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Inky T O D - Premium Inks - Is It All About The Bottle? Or Is The Ink Worth The Extra Money?

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43 replies to this topic

#1 amberleadavis

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:29

So, the cost for Noodler's, Diamine and Toucan inks are downright inexpensive compared to Caran d' Ache and retail on Pilot Iroshizuku.  Of course, we all search for deals or spend money with our favorite retailers. The question from Top Pen was should he spend the extra money on CdA?

 

Let's hear from you inky buyers.  (Because we all know Amber doesn't need a reason to buy ink).


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#2 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:35

I have purchased empty ink bottles when I wanted the bottle but I do admit that I did buy MontBlanc ink* for the bottle.  They were hard to locate empty so I purchased the ink as well.

 

In the end, is all about the ink.  Noodler's Bulletproof Black works so well.  If they were to put it into a Ziploc bag I'd buy it like that.

 

*Does MontBlanc ink count as a premium ink?


Edited by Oranges and Apples, 25 June 2014 - 17:39.


#3 Lord Epic

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:37

Well, at my local pen store, the boss did say he wouldn't buy CdA inks...

 

Ingredients, the bottle itself, packaging all drives up the cost of the ink. So whether to buy a premium ink or not would depend on how much one likes the packaging and bottle of the ink.

 

Is it worth it? That would depend on how much value you attach to it. If you think it's worth more than the price, by all means get it, if not, then don't!

 

 

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#4 blopplop

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:46

My decision to buy an ink is based solely upon whether I like the color. Other factors are secondary. If it's expensive, so be it. Of course, if I find two colors that look the same and one is cheaper I'll buy the cheaper one. Like PR Naples Blue and De Atramentis Summer Flowers. They are indistinguishable in terms of color (although DA is fragranced). I'll be buying PR Naples from now on for that particular blue color.

 

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#5 Cyber6

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:59

If I understand the question.. you are asking if "premium ink" (the Ink..... bottles/boxes and labels aside) is worth the premium price.

 

 

In my experience... NOpe...  :P

 

 

Noodlers is SOOOOOOO saturated, you can diluted 1:1 and still get almost the same color. (I've done it)... Which makes it cheap as chips.. :lol:

 

 

The Japanese inks are delicious... (Sailor exclusives)... but unless I get them at a reasonable price, I won't bother with them.   For me.. the qualities of Japanese inks (great flow, amazing sheen, ease of cleaning) are worth approx twice the price of Noodlers... but not three times. (Meaning, I will happily pay $20-25 for a particularly delicious 50ml Sailor bottle)

 

 

Unless I REALLY want the bottle... then yes, I might be willing to pay a premium price for it (but I know I am paying extra for the bottle and not the ink).   Ditto, if it is a discontinued ink .. and I REALLY want it... (Paid $40 for a Parker Penman Sapphire not long ago..)... but for a current line up of inks... NOpe.. 

 

 

If I decide I want a CaranD'Ache bottle... I will certainly paid for the bottle only.  

 

 

 

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#6 Tas

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 18:25

I was feeling flush a while ago and I'd seen lapis's review of CdA Magnetic Blue and took a gamble on a bottle.

 

Premium price, premium bottle but man, premium ink. but I really really liked it subtlety

 

Similar story with Akkerman's No10

 

 

If I like the colour, I'll save up and buy it but pass it on, sell or trade if it doesn't live up to it's expectations - like one one and only Iroshisuku purchase, Tsuki-Yo.



#7 Algester

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 18:40

huh Iroshizuku in Japan is as worth as your Sailor ink (1650 yen or 15USD) I still have the receipt from Ito-ya just to prove it... OK shipping costs a LOT and then Customs COST added value... but I still have to know why inks COST so much on other countries Caran d'Ache inks in Japan costs as much as an Iroshizuku in the US same goes to GvFC does that mean to get the "cheapest" ink possible is to buy from source... like literally spend the money to go to the ink's point of origin...

can we do a price comparison between countries then?

 

like how much is an Akkerman ink cost in the Netherlands

how much does MB,GvFC, Lamy, Kaweco, Pelikan cost in Germany

how much does Sailor, Pilot, Platinum inks cost in Japan

how much does Noodler's, Monteverde cost in US

how much does Caran d'Ache cost in Sweeden? did I get it right...

how much does Omas, Montegrappa, Visconti cost in Italy

how much does Toucan cost in Australia

how much does Diamine cost in the UK

how much does Hero, Jinhao ink cost in China

how much does J.Herbin, Waterman cost in France

how much does Sheaffer ink cost in Slovenia

got any idea where Parker and Cross inks are made?

then compare and contrast much much does each ink cost in your local country

I can't give prices to GvFC, Omas, Montergrappa, Visconti, Toucan, Monteverde, Akkerman, Caran d' Ache, Hero, Jinhao, Pilot because we dont have official retailers here Pilot fountain pen inks we have cartridges

but here's what I can give all rounded off for convenience

 

Lamy (30ml) 500 Philippine Peso

Lamy (50ml) 800 Philippine Peso

Sailor (50ml) 700 Philippine Peso

Sailor Kiwaguro and Seiboku (50ml) 1200 Philippine Peso

J. Herbin (30ml) 500 Philippine Peso

J. Herbin (50ml) 900 Philippine Peso the 1670 ink line

J. Herbin (100ml) 1000 Philippine Peso

MB (60ml) 1000 Philippine Peso

Pelikan Edelstein (50ml) 800 Philippine Peso

Pelikan (62.5ml) 200 Phlippine Peso

Platinum (60ml) 1000 Philippine Peso

Noodler's (3 oz) 600 Philippine Peso

Noodler's (4 oz) 1000 Philippine Peso

Diamine (30ml) 130 Philippine Peso (not an official retailer but he orders them and then we buy from him)

Diamine (90ml) 600 Philippine Peso

Cross (50ml) 800 Philippine Peso

Parker (50ml?) 800 Philippine Peso

Sheaffer (50ml) 800 Philippine Peso

I have inquired Vanness pens how much does it cost for an Akkerman ink to get here and boy it costs as much as 3000 Philippine Peso for 150ml

when I think about it most of our inks have little price difference... WOW

but I think the Big 4 (Lamy, Sheaffer, Cross and Parker) have global stable prices


Edited by Algester, 25 June 2014 - 19:25.


#8 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 18:58

Good question.  I have bought "premium" inks (Iroshihzuku, Sailor) but only after having gotten samples.  I'm somewhat like Oranges and Apples -- if I like the color and or behavior of the ink, I will consider splurging.  And in the case of the Iroshihzuku, so far the only one I've been willing to take the plunge on is Yama-budo -- even though in color it is similar to Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses (close, but doesn't have the black undertone of BSiAR).  And I definitely want a bottle of Yama-guri -- that's on the short list because I (so far) haven't found an equivalent brown or sepia that matches.  But otherwise, it's a hit or miss proposition.  I want to try Montblanc Toffee at some point.  But that's in spite of the MB "shoe" bottles (which I personally think are ugly).

We'll see how I like the three Akkerman inks I ordered for DCSS -- those may be worth it just for the sake of the bottle.

It's an interesting bit of serendipity running across this thread -- I spent half the morning online looking at and pricing glass bottles (and jars) in bulk so I can transfer ink from the large bottles of vintage Quink Violet and Skrip Peacock Blue into manageable sized containers (the Quink because it's got a rubber stopper and a sort of wick down into the bottle, and the Skrip because it's too tall to fit into the nice boxes from IKEA I bought to store ink in).  A couple of the places I found online had phenolic caps, which sounded like a good plan, and I was looking at amber glass (and in one instance cobalt glass, although the cobalt is a lot more expensive) as an extra level of UV protection.  And you know, the "Boston" bottles look a lot like the 4-1/2 ounce size Noodler's bottles..., although I think the bottles that had eyedropper caps cost more).

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#9 blopplop

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 19:08

(Paid $40 for a Parker Penman Sapphire not long ago..).

C.

 

 

We must have bought a bottle from the same person. :)

 

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#10 alarickc

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Posted 25 June 2014 - 20:07

If I find the color interesting I buy it. It's that simple. I have a particular fondness for Japanese inks and am generally willing to pay what I have to, usually around $29 a bottle for Sailor Bespoke. I admit that I bought Cd'A for the bottle, but I picked the one color that looked intriguing to me, Divine Pink. I can highly recommend it by the way.

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#11 The Blue Knight

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 23:30

I ended up ordering 3 diamine inks instead as I think the CDA inks are just too expensive. I have set aside £30 for some new inks.

 

I went for Diamine Bilberry, Mint and Amazing amethyst to start things off. Will order 3 more once I've found ones which I find interesting.



#12 amberleadavis

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Posted 26 June 2014 - 23:41

I can say for me ... that I love ink ... I even love the ones that smell like phenol and the ones that smell like roses.  I love the ones that come in crystal decanters and the the ones that come in plastic bags.  

 

I'm glad Noodler's makes all those colors in an affordable container that stacks.  I'm glad Diamine makes those small plastic bottles that stack (though I own more of the glass bottles).  If all inks were priced like the GvFC ink I just purchased, well, I wouldn't have much of a collection.  When I'm in the mood (feeling flush), I buy an ink in a beautiful bottle. When I want a great all around ink, I buy a Noodler's ink or a Diamine.

 

Do I have any inks I wish I had not purchased ... well, I bought 2 inks for the bottle. Both inks have clogged every pen I've used with them.  Those inks will not be given to others, I will paint with them, but I"m keeping the bottles.  If I could find those bottles, I'd decant other inks into them and I'd make sure that I had them available to be our next FPN exclusive ink.  Alas, no super cool bottles for us right now.


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#13 napalm

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 00:49

You need a set of the Platinum Mix Free inks. Infinite possibilities.....

#14 amberleadavis

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 01:59

You need a set of the Platinum Mix Free inks. Infinite possibilities.....

 

 

I have some samples, but I think I really need the 4 inks on the Noodler's CYMK chart.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Dark Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY


#15 SeeksAdvice

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 03:43

I have purchased Iroshizuku, Sailor "nano" inks, Diamine inks, Noodler's inks, Pelikan inks, Parker inks, Sheaffer inks, and Waterman inks.

 

Sometimes you do get what you pay for.  To rip MasterCard off ...

 

Pelikan M800 Tortoise $550.00-$600.00.  Bottle of Iroshizuku Tsukushi $28.00.  Ink going where you want it, when you want it ... priceless.

 

Said M800 (F) handles Tsukushi great.  It handles Olde Dutch Colony Sepia okay.  It drools El Lawrence.  It chokes on Whaleman's Sepia.

The Iroshizuku inks and Sailor "Nano" inks pretty much work every pen, every time, and in nearly every situation.  With the exception of Montblanc's old Midnight Blue, I can't think of any other ink I've tried that I can say that of.

 

Have not tried the CdA inks as they seem a bit ... excessive.  For example, a Range Rover might be a great off-road and bad weather vehicle.  But, do you really need the one with custom everything?  Or, like the difference between a Mercedes S-Class and a Maybach.


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#16 paulmcmanus

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 17:02

Performance issues aside it really has to be down to one's colour preferences, doesn't it?  I bought a bottle of Caran d' Ache Idyllic Blue. I found the colour so disappointing: weak and insipid - I can think of four similar toned blues that do the job a lot better for a quarter of the price. That being said, I have to agree with SeeksAdvice in that I know whichever Iroshizuku ink I fill a pen with is going to perform flawlessly. Whether that knowledge is influenced by the beautiful bottle, mind you, is hard to say.

 

My personal bugbear is feathering - if it feathers, I don't want to use it. None of the Iroshi inks feather, nor, in my experience do the Edelsteins. A number of the Diamines do. So buying a new Diamine is much more of a risk for me than buying a new iroshizuku because however little you pay for something, if it doesn't do what you need it to do, you've paid too much. 


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#17 WateryFlow

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 17:25

For me it's all about the ink, and the best value for money ink because I'm a cheapskate ;). The bottle isn't a consideration except as a one off for novalty value



#18 snedwos

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 20:36

In the UK you can get 5 80 ml bottles of Diamine for the price of one 50 ml bottle of Iroshizuku. It is that absurd.



#19 mhosea

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Posted 27 June 2014 - 22:52

I expect something special out of inks that cost more than, say, $0.40 per ml.  It had better have a color I can't live without or top-tier performance characteristics, preferably both.  Although I didn't pay more than $0.40 per ml for my bottle of Yama Budo, I think it is worth that.  Likewise, version 1 of J. Herbin 1670 Rouge Hematite and J. Herbin 1670 Bleu Ocean were worth what I paid.  The latter doesn't have a great color to it, but it does feel like a top-tier ink to write with.  Sailor Sei Boku is worth it.  Sailor Kiwa Guro might be.  Sadly, I think most inks costing that much fail.  I tried really hard to like Asa Gao, but although it is a nice, bright blue color, it is not in the same league as Yama Budo on performance, IMHO.  I'd really like to know which Iroshizuku inks perform like Yama Budo, but I fear that Iro fans will just tell me that they are all very much alike, which IMHO is plainly wrong.

 

So, for me the bottom line is that the ink makers can try to engage my enthusiasm at higher price points, but I lack the necessary bias towards high cost items to overlook flaws.  Consequently, if it's a great ink, I will buy more of it without fretting about the price.  If it's a mediocre ink putting on airs, I won't.  I will say this much, however, if it is a high priced ink, I am reluctant to try it.  To whom much is given, much will be expected, and I expect to be let down by expensive inks most of the time.


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#20 Runnin_Ute

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 01:27

Never really had a desire to go to the Iro, Edelstein or other high priced inks. Levenger inks are $15 for 50 ml and have recently caught myself hesitating there, to say nothing of the $20+ price level inks. I have bought Levenger inks in the past, but it was long enough ago there were fewer colors, and prices were at least a little lower.

 

It would have to be really knock your socks off good for me to adventure much north of that.


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