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Ink Review : Diamine 1864 Blue Black (150Th Anniversary Ink)

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#1 namrehsnoom

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 20:38

Ink Review : Diamine 1864 Blue Black (150th Anniversary Ink)

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - foto.jpg

 

Pen: Lamy Logo, F-nib

Paper: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - detail shading.jpeg

 

Review

 

In 2014 Diamine released their 150th Anniversary Ink collection, to commemmorate their 150 year existence (1864-2014). In this review I take a closer look at the 1864 Blue Black ink from this collection.

 

1864 ... the name evokes images of an industrial area in England, factories and smoking chimneys. Children with their dirty faces stirring large cauldrons with ink in the Diamine factory. In the writing room, the clerks at their standing desk use this blue-black ink to maintain the ledger, using utmost care to avoid smudging.

 

This ink is a very dark blue-black, that sure feels 150 years old an not suited for today's fountain pens. The ink is too dark... too wet... it flows like a river out of your pen... too much... too fast...

 

Personally I really dislike this ink. It attacks the paper, tries to dominate it. It doesn't cooperate with the paper like other inks do. This ink reminds me of Sauron and Mordor... an ink for the Dark Empire. The result is pure ugliness... this ink overwhelms the paper, and really jumps in your face in a rather unpleasing way.

 

OK - but how does it behave on paper ? For this, I did some tests:

  • Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time ~30 seconds, no noticeable feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through
  • Paperblanks journal paper - drying time 15-20 seconds, some minor feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through
  • Generic notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time ~15 seconds, no noticeable feathering, some show-through , some bleed-through
  • Moleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds, noticeable feathering, major show-through and major bleed-through

This ink had me screaming in frustration. It just behaves unpredictably. It all depends heavily on the combination of pen, nib and paper. On cheap paper and with wetter nibs it's just plain ugly. Especially if you have small handwriting.

 

With an EF nib, the ink is much more pleasing to the eye. The flow is more controlled, the relationship between ink and paper is much more in balance. Still not my favourite blue-black, but with an EF nib I can tolerate this ink. It also shows its blue background, instead of becoming an ugly blackish blob. Message to self: only use this ink with EF nibs - the finer the better.

 

Conclusion

 

1864 Blue Black is an unpredictable ink with wildly varying behaviour depending on the combination of pen, nib and paper. The ink is too wet, and looks ugly even in F or M nibs. It really needs the shackles of an EF nib to become usable. The ink also has no water resistance to speak of.

 

my overall score: C- 

(or B when using an EF nib)

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - review pt1.jpeg

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - review pt2.jpeg

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - technical.jpeg

 

diamine - 1864 blue black - water test.jpeg



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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 21:03

Excellent and honest review. While I'm not Diamine fan (actually they're one of my least favourite inks.) I find their anniversary series rather interesting. I do agree however some of these inks may be inconsistent. Sadly it's also true for Safari wwhich, while having great color, may cause some unexpected surprises.



#3 webgeckos

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 21:48

Excellent review!

#4 dfo

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 22:19

Thank you for your review.

 

Excellent and honest review. While I'm not Diamine fan (actually they're one of my least favourite inks.) I find their anniversary series rather interesting. I do agree however some of these inks may be inconsistent. Sadly it's also true for Safari wwhich, while having great color, may cause some unexpected surprises.

 

Can you clarify what you mean by inconsistent? 


Daniel

 

 

The challenge of modernity is to live without illusions and without becoming disillusioned. 

 

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#5 lapis

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 22:43

Hmm... I am a D. fan and this is one of my favourite Ds! FWIW also my very favourite of all 8 150ths!!

 

Mike


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#6 The Good Captain

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 23:06

This is my favourite from the set but I appreciate your honest review.


The Good Captain
 
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#7 namrehsnoom

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 18:29

Hmm... I am a D. fan and this is one of my favourite Ds! FWIW also my very favourite of all 8 150ths!!

 

Mike

Hi Mike... differing opinions make life interesting ;-) 

My main issue with this ink is that I cannot predict its behavior. In one pen it looks a nice blue-black, the next day with the same pen it can look much thicker & blacker. I also get unpredictable behavior across pens, which really annoys me. I typically use F nibs because of my small handwriting - with wider F's I get a too-contrasty thick black line that doesn't appeal to me at all (see below for a sample). With EF's I get more of a controlled blue-black line, which I find OK (hence the better score on my personal scorecard). I like Edelstein Tanzanite and Iroshizuku shin-kai much better though - never had any problems with those.

 

regards - herman

 

diamine%20-%201864%20blue%20black%20-%20


Edited by namrehsnoom, 09 February 2016 - 18:30.


#8 lapis

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 21:19

That is interesting! I use almost only Bs and BBs. Otherwise Ms. I hardly ever use anything finer. I do see big differences depending on the nib size and flow delivery of the pen but I've gotten used to that (no offence meant). But I never see any big differences a day or two later with the same pen on the same paper. I do find it a rather blackish blue-black but not as black as your writing sample above. I think I'll have to try out more pens with this ink. Thanks for the encouragement here!

 

Mike


Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#9 cleosmama

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 21:32

Thank you for the review. I did not purchase this one, but I was curious about it. 



#10 alexander_k

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 22:54

Many thanks for the review. I was rather disappointed by this ink. Its behaviour is fine by me but it appears practically black in the Pilot Capless I've tried it (not a wet pen by any measure). Now I can give it a second chance in a pen with a fine nib (I must have one in some drawer). 



#11 bstambler

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 21:27

Thanks for the review. It's a shame it was unpredictable. I'd like one of those fancy bottles but might look at a different colour.

#12 Newjelan

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 05:52

Thanks for your review.

It's great there's such a variety of preferences out there. I really like the colour and haven't noticed any behavioural issues. I'm a fan of Diamine inks - they have a colour for every situation and in my experience, are relatively easy to clean up. The only issue I can think of is that Royal Blue tends to feather more than other inks.

#13 wastelanded

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 22:06

Nice review. I hated this ink on sight, for all the reasons you state. As I flushed the converter in the sink, I saw...something that caught my eye. I added 1ml of water to 2ml of ink and it really opened up nicely, hints of green, a passing resemblance to Noodler's 54th. Next is a 1:1 dilution.
"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#14 namrehsnoom

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 19:21

Nice review. I hated this ink on sight, for all the reasons you state. As I flushed the converter in the sink, I saw...something that caught my eye. I added 1ml of water to 2ml of ink and it really opened up nicely, hints of green, a passing resemblance to Noodler's 54th. Next is a 1:1 dilution.

 

Wow! thanks for this great advice. I just tried the 1/3 water - 2/3 ink dilution, and it really is an eye-opener. Just like you said. The color moves from blackish to a nice blue-black with a hint of green. Drying times remained at about the 30-second mark. Water resistance was already near zero, so this watering down will not make it worse. I think you just turned a 40ml bottle of junk into a 60-ml bottle of eye-pleasing ink. Great magic !!!

See below for a sample with the new mixture, and a blow-up.

 

diamine%20-%201864%20blue%20black%20wate

 

diamine%20-%201864%20blue%20black%20wate



#15 wastelanded

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Posted 24 February 2016 - 23:32

 

Wow! thanks for this great advice. I just tried the 1/3 water - 2/3 ink dilution, and it really is an eye-opener. Just like you said. The color moves from blackish to a nice blue-black with a hint of green. Drying times remained at about the 30-second mark. Water resistance was already near zero, so this watering down will not make it worse. I think you just turned a 40ml bottle of junk into a 60-ml bottle of eye-pleasing ink. Great magic !!!

See below for a sample with the new mixture, and a blow-up.

 

Glad it worked for you, looks great!


"I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original." - Franz Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

#16 Safari_Camo

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 22:11

Nice review and very powerful colour, thanks for the enlargement (you can see the behavior of the ink).



#17 alexander_k

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 17:10

Many thanks for the review. I was rather disappointed by this ink. Its behaviour is fine by me but it appears practically black in the Pilot Capless I've tried it (not a wet pen by any measure). Now I can give it a second chance in a pen with a fine nib (I must have one in some drawer). 

 

Well, I did it and I must say the results didn't change my opinion: nice ink but practically black. Who knew I'd be looking for a dry pen with a fine nib ... 



#18 namrehsnoom

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 20:23

 

Well, I did it and I must say the results didn't change my opinion: nice ink but practically black. Who knew I'd be looking for a dry pen with a fine nib ... 

You could try diluting the ink with water. For me, the 2 parts ink, 1 part water formula worked very well. It brings out the blue in the ink, and makes it a much nicer blue-black. Although I did notice that - when leaving the pen alone - the ink darkened again. My guess is that I better store the pen nib-up when not using it, and giving it a shake before writing, to ensure that the 2:1 solution is mixed ok.







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