moderately saturated.
04. It doesn't feather on most papers. This improves economy as far as paper quality is concerned.
05. It doesn't bleed through on most papers. Again reduces paper cost.
06. It flows well, and lubricates well. Its flow and lubrication is similar to Waterman Florida Blue.
07. Drying time is good, around 7 sec at most when used in a broad-nibbed moderately wet-writing pen.
08. At best, it is moderately waterproof.
09. It is very resistant to smudging after drying completely.
10. It is a low maintenance ink. This can be attributed to lack of water resistance and not very high saturation.
11. The ink doesn't stain, and doesn't clog even after sitting in a pen for over ten days. Start-up is immediate.
12. I'm not sure if it is pigment based or dye based.
13. The company claims to have a solvent present in the ink which cleans the pen as one writes.
14. The ink has a mild smell. Some may love it, and some may not like it. I kind of like it.
15. It comes in 60ml bottles, and is very inexpensive.
Two snaps showing writing samples:
On the whole, I'm immensely satisfied with this ink. I'm wondering what to do with my bottles of Pelikan Royal Blue and Sheaffer Blue. And just a small personal note with respect to purple tinge in a blue ink. The most purplish blue I've used has got to be Aurora Blue, while Visconti Blue has absolutely none. Camel Royal blue is somewhat right in the middle, and with these three inks one probably has the full required range. On the downside, I don't think it is available outside India.
Edited by freewheelingvagabond, 12 January 2011 - 15:05.