Ink Shoot-Out : Pelikan Edelstein Topaz vs Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki
Iroshizuku kon-peki has long been my only cerulean blue ink, and I've been very fond of it. Recently, I obtained a bottle of Pelikan Edelstein Topaz and - lo-and-behold - this turned out to also be a nice cerulean blue. A great opportunity to put these inks into close comparison, and find out which of them I like the most.
Here comes... the Ink Shoot-Out. A brutal fight where champion inks do battle for four rounds, to determine who is the winner. In the left corner - the challenger: Pelikan Edelstein Topaz. In the right corner - my current favorite: Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki. Which champion will remain standing at the end of the fight ? Let's find out...
Round 1 - First Impressions
Both inks make a wonderful first impression. I really like their color... a fine cerulean sky-blue. These inks give me a relaxed, vacation-like feeling. They remind me of the sunny day sky-blue in late spring, with me relaxing on a tropical beach soothed by the sound of crashing ocean waves. There are some differences though:
- Topaz is more of a morning-sky color, while kon-peki is more of an afternoon sky-blue. Topaz is definitely a shade lighter than kon-peki, which is most obvious in written text, not so much in the ink-swabs. For me, topaz is a fresher color, which appeals to me more.
- Both inks shade nicely, but the shading on topaz is less prominent, and - in my opinion - more aesthetically pleasing
- kon-peki is a wetter and more saturated ink
Both Edelstein en Iroshizuku are the top-of-the line inks of their respective brands. And both live up to their reputation: these are seriously fine-looking inks. But for me personally, I like the morning sky-blue of Topaz better. There is no obvious win by knock-out in this round, but I will yield this round to Topaz on points.
Round 2 - Writing Sample
The writing sample was done on a Rhodia N°16 Notepad with 80 gsm paper. Both inks behaved superbly, with no feathering and no show-through or bleed-through. You will find that the Edelstein ink is on the dry side - this is especially noticeable with the EF nib. The iroshizuku ink had no problem with the finer nib. With broader nibs, both inks wrote just fine with a nice ink-flow. It is well-known in this community that Edelstein inks are a bit dry. I won't hold this against topaz - just use an F nib or broader, and you won't have a problem. In my opinion, both inks are evenly matched, so this round ends in a draw.
Round 3 - Ink Properties
Both inks have similar drying times in the 15-20 second range on the Rhodia paper. Topaz needed a tad longer to dry completely. Both inks also did fine on the smudge test, where I draw a wet Q-tip cotton swab across the text line. There is some smearing, but the text remains perfectly legible. For the droplet test, I drippled water onto the grid, and let it sit there for 15 minutes, after which I removed the water droplets with a paper towel. As you can see, these are not water-resistant inks. But if you look closely, you'll notice that kon-peki leaves a bit more ink on the paper (and with some luck, you'll be able to reconstruct the written word).
The chromatographies show that both are true blue inks, that are very water-soluble (in the chromatography the dyes migrate with the water to the top of the picture, the bottom part illustrates what remains on the paper after a good soak). You also notice that kon-peki appears to stick better to the paper.
The difference between these heavy-weight champions is minimal. Again - no knock-out, but this round definitely goes to the Japanese champion - on points.
Round 4 - The Fun Factor
Welcome to the final round. Here I give you a purely personal impression of both inks, where I judge which of them I like most when doing some fun stuff like doodling and drawing. Here I must admit that I like Edelstein Topaz a lot better than Iroshizuku kon-peki. The more subtle shading on Topaz made for more interesting effects when drawing. And I definitely like the color of Topaz a lot better - a late morning sky-blue, while kon-peki is a deeper afternoon sky-blue. This is of course a purely personal judgment, but I'm quite convinced that - in the future - I will will reach faster for the bottle of Topaz, and that my kon-peki will be used less often. For me, this round definitely goes to the German champion. No knock-out, but a definite advantage on points.
Both inks find a proud place in my collection, and both are very well-behaving inks with a lovely sky-blue color. But counting the points, I find that Pelikan Edelstein Topaz is the clear winner over Pilot Iroshizuku kon-peki. As far as I'm concerned, Topaz has convincingly won this shoot-out on points, and is my new reigning champion !