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Iroshizuku Substitutes


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53 replies to this topic

#1 Margana

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 05:08

Many of us would agree that Pilot/Iroshizuku offer high quality inks in interesting colors. However, they are not readily available outside Japan and can be pricey when found. That makes substitutes look very attractive.

While I don't have all of the Iro inks for comparison and none of the true blues, there are three colors on hand that did surprise me. Private Reserve Ebony Blue is very similar to Tsuki-Yo but a tad darker. Diamine Teal is quite close to Syo-Ro though slightly less green. Also, De Atramentis Sepiabraun works well for Tsukushi.

A caveat is in order. Pen and nib performance vary as do ink characteristics from brand to brand and even colors within a brand. My substitutions are based on color swatches alone. No consideration was given to shading, flow or other ink characteristics or another critical element, line width. YMMV applies.

Have any of you found good color matches for Iroshizuku inks?
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#2 reprieve

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 14:45

Herbin Rose Cyclamen is quite similar to Yama-budo. Yesterday I was writing on a Rhodia pad with Yama-budo right below a half-page of notes that had been written with Rose Cyclamen. I was shocked to discover that I had a hard time differentiating between the two colors. Yama-budo is a bit darker.

#3 Jimmy James

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 15:59

A lot of folks say Diamine Sapphire when dry looks just like Asa-Gao. Personally, I think Asa-Gao is more like Herbin Eclat de Saphir. I'd say Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue is also pretty close.

#4 agchristie

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 18:26

I just recieved Yama-budo and it looks almost exactly like Diamine Claret (maybe a tiny bit darker) and has very similar characteristics. Was slightly disappointed due to the similarity but the colour is my favourite colour!
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#5 dcwaites

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:13

The closest I have found to iroshizuku asa-gao is Visconti Blue. The Visconti Blue is not only almost identical in colour, it is also very similar in wetness, feathering, bleeding, penetration, etc.

And yes, Diamine Sapphire is very close, but not as close as Visconti Blue. The Diamine Sapphire is a little darker, and wetter.

After more testing, I have found that Private Reserve Lake Placid Blue is as close as dammit to iroshizuku asa-gao, closer than Visconti Blue.

And on a side note, jdboucher's Tanzam Blue is almost identical with Visconti blue.

Viewing the inks under fluorescent light tends to accentuate the differences. Viewing under LED or natural light reduces the differences a bit.

Edited by dcwaites, 16 December 2009 - 08:44.

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#6 RitaCarbon

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:28

How about PR Fast Dry Midnight Blues for Iroshizuku Tsiku-yo Night Sky?

I have just received both from JetPens today and look forward to opening the bottles this weekend.

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#7 Margana

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Posted 16 December 2009 - 06:45

How about PR Fast Dry Midnight Blues for Iroshizuku Tsiku-yo Night Sky?

I have just received both from JetPens today and look forward to opening the bottles this weekend.

Rita

Hope you post here after you have had an opportunity to test them both. TIA. :)
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#8 GouletPens

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 04:14

I sell Herbin inks, and the only complaint I hear about them is the bottle. Many have talked about how much they aesthetically like the Iroshizuku bottles, but I've never tried the ink myself. I have to say though, I think the bottles are pretty sexy!

#9 voop

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 17:31

I sell Herbin inks, and the only complaint I hear about them is the bottle. Many have talked about how much they aesthetically like the Iroshizuku bottles, but I've never tried the ink myself. I have to say though, I think the bottles are pretty sexy!


Well, get them to give us Herbin in Iroshizuku bottles, and the world has instantly become a better place ;)

The Iroshizuku inks are quite well behaved, much like is the Herbin inks. The colors I have from Iroshizuku have no real Herbin-equvalents, color-wise: Kiri-same (a darker gray), momji, fuyu-gaki (an orange-ish, different from Orange Indien which is more "classic" orange) -- and a couple of Iroshizuku bottles that I have not yet opened and tested ;) They write well in any pen I have thrown them in, and lay down nicely saturated lines.

#10 Lloyd

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 18:56

Also, unlike most of the Herbin inks, many of the Iroshizuku inks are water-resistant.
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#11 voop

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 21:58

Also, unlike most of the Herbin inks, many of the Iroshizuku inks are water-resistant.


Certainly know that the Herbin are not ;) Do we have a list of which Iroshizuku are, though?

#12 Eternally Noodling

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 22:27

V-mail inks

Conventional inks with classic water resistance and classic flow...at a standard Noodler's price, far from $35 a bottle (and calculate on both volume and/or weight cost per oz etc...). You can use the savings to buy a nice crystal ink well with a silver top if the bottle is "too American" for you... :thumbup:

Mixing them can replicate the entire range (though GI Green was recently changed to a darker 1938 replica target based on customer feedback).

I mention it because of a flow of about two dozen e-mails on this subject and the name constantly being put forth. If anyone can't get the color they want in a mix of the existing v-mail line, send me a note and a possible 10 ml sample of whatever you are looking for - then give me some time and I'll do my best to keep the ink not only better than the sample, but in the standard cost range of the average 3 oz Noodler's (these are conventional inks, mind you...& the markups some people expect are not reasonable from the rational perspective - but I gave up trying to figure that out a long time ago).
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#13 Jimmy James

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 22:56

I dearly love the VMail series, to the point that I'm sad the green has been reformulated (I'm sure I'll love it just as much as the others when I see it).

I find the idea of mixing those inks to get to a hue match for Iroshizuku to be an interesting challenge. It's probably one I'm not up to, but I hope somebody else loves that idea.

#14 HenryLouis

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 23:57

A lot of folks say Diamine Sapphire when dry looks just like Asa-Gao. Personally, I think Asa-Gao is more like Herbin Eclat de Saphir. I'd say Private Reserve DC Supershow Blue is also pretty close.


I think DSB and Eclat de saphir are almost the same color... The Eclat having a bit better shading and a slightly lighter color... and a nicer smell ;)

I have yet to try the Asa-Gao.
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#15 Margana

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 23:58

Thanks for weighing in, Nathan. I haven't tried the VMail series so I can't speak to the colors compared to the Iroshizuku line. However, mixing inks is not something in which I have an interest. Skip all the reasons and the properties that matter most to me. For my purposes, the ink needs to come from the bottle ready to rock and roll. The vast majority of my blog's followers would prefer that, too. But I will watch for recipes as they appear here or elsewhere on FPN for an Inkophile post in future.

As for the hefty Iroshizuku bottles, yes, they are attractive but I don't buy ink for the bottle. After a fill all bottles are returned to the original boxes. Better for the ink and better for my overly crowded desk. What I do appreciate is that there is little likelihood that I will tip over an Iro bottle. That's the plus for me.
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#16 RitaCarbon

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 00:20

If anyone can't get the color they want in a mix of the existing v-mail line, send me a note and a possible 10 ml sample of whatever you are looking for - then give me some time and I'll do my best to keep the ink not only better than the sample, but in the standard cost range of the average 3 oz Noodler's (these are conventional inks, mind you...& the markups some people expect are not reasonable from the rational perspective - but I gave up trying to figure that out a long time ago).


Nathan,

1. Is BSB mixable with White of the Whale?
2. To achieve a sepia-like effect in a purple ink (sort of Aurora Borealis in Deep Purple), what Noodler's ink can I mix? Do you have an ink like that?

Thank you,
Rita

#17 GreenVelvet

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 01:02

Also, unlike most of the Herbin inks, many of the Iroshizuku inks are water-resistant.


Whaaaaat? Really? I had no idea!

#18 Lloyd

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 01:15

I know my Kirisame is. Many of the reviewers here have made this comment, too.
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#19 Renzhe

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 23:36

For Tsuki-Yo, there is a water resistant blue component.
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#20 Margana

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Posted 01 January 2010 - 06:09

A few Iroshizuku inks after 30 seconds under a faucet. The paper is Office Depot 24# ink jet.

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