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

graf von faber castell noodlers dromgooles private reserve

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43 replies to this topic

#41 AllenG


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Posted 14 July 2014 - 21:49

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.

That is partly because Diamine is made in Liverpool. It didn't have to pay import duties and had 5,000 less miles to travel.

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#42 Dillo


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Posted 17 July 2014 - 05:12



As much as I'd love to say that I only buy my ink based on the colour of the ink inside the bottle, I certainly appreciate it when I get a nice bottle with my ink. While I realise that Noodler's like to get cheaper off-the-shelf bottles, I don't like either the bottle or the caps. it all feels too homely to me. I'm also known to consider purchasing ink that comes in a really pretty bottle that stands out, like a bottle in the shape of a heart or flower, or something neat or just really cute. If given the choice of getting the same ink in two different bottles of the same size, like a heart bottle and regular bottle, I would pick the heart bottle even if it cost a bit more. Still, if I hated the ink or the ink didn't seem especial enough for me to get it, but loved the bottle, I wouldn't buy it. I guess my first priority is the ink I'm getting, but the bottle matters to me too.



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#43 Chi Town

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 06:31

I'm with "Blopplop" as far as how I buy my inks! The color comes 1st and price is 2nd, unless two colors are right on top of ea other color wise, but price wise is another story, then I go with the cheaper one! But I have to admit when I want ink, I do shop around quite a bit looking for what ever, I may not even have a color in mind, I just want ink! But I remember who has sales going on and then go back to them 1st to see if they have anything that tickles my fancy? Guess I'm speaking outta both sides of my cheeks, but not really?


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#44 PaulT00


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Posted 18 July 2014 - 16:23

Colour and performance.  The bottle may come into it, but not perhaps in the same way other people might expect...


I love Iroshizuku inks.  The bottle is, aesthetically, beautiful.  It is also poorly designed from a practical perspective, having such a short and slippery cap on such a heavy glass object filled with staining liquid which sometimes also dries on the cap threads.  More than once I've had a major fight on my hands to get into my bottle of Asa-Gao, simply because it was almost impossible to get a grip on the cap.  The heavy glass bottles also make it expensive to ship, which was a pain before there was a UK company who stocked the inks.  And unless one wishes to experiment to find out the longterm effects of sunlight on these inks, the bottles cannot be reasonably put on display anyway, but must be mostly kept out of sight.


I love Sailor nanopigment inks.  Their performance is outstanding.  I use them all the time.  The bottles are awful, and made worse by the little plastic insert which simply (in my experience) gets in the way of filling any pen with a reasonably sized nib.  Take the plastic insert out (splashing ink everywhere) and the bottle is just about deep enough to fully immerse the nib and feed of a Waterman Phileas, as long as the liquid level is nearly full. Otherwise one is left trying to do a 3-handed exercise to tilt the bottle, insert and hold the nib and feed submerged at an angle, and twist the end of the converter to suck up the ink.  My Sailor inks live in repurposed old Montblanc bottles!


I love the old Caran D'Ache inks, but the bottles are dreadful to use.  Pretty, but dreadful.  Haven't tried the new range yet, but when I run out of Storm I will probably buy a bottle of Ultra Violet (or whatever silly name they've given it) as a replacement.  Why they couldn't just continue to call it Storm I don't know... Marketing, probably.


Montblanc seem to have it mostly right, although their newer 'shoe' bottles have a less grippy cap than their older ones.  Some of the inks are pretty good, too, but unfortunately some of the best ones have been discontinued.  I've gone so far as to buy empty old Montblanc bottles simply to decant other inks into them.


Penman bottles were pretty good... the ink wasn't bad either!


Stipula Calamo bottles, based on my experience of one full of Verde Muschiato, are excellent.  Cap big enough to grip, inner seal, dark bottle to protect the ink.  Boring but functional - and the ink is wonderful stuff too.  Not sure how easy it will be to get the last few fills out, though!


So yes, in a funny sort of way, it is all about the bottle.  It's all about how manufacturers can sometimes get really beautiful colours and great ink behaviour, and then completely miss the point when designing usable, functional packaging for it - by going for something attractive but impractical more often than not.  The inks themselves sometimes have to be really great just to make up for how awkward the bottles are!

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