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Diamine Registrar's Ink


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17 replies to this topic

#1 DanielCoffey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 13:38

INK : DIAMINE REGISTRAR'S INK (IRON GALL)

PAPER : RHODIA #16 A5 white lined

PEN : Onoto Magna 261 Medium nib tweaked for wet flow by John Sorowka (Oxonian).

Scanner : IT8-calibrated Epson V600 flatbed
Colour Space : Adobe RGB
Matte : 50% grey and 100% white
Post-process : Unsharp Mask


===


You may recall that back in October 2011 I purchased a bottle of Pharmacist's Urkundentinte which I proceeded to review.

Pharmacist is kind enough to make this ink available to us but he formulates it to work in his pens and on the papers which he uses. My personal experience of the Urkundentinte at the time was that while it was certainly a good iron gall, it did not perform well in my pen which was a very wet writer and exhibited a strong tendency to bleed-through and feather on marginal papers. I am confident that in a dryer writing pen it would behave well which is why Pharmacist is rightly so proud of it.

Having realised that the particular batch I had ordered did not suit me, I found someone who wanted to try it and passed the bottle on. I have heard no complaints from that person so I assume it works perfectly for their needs.


===


I have been looking at reviews of other Iron Gall inks since I have a recipe book that has become hard to read due to spills. As I live only a modest distance from the Diamine factory I ordered their small 30ml bottle of Registrar's Ink and grabbed a Clairefontaine spiral bound A5 journal to use as the new recipe book.

These scans are of ink that was put onto the paper ONE WEEK ago to allow a fair chance for the Iron Gall to oxidise more completely.


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Here is a close-up of the swab...

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And a close-up of the shading!

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Drip test... water dripped on, left 10s then blotted off. There is no change in the colour and no bleeding of the blue.

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Soapy soak... dunked into warm water with dish soap and left for a full minute then rinsed and patted dry. The blue remnant has gone leaving the grey/black iron gall.

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LUBRICATION : This ink is definitely less lubricated than the ordinary Diamine inks. There is more toothiness from the nib and it feels a bit scratchier. Despite this, in a wet writing pen it flows very well and starts first time every time even after sitting for a couple of days. I have had no problems with clogging or poor starting.


DRYING TIME : This is a slower drying ink than the other Diamines - 20 to 30s on smooth papers such as Rhodia or Clairefontaine but a more typical 8 to 10s on more absorbent papers such as Xerox. If you look at the ink as it hits the paper it appears "water-like" and sits on the surface. It does not dive into the paper fibres and bleed through - it just stays where you put it, dries then begins the oxidation colour change.


ODOUR : The Registrar's Ink has an "old fashioned" odour when fresh on the paper. I do not know if it is Phenol but it smells different to other inks when wet.


BLEED-THROUGH : None whatsoever! This ink is very happy on thin papers such as NHS Prescriptions, cheques, copy paper and even the no-name 60gsm old recipe book that gave the Urkundentine a bit of a headache. The following two images are the back of the SAME piece of paper. The first is the Urkundentinte, the second is the Registrar's Ink...

Posted Image

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COLOUR CHANGE : On modern whitened papers the colour change occurs very quickly, following behind you a line or two as you write. Within five minutes the ink is strongly darkened and the next day the majority of the colour change is complete. I left these scans a week to allow the ink a fair chance to change.

I did note that the Urkundentinte darkens further than the Registrar's and this is to be expected since it is a stronger iron gall. This is the main reason Pharmacist makes it - the strength.

I will leave you with a comparison picture. On the LEFT is URKUNDENTINE which has several months to mature. On the RIGHT is REGISTRAR'S which is a week old. While not strictly fair, it should be good enough for a comparison.


Posted Image

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#2 Nonsensical

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 14:22

Very interesting review. Do you by any chance have a bottle of R&K Salix to compare? I'm completely addicted to that ink right now- I use it in a very very wet writing Parker Vac, and in Wyvern pen fitted with a flexible Waterman 2 nib right now.

I find that Salix is already slightly on the dry side, and had to test quite a few combinations before I found one that I was satisfied with (I really like my pens to put down a significant amount of ink). For poor paper, I use a Pilot VP (gushes when using other ink) with a steel F nib, which has worked pretty well on even the poorest paper I own. There was slight bleedthrough, but minimal feathering on that paper.

Now you've made me crave a bottle of Pharmacist's Urkendentinte...it sounds like my cup of tea... :puddle:

Thanks for the review!

#3 PaperDarts

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 14:25

Thanks for your review and comparison - I've been trying out a few iron gall inks lately and Diamine Registrar's is one on the list. The iron gall inks seem to have very individual performances depending on nib and paper.
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#4 The Good Captain

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 14:41

A great review of an ink I've not tried but the dryness reported means that I'll probably stick to the R&K Salix and ESSRI, both of which I find to be ideal for my needs.
It's a great colour though and glad it suits your Magna - I use Midnight in mine.

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#5 inkstainedruth

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 15:01

Interesting review. I currently have been using Diamine Registrars in my firehose of a fine nib Parker Vector. The amount and speed of color change seems to be completely dependent on the type of paper, but mostly goes from greyish blue to blue black, and even then it varies -- I have a scrap of very bright printer paper that I had written a to-do list on and some of it from yesterday has already become greyish black, while the address written on the "Ready Post" shipping box (also from yesterday -- it's the darned Urban that has part of a broken converter stuck in the barrel, about to be sent back to Parker under the warranty I have for the pen) has still got a bit of a blueish cast to it.
Mostly the ink seems to be a watery blue-grey coming out of the pen. I don't have any of the Urkundentinte, but once this sample of the Registrars is done I'm going to pull out the Salix for a comparison.
I'd also be interested in seeing a side by side comparison between the Registrars and ESSRI. I've been debating getting it, but have been holding off because I don't want to get a huge bottle of it and then decide I don't like it (I know it's relatively inexpensive, but it's the shipping costs that throw a monkey wrench into the works...).
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#6 DanielCoffey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 16:23

Do you by any chance have a bottle of R&K Salix to compare?

Now you've made me crave a bottle of Pharmacist's Urkendentinte...it sounds like my cup of tea... :puddle:


I don't have any R&K Salix I am afraid but it looks like The Good Captain has some - maybe I could twist his arm for a sample (or throw him some Diamine RI instead). If you are considering buying Pharmacist's Urkundentine, it may be worth asking if any Ozzers have already done so and begging a sample... or going in with a Group Buy.


... I've been trying out a few iron gall inks lately and Diamine Registrar's is one on the list.


I know you are across the pond but postage for a single vial is not very much at all. If you can't get a sample from the CONUS side of the Ink Exchange, PM me and I'll send you some. I can guarantee my bottle is fresh from Diamine only a week ago.


The amount and speed of color change seems to be completely dependent on the type of paper

...

I'd also be interested in seeing a side by side comparison between the Registrars and ESSRI.


I understand from Pharmacist's comments that the presence of bleaches in whitened paper bring on the colour change much faster. Ordinary non-bleached papers have to make do with free oxygen in the air. I am not sure (and please correct me if I am wrong) but I think ESSRI is possibly manufactured by Diamine but to a formula specified by ESS. This may not be correct and only be misinformation brewed up in my faulty memory from previous reviews of ESSRI. They should be pretty similar however.

#7 JakobS

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 17:05

The smell of Diamine Registrars Ink comes from the iron, it smells like fresh blood which smells that way because of the hemoglobin (iron containing molecule)present in it. As a biologist, lets just say I have had plenty of occassion to experience what fresh blood smells like!

Diamine Registrar's is one of my favorite inks!
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#8 Sandy1

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 17:49

Hi,

Many thanks for the review! :thumbup:

I really like the shading that you are able to achieve from that pen+paper combo - of that sort that seems to come only from I-G inks - very supple.

This is one ink that hasn't made it onto my ink shelves (yet). What is shown is definitely appealing, but would I keep reaching for the MB Midnight Blue or the ESSRI instead?

I would take this opportunity to mention that one should bring their 'A' game when it comes to pen hygiene, both before and after using any I-G ink; and to include caps & barrels in the wash. Member pharmacist has suggested a four-stage cleaning process.
Post № 271

As to the provenance of ESSRI, it is made by Trodat in the UK for ESS. Post № 21

Bye,
S1

Edited by Sandy1, 24 April 2012 - 18:07.

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#9 drgoretex

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 18:22

Cool! Another ink for my own Magna 261 to feast on! I will give it a whirl.


The smell of Diamine Registrars Ink comes from the iron, it smells like fresh blood which smells that way because of the hemoglobin (iron containing molecule)present in it. As a biologist, lets just say I have had plenty of occassion to experience what fresh blood smells like!

Diamine Registrar's is one of my favorite inks!


Sure glad you didn't compare the taste to fresh blood :sick:

Ken

#10 DanielCoffey

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 19:24

Thanks for clearing up the ESSRI provenance, Sandy - much appreciated. I misremembered it as now you mention that company name I know I have seen you write it before.

#11 lapis

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 20:47

Thanks for this good review. Good writing and good pictures! I have tried it out too, and, although its actual colour after oxidation is quite pleasing, its own dryness has sort of turned me off. IGs are, in general, rather dry, but this one -- IMO -- is the driest of them all.

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#12 lapis

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 21:04

The smell of Diamine Registrars Ink comes from the iron, it smells like fresh blood which smells that way because of the hemoglobin (iron containing molecule)present in it. As a biologist, lets just say I have had plenty of occassion to experience what fresh blood smells like!

Not true! The iron in the ink, present as an iron (II) i.e. ferrous complex in the hemoglobin in the red blood cells (erythrocytes) has no smell whatsoever. Hemoglobin itself has no smell either. The smell in my bottle of this ink comes from phenol or a phenol-related additive, meant to decontaminate any tannic acid constituents. What you're smelling is the lipids and all of the non-erythrocyte cellular constituents, particularly those present in a buffy coat (most of the white blood cells and thrombocytes). No harm meant.

Mike

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#13 gmrza

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:56

Very interesting review. Do you by any chance have a bottle of R&K Salix to compare? I'm completely addicted to that ink right now- I use it in a very very wet writing Parker Vac, and in Wyvern pen fitted with a flexible Waterman 2 nib right now.

I find that Salix is already slightly on the dry side, and had to test quite a few combinations before I found one that I was satisfied with (I really like my pens to put down a significant amount of ink). For poor paper, I use a Pilot VP (gushes when using other ink) with a steel F nib, which has worked pretty well on even the poorest paper I own. There was slight bleedthrough, but minimal feathering on that paper.

Now you've made me crave a bottle of Pharmacist's Urkendentinte...it sounds like my cup of tea... :puddle:

Thanks for the review!


I have both Salix and Pharmacist's Urkundentinte. I prefer not to use Pharmacist's ink in a very wet writing pen, mainly because putting down so much of the ink results just in an almost jet-black line with no shading - Meh! You need a little bit less ink to get nice shading. Pharmacist's ink has a very low viscosity which tends to make it flow quite readily. On the other hand I don't find that it gushes out.

I am debating with myself whether I order some of Pharmacist's fancy coloured IG inks. If I do think about another shipment to Melbourne, I will let you know. My wife just thinks I am nuts with all the ink I have bought recently.Posted ImagePosted Image




#14 DanielCoffey

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 06:45

Interesting news about this ink... I had to fill in a large official form yesterday which was on thin, rough-textured and absorbent paper. It was one of those "Limited Ability to Work" forms that the UK Benefits folks are sending round to all the long-term disabled at the moment.

The form looked like it was on something like newsprint so I gave the Onoto Magna 261 a thorough wash and inked up with the Registrar's.

Apart from a slow drying time (which blotting paper sorted out), it didn't feather, wrote fairly true to the nib width and didn't bleed through at all. Sure there was a little show-through since the pages were thin but it was perfectly legible on both sides. The colour took a good ten minutes to change, probably due to the fact the paper was unbleached but it was lovely when it did.

#15 Mongo

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 13:16

I am not sure (and please correct me if I am wrong) but I think ESSRI is possibly manufactured by Diamine but to a formula specified by ESS. This may not be correct and only be misinformation brewed up in my faulty memory from previous reviews of ESSRI. They should be pretty similar however.


I contacted ESS about this back in '09. At the time Trodat was making this ink for them. Whether that's changed in the intervening years I can't say, but they were very responsive when I submitted the question to them.

Dave

#16 drgoretex

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 18:52

Got my bottle of Diamine Registrar's from Goulet a couple weeks back, and have been using at work on cheap medical chart paper. I really like this stuff. As already noted in you initial description and update above, no showthrough or bleedthrough. The colour change depends on the paper, but does certainly allow for some shading. VERY appropriate for the workplace, being a sober blue-black later becoming grey-black. Very nicely waterproof.

Sure having fun playing with the Iron-Galls...

Ken

#17 DanielCoffey

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 20:33

Glad it is working out for you.

If you ever get a clog and need to clean the pen, remember Pharmacist's advice... water first, vinegar to dissolve the iron, more water THEN dilute ammonia to dissolve the dyestuff then water to rinse. Remember vinegar BEFORE the ammonia.

#18 Ruminator

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 13:04

As I live only a modest distance from the Diamine factory I ordered their small 30ml bottle of Registrar's Ink and grabbed a Clairefontaine spiral bound A5 journal to use as the new recipe book.These scans are of ink that was put onto the paper ONE WEEK ago to allow a fair chance for the Iron Gall to oxidise more completely.


Let me run for another coffee... There, that's better... it's only my second coffee of the day, it's 0600 here, and I'm still a quart low! :)

Wonderful review and thanks for all the scans. I learned a lot from your post and the follow-ups.

I would take this opportunity to mention that one should bring their 'A' game when it comes to pen hygiene, both before and after using any I-G ink; and to include caps & barrels in the wash. Member pharmacist has suggested a four-stage cleaning process.


Thanks for the advice, S1. Your comments are always welcome and I really enjoy your comprehensive (exhaustive?) reviews.

My wife just thinks I am nuts with all the ink I have bought recently.


Heh... Wife thinks I'm nuts too, but she still tolerates me.

Glad it is working out for you.If you ever get a clog and need to clean the pen, remember Pharmacist's advice... water first, vinegar to dissolve the iron, more water THEN dilute ammonia to dissolve the dyestuff then water to rinse. Remember vinegar BEFORE the ammonia.


The vinegar recommendation is very good. I use a bit of white vinegar to remove rust from pressure bars. I think I salvage about half of them from vintage Esterbrooks using a vinegar soak (usually overnight is good), then cleaning carefully first with a rag or paper towel and then with a Dremel wire brush to remove the sticky bits. I use a tiny bit of gun oil to fill the pores.

My point is that vinegar does an excellent job of removing iron oxides. Just be careful with it as it is acetic acid.

I love the comments (and the original post). This is a great place to hang out. I learn something every time I read here.

-=d

Edits were for clean-up...

Edited by Ruminator, 16 June 2012 - 13:05.







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