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Penbbs No. 128 Santorini Ink Review

review ink chinese china asia blue santorini sheen asian penbbs

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#1 TruthPil

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 05:53

Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN.
They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. Within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao.

 

This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eleventh series. It is named after the Greek island of Santorini. In 2015, this island was named one of the world’s most beautiful islands.  The color of this ink is undoubtedly meant to portray the beautiful blue waters of the Aegean Sea which surround the island. I’ve never been there, so I’d love to get an opinion from anyone who has, but I think the color is spot on.

 

This ink is the first I’ve reviewed from Penbbs so far that made me say, “Wow!” after first seeing it on the paper. It’s vibrant, cheery, and should be ranked up there with the best of the bright beachy blues. The closest color I found to it is Montblanc for BMW, but Santorini shades, sheens (!), and has just a tad more “pop” than that much more expensive counterpart.

 

No. 128 has some great writing properties. There is a little feathering and bleed through on copy paper and Moleskine, but it isn’t intolerable. This ink also dries quickly and flows freely. The only thing that keeps me from buying a bottle immediately is that the ink has absolutely ZERO water resistance. As you can see from the soak test below, it completely vanishes into the ether when exposed to more than a few drops of water.

 

Other than that one disappointment (which may be a non-issue for others), this is a great ink with amazing color. It behaves well, looks fabulous, and is a joy to write with.

 

 

 

Pens used (in order):

1. Pilot 78G Fine

2. Lamy Safari Broad

3. Pilot Plumix Italic

4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex

5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub

 

 

Swab       

                                                                   

fpn_1490420072__penbbs_128_01_compressed                          

 

Paper Towel Drop

 

fpn_1490420300__penbbs_128_02_compressed

 

 

80gsm Rhodia

 

fpn_1490420328__penbbs_128_03_compressed

 

fpn_1490420367__penbbs_128_04_compressed

fpn_1490420388__penbbs_128_05_compressed

 

73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown)

 

fpn_1490420428__penbbs_128_06_compressed

 

fpn_1490420474__penbbs_128_07_compressed

fpn_1490420493__penbbs_128_08_compressed

 

 

70gms Deli Copy Paper

 

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fpn_1490420568__penbbs_128_11_compressed

 

 

Moleskine

fpn_1490420591__penbbs_128_12_compressed

fpn_1490420619__penbbs_128_13_compressed

 

 

fpn_1490420649__penbbs_128_14_compressed

fpn_1490420668__penbbs_128_15_compressed

 

 

Water Resistance

fpn_1490420703__penbbs_128_16_compressed

 

 

fpn_1490420743__penbbs_128_17_compressed

 

 

Comparison*

 

fpn_1490420786__penbbs_128_18_compressed

*Special thanks to FPN member lapis for the samples of Montblanc for BMW and Sailor Yama-dori used in this comparison.

 

Check out this sheen! :drool:

 

fpn_1490420857__penbbs_128_sheen_1_compr

 

fpn_1490420877__penbbs_128_sheen_2_compr

 

fpn_1490420899__penbbs_128_sheen_3_compr

fpn_1490420939__penbbs_128_sheen_4_compr

 

Here is Penbbs’ image of the bottle and label for reference:

 

fpn_1490420958__penbbs_128_19.jpg

 

 

 

 

SDG


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#2 white_lotus

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:04

Thanks so much for the review. Yes indeed the Penbbs team seems to have produced a winner. Lucky China!



#3 jmccarty3

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 14:24

Through blind luck and dogged persistence, I was able to obtain a few of the Penbbs inks. Unfortunately, Santorini was not one of them, which disappointed me greatly because of my fond memories of my visit there. Thanks for the great review!


Rationalizing pen and ink purchases since 1967.


#4 TruthPil

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 11:04

Yeah, this is a nice one. It makes me really look forward to reviewing the other samples I have.

 

Alas, the semester is in full swing now so my ink review productivity is slowing down a lot.


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#5 amberleadavis

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 00:11

Very nice.


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#6 inkstainedruth

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 01:33

This is a great color.  But I'm a bit concerned about the amount of bleedthrough.  I think I'll stick to inks that are probably easier to get.  But thanks for the review.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


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#7 TruthPil

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 02:35

This is a great color.  But I'm a bit concerned about the amount of bleedthrough.  I think I'll stick to inks that are probably easier to get.  But thanks for the review.
Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


Yeah, unless penbbs decides to reach out to the international market, which I highly doubt since they are a FP enthusiast group focused on Chinese, these inks remain a good deal just for those who happen to visit China.

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#8 visvamitra

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 07:42

Very good review, thanks :)







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