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Good Student/ Beginner Ink?


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#1 khymeera

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:06

I've seen a few threads on good student/beginner fountain pens, so I thought I'd start a thread on good student/beginner inks. The qualities I consider good for a beginner are that the ink is good for daily use, well behaved in the pen and on the page (in terms of feathering, bleedthrouoh etc.) and easy to maintain...

Another reason I'm starting this thread is because I've recently converted a friend of mine to FPs and I need some good ink suggestions for her to use. She isn't an addict (yet) so she wants to only get one or two inks for note taking.

Here are my thoughts:
I recommended Noodler's bullet proof black. First, because it's cheap, second, because it is a nice saturated, yet well behaved ink that will stay on the page even if you accidentally get your notes wet.

Has anyone had experience with daily use of Noodler's Xfeather? I think it would be good for note taking on the cheap notebook paper but I haven't used it yet.

I've also heard good things about Diamine inks, although I have no personal experience with them.

Any other suggestions?
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#2 watch_art

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:16

I've just discovered that I really like Montblanc Blue Black. It works great on cheap notebook paper. No feathering or bleed through and very little show through.
I also just like the blue gray color of it.

I can't speak of maintenance but I've read that others have not had problems with clogging or explosions or global warming, so I'm going to say easy to maintain.

Also REALLY like Montblanc Burgundy. Lovely dark reddish color with great shading in the right pen.

Got both of these inks in some recent trades and I'm VERY happy with both.

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#3 Conz

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:51

I would suggest Noodler's Heart of Darkness.

Pros:
  • Bulletproof.
  • If you run out of ink in the middle of your day, just add water and you can still write at least a page or two.
  • Doesn't bleed through or feather much even on cheap paper.
  • It'll last you a loooonnnggg time, especially if you dilute it with water 1:1 before use like I do.
  • Washes off your hands pretty well.
Cons:

  • Stains cotton clothes permanently. (I'm not sure about man made fibres.)
  • Comes in an eyedropper bottle, so filling directly from the bottle is problem for some/most pens.
I suppose most of the pros will apply to bullet proof black without the con of the bottle.



#4 Moppeh

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:09

I would recommend Waterman Black. It's dark, and black is always a good color for note-taking. I used it all through middle and high school and found it reacted well with the wide variety of papers that students are forced to write on. Also comes in both bottled and cartridge form, in case a new fountain pen user doesn't yet want to try bottled ink.
Currently using: pelikan 320 + sheaffer balance

#5 Feanor

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:12

If it's somebody who is worried about stains, Pelikan Washable Blue is nice. If not, BSB is a much brighter blue. Bulletproof black is just so... boring. The colors I started with were Pelikan green and violet, and Sheaffer red. Get her a bottle or two of her favorite colors.

#6 jniforat

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:40

PR Ebony Green in a wet writer! which reminds me: i need more.

#7 J English Smith

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:53

I'm going to recommend some alternatives here...from what's been posted so far.

Unless it's likely that notes are going to come in contact with water, using bulletproof inks is probably not necessary, and it makes getting spots out of clothing etc. well nigh impossible. Apart from checks, I don't have a place for bulletproof inks in my life. So I write checks when I have to with a Pilot G2. ;)

Iron gall inks (MB blue-black and some others) do clog more if the pen is not used regularly and flushed fairly regularly. So I would not recommend starting with that as a daily ink.

I'm on the record re BSB - I find the endless fascination with this ink strange. Pretty but problematic. I'd choose function over pretty when it comes to ink.

I can recommend the Pelikan and Waternan lines as good starting inks. Not very expensive, water-soluble, many nice colors. My favorites include Pelikan Violet, Brilliant Black, Turquoise; and Waterman Havana Brown, South Seas Blue (very similar to Pel Turquoise) and Florida Blue.

Good luck!
<i>"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."</i><br>-Marlowe, in <i>The Long Goodbye</i>

#8 J English Smith

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:10

I must add too, I use a number of Private Reserve and Noodler's inks and they are very good too, but are more saturated that Waterman and Pelikan. I've never had a clogging problem with them, though. The only PR inks that I can't recommend are Black Cherry and Burgundy Mist - lovely colors to start, but mine turned black quickly even though stored correctly.
<i>"Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had."</i><br>-Marlowe, in <i>The Long Goodbye</i>

#9 Possum Hill

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:14

I'm on the record re BSB - I find the endless fascination with this ink strange. Pretty but problematic. I'd choose function over pretty when it comes to ink.


I find BSB strangely fascinating, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it for a beginner. A full page of notes is a little too bright for many people. Skrip blue or blue/black is a good starter for basic writing.
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Winston Churchill

#10 Scrawler

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:29

I'm on the record re BSB - I find the endless fascination with this ink strange. Pretty but problematic. I'd choose function over pretty when it comes to ink.


I find BSB strangely fascinating, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it for a beginner. A full page of notes is a little too bright for many people. Skrip blue or blue/black is a good starter for basic writing.

I like BSB for my own use, but would not suggest it as a beginners ink. For newbies I generally suggest Skrip or Pelikan for black. Skrip or Waterman for Blue. These are well behaved easy to get on with inks, that do the job.

Edited by Scrawler, 21 August 2010 - 03:29.


#11 redshifteffect

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 03:57

I'd say bulletproof black would be the right choice. It's good in most pens. HoD which I also use can be a bit dry in some pens. X-feather which I got recently to compare is a very slow drier on the nice paper. Both BPB and HoD have anti-feathering properties from what I've seen so there really isn't a need to get Xfeather, and best of all Bulletproof black seems to have a good dry time regardless of paper, from cheap copy to Clairefontaine.

#12 Ada

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:40

For beginners, I would probably suggest Namiki/Pilot Blue, Namiki/Pilot Black or Diamine Sapphire Blue. All three are well-behaved (although Sapphire Blue takes longer to flush than most of my other inks).
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#13 watch_art

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 05:17

Yeah, Montblanc Blue Black is already choking my VP up after just two days. And I'm on my second fill. I think I'm gonna flush it and figure out which pen it likes and then dedicate it. But it is such a lovely color.

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#14 ProfessorZach

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 07:13

The right ink is going to depend on the pen - and the paper - as I am quickly learning. That said, my recent exploration of inks comes from the trenches of academia and so I feel I can offer a little guidance:

Waterman Florida Blue: This seems to me an all around excellent choice, if a little dull. It is neither wet nor dry, is easy to look at for long periods, reasonably priced, causes no nib creep, and (this is a major plus for those of us carrying our ink bottles on the go) is easy to fill from because of the unique bottle design.

Often recommended lately, but recommended here with caveat, is
Noodler's #41 Brown: This ink is a great dark shade of brown, perfect for notetaking since it is both more interesting and slightly less contrasty than black ink on a white page. It never fails to start up perfectly in my Lamy 2000 EF, even if the pen is uncapped for minutes. It is (like all Noodler's inks) very inexpensive. The negative is that my wet-writing Lamy 2000 EF lays down a lot of ink with this very free-flowing ink, which means long dry times on the order of 10 seconds. While this isn't a deal breaker for me, I intend to experiment with diluting this ink in order to reduce the dry time. If the experiment is successful, the result will be perhaps the ideal note-taking ink, though I do view the ink-mixing process and its associated "equipment" (extra bottles, etc.) something of a minor hassle.
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#15 bwnewton

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 12:48

Not water-resistant, but extremely well-behaved and affordable with a user-friendly bottle: Lamy Blue or Lamy Black.

Water-resistant: Sheaffer Skrip Black (Slov) and Lamy Blue-Black (bottle, iron-gall--does require a bit more maintenance but nothing drastic)

#16 View from the Loft

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 13:03

Well behaved, readily obtainable inks: Parker Quink, Waterman, Diamine.

#17 drgonzo2

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 14:48

Pelikan, Skrip, Quink or Watermans. These are the classic student/beginner inks for a reason. They are cheap, widely available, unfussy, and utterly reliable. Okay, they may not have the wide range of colours or specialised properties of Noodlers or PR, but they also don't have the more finicky natures of those inks either...

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#18 nxn96

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 15:25

Count me as another vote for the basic Quink or Waterman inks. As others have noted, you don't get as broad a color range as other brands offer, but they are readily available, work well in most pens and won't break a student's budget.

#19 ailleurs

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 18:08

Waterman Florida Blue was the only ink I used for 20 years, and it served me well. Never clogged a pen, dirt cheap compared to other brands, rinses easily, the bottle is actually user-friendly, and I never had a prof. object to its use.
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#20 Possum Hill

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 18:35

Pelikan, Skrip, Quink or Watermans. These are the classic student/beginner inks for a reason. They are cheap, widely available, unfussy, and utterly reliable. Okay, they may not have the wide range of colours or specialised properties of Noodlers or PR, but they also don't have the more finicky natures of those inks either...

... G

Skrip etc. are the gateway inks. If we can get the new FP users using those inks, we'll have them hooked.
"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -- Winston Churchill






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