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What Would You Recommend For A Pure Black Ink?


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#1 jppv

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 06:53

Hi everyone,

 

I am new here, and I've got a question for those of you that have already found the perfect bottle of Black ink for your Fountain Pen!

 

Looking for a pure dark Black bottle of ink for my new Lamy 2000.

I am quite new to all of this, but I must admit, I am incredibly happy I decided to pick up my first Fountain Pen.

 

I picked up a Lamy 2000 and I am looking for the perfect bottle of pure dark "Black" ink for this amazing Lamy 2000. I grabbed the Extra Fine.

 

So any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Looking forward to your responses!

 

Thank you all,

– Jon



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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:11

J. Herbin Perle Noire flows smoothly and is quite black contrary to many so called black inks. Other good choices may include Kaweco Black, Aurora Black. 



#3 Sandy1

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:19

:W2FPN:

 

Hi,

 

Please take a look at this prior Topic: http://www.fountainp...-ink/?p=2712101

 

As there is no Black aniline dye, such inks 'fake it' by conjuring blends of other dyes. For the most part that works very well indeed.

(Noodler's offers an array of Black inks, and Aurora is often mentioned.)

 

From such a narrow nib, minor variations in Hue are unlikely to be noticed - readers other than Member ethernautrix will perceive it as Black.

 

Part of the trick is to keep the line quality very high - very crisp edges. No feathering or wooly lines. Keep your nib running on the sweet spot.

(That is due to our way of seeing: the edge of the line is where the Black ink and White paper 'merge' and become Grey - a limitation of our acuity. So the crisper the edge the more Black it looks.)

 

As aniline dye inks are translucent, to be full-on Black the paper should be thoroghly dyed - just short of bleed-through, yet keeping the line crisp. Balance the absorption of the ink+paper+pen combo.

> Also, the ink should be in the paper, not on the surface, so no shimmer or sheen or sequins. A low smear/dry time gives a rough indication of such.

 

If one is going for a 'pure' Black, then the nano pigment carbon inks (Sailor, Platinum, etc.) and the large bore iron-gall inks from wet pens are worthy of exploration.

 

We await other more experienced and knowledgeable Members' contributions...

 

But really, what would it take to have you shift to Pelikan Edelstein Topaz? http://www.fountainp...-n-e/?p=2897586

 

Bye,

S1

 

__ __

ETA : I find that Black ink on a paper that is loaded to the gunnels with [fluorescent] optical brightening agents is off-putting. https://en.wikipedia...ical_brightener


Edited by Sandy1, 19 June 2017 - 11:00.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#4 dcwaites

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 07:20

Ok, most people will tell you their favourite black ink.

Predicted answers --

Aurora Black

Noodler's Heart of Darkness | Borealis Black | X-Feather | bulletproof Black

Noodler's Borealis Black

J. Herbin Perle Noir

Sailor Kiwaguro Black

Pilot Black

Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black | Fount India

 

Ok, Vis just posted, and I got two out of his three

 

The truth is, there is no Perfect Black. Which one works for you depends on --

  • Your taste in black
  • The paper you are using
  • Your pen

Technically, Kiwaguro Black is the blackest black, because it is made from carbon nano-particles which absorb light at the quantum level.

However, in some cases, a matt black, like Kiwaguro, doesn't look as black as a glossy black like HOD, or Aurora Black.

Also some inks look blacker on a soft, absorbent paper while others look blacker on a hard, non-absorbent paper.

 

If it was my pen, I would start with standard Noodler's bulletproof Black.

 

And Sandy1 just posted. Always listen to Sandy.

 

 

PS, the black, black, blacketty black black hole black blackest ink I have is Daiso Sumi ink, but it is only for dip pens and brushes.


Edited by dcwaites, 19 June 2017 - 07:22.

fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

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#5 tgoto

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 02:11

I use Aurora black for fountain pens and rapidographs :)
Dream, take one step at a time and achieve. :)

#6 D3N2

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 07:22

Wow Sandy1! Superbly informative as usual!

 

+1 Aurora Black and J. Herbin Perle Noire. I've heard a lot of good things about Noodler's Black Eel, but I haven't had much experience yet. I also like Kyo TAG's Kyo-No-Oto Nureba.  Beautiful sheen!


Edited by D3N2, 20 June 2017 - 07:29.


#7 Sandy1

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 08:36

Wow Sandy1! Superbly informative as usual!

 

+1 Aurora Black and J. Herbin Perle Noire. I've heard a lot of good things about Noodler's Black Eel, but I haven't had much experience yet. I also like Kyo TAG's Kyo-No-Oto Nureba.  Beautiful sheen!

 

 

Hi,

 

Thanks for your kind words!

 

If one is curious, follow the lead of Member dcwaites (well, not everywhere - I am sXe) and see what's what with non-FP Black inks. Then take your measure.

 

At some point a person might consider non-FP Black inks the way to go for "the black, black, blacketty black black hole black blackest ink", and that using a dip pen is not much of a burden. Perhaps less of a burden than clean-up of a Black ink from an FP.

(If I need to scribble a bit with a non-FP ink, I use a Brause Ornament nib.)

 

In the meantime, I'm waxing my surfboard, calibrating my sextant and heading for the isle of PET.

 

Wheeee!

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 20 June 2017 - 17:38.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#8 jppv

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 09:46

Wow! 

Thank you so much for that informative post, I really do appreciate you, as well as everyone else, taking the time to explain and break things down for me.

 

It is funny you mentioned the Pelikan Edelstein Topaz because it is currently in my Lamy 2000 while I have been trying to use Pilot Iroshizuku "Bluish Dark Gray" I purchased this not noticing nor paying much attention to the "Gray" in the color name lol. My mistake.

 

But now, thanks to all of your wonderful information I have purchased multiple different black color samples as I am looking for a nice Black to use in one of my pens. I do plan to continue purchasing Fountain Pens as I find them very enjoyable and entices me to write more on a daily basis.

 

So again, thank you all for the fantastic information, it really did help me out.

And I agree on that Topaz, it is one beautiful color and a bottle will always be on hand. :) 

 

Cheers everyone!

– Jon

 

 

:W2FPN:

 

Hi,

 

Please take a look at this prior Topic: http://www.fountainp...-ink/?p=2712101

 

As there is no Black aniline dye, such inks 'fake it' by conjuring blends of other dyes. For the most part that works very well indeed.

(Noodler's offers an array of Black inks, and Aurora is often mentioned.)

 

From such a narrow nib, minor variations in Hue are unlikely to be noticed - readers other than Member ethernautrix will perceive it as Black.

 

Part of the trick is to keep the line quality very high - very crisp edges. No feathering or wooly lines. Keep your nib running on the sweet spot.

(That is due to our way of seeing: the edge of the line is where the Black ink and White paper 'merge' and become Grey - a limitation of our acuity. So the crisper the edge the more Black it looks.)

 

As aniline dye inks are translucent, to be full-on Black the paper should be thoroghly dyed - just short of bleed-through, yet keeping the line crisp. Balance the absorption of the ink+paper+pen combo.

> Also, the ink should be in the paper, not on the surface, so no shimmer or sheen or sequins. A low smear/dry time gives a rough indication of such.

 

If one is going for a 'pure' Black, then the nano pigment carbon inks (Sailor, Platinum, etc.) and the large bore iron-gall inks from wet pens are worthy of exploration.

 

We await other more experienced and knowledgeable Members' contributions...

 

But really, what would it take to have you shift to Pelikan Edelstein Topaz? http://www.fountainp...-n-e/?p=2897586

 

Bye,

S1

 

__ __

ETA : I find that Black ink on a paper that is loaded to the gunnels with [fluorescent] optical brightening agents is off-putting. https://en.wikipedia...ical_brightener



#9 Sandy1

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 17:36

:bunny01:

:bunny01:  :bunny01:


The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#10 zchen

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 20:55

Just avoid Montblanc Ultrablack, it's not very ultra.



#11 SenZen

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 22:37

Another vote for Perle Noire, I used to think all black inks looked grey before I got that one. And it comes in 100ml bottles besides the regular 30ml ones.


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#12 Honeybadgers

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 02:28

My three are definitely not on many people's lists, but I have quite a few blacks and these three have more... personality.

 

If you want a black that actually shades a bit (which I'm guessing you do not) then parker quink black is actually pretty fun. No other black I have will shade unless you're really screwing with it, and this is also a nice royal blue undertoned, giving it a little more vibrancy to my eye. It's also like $6, so if you don't like it, give it to someone.

 

If you're willing to clean your pen every month (unscrew the nib section of the 2k, pop the feed out and run it in an ultrasonic cleaner with regular water for 60 seconds. If you don't have a $20 ultrasonic jewelry cleaner, you really, REALLY need one. Mandatory fountain pen enthusiast tool.) then my favorite is hands down platinum carbon black. I've NEVER had a clog with it, despite it being "pigmented" and I have had an eyedropper converted preppy F filled with it for six months without cleaning, it starts every time. I've also filled a noodlers nib creaper and left it for a week, and it clogged dead (cleaned away super easily, so it was no problem, but it does not like a nib that is badly prone to drying out, which all non-ebonite noodlers pens are)

 

The cool thing about carbon black is that it's a seriously dark black, but when it dries, it sheens silver, like artist's charcoal. So it has this shine to it on top of being super black and waterproof. Just lovely.

 

A similar, but not as dramatic (and not as fiddly) ink that I think fits the retro design of the Lamy 2000 is my personal favorite black, Noodlers Dark Matter. It was an ink that was mailed to Nathan Tardif, that was confirmed to be a bottle of the very ink (a special formulation) used at Los Alamos during the Manhatten project. Nathan reverse engineered it perfectly, so it has really vintage levels of waterproof (some, but not perfect) and it will age just a bit over time (also cool) it also has a mild silvery sheen similar to carbon black. It's also a CRAZY wet flowing ink, perfect for the EF Lamy (I use it regularly in my F nib pilot metro as a daily beater pen while on duty, since my patient charts get rained on) and a snap to clean, doesn't feather hardly at all on the cheap paper I use at work, has that silvery sheen even on the cheap paper, and is a black-as-night black.

 

If you're boring, heart of darkness. I have a 4.5oz of it that I give away in sample vials to anyone that I give a pen to (or convince to buy a pen for themselves)

 

I personally don't love blacks without character. In legal documents, you actually want a blue or other highly visible, saturated ink with color, because it stands out on the paper as a human notation, and when scanned (most legal scanners and copiers are in black/white) you can then readily pick out the original.

 

My patient charts are scanned regularly, and I actually have taken a liking to baystate blue in my F nib metro (an ultrasonic cleaner makes the whole "make sure it's clean" thing irrelevant) since it is mega waterproof and is just eye searing.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 22 June 2017 - 02:32.

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#13 lapis

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 21:29

12%20Blacks.jpg

 

  1. Aurora
  2. Herbin Perle Noire
  3. Montblanc Mystery Black
  4. Noodler's Black
  5. Noodler's Heart of Darkness
  6. Noodler's Old Manhattan
  7. Pelikan Black 4001
  8. Private Reserve Invincible Black
  9. Sailor Kiwa-Guro
10. Visconti
11. Montblanc Ultra Black
12. Montblanc Permanent Black

 

Chromatography doesn't "prove" anything but IYAM this small selection of 12 up-to-date blacks does suggest that Nos. 9 and 12 do belong to the "purest" blacks on paper.

All of the others here are not ony famous but also "good". Still, I go on recommending 9 and 12.

Try them out yourself! 

 

Mike


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#14 Arkanabar

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 04:34

:W2FPN:

 

Hi,

 

Please take a look at this prior Topic: http://www.fountainp...-ink/?p=2712101

 

<snip>

We await other more experienced and knowledgeable Members' contributions...

 

<snip>

Bye,

S1

 

__ __

ETA : I find that Black ink on a paper that is loaded to the gunnels with [fluorescent] optical brightening agents is off-putting. https://en.wikipedia...ical_brightener

 

Sandy1 jests.  Few, if any, members are more experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to reviewing and testing inks for actual use.

 

These days, I reckon any black that's darker than a black Bic is dark enough.  But when I wanted the Blackest Black EVAR! (one of the waypoints on the Inky Journey; see the linked thread in my signature), I chose Borealis Black.  It's featherocious.  If I were to get a bottle of black now (say, when my bottles of Borealis Black, Bad Black Moccasin, Parker Quink Permanent Black with Solv-X, and MontBlanc-Simplo Black with SuperCleaner SC21 are all gone), I'd probably go back to my first black, Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, or else Noodler's Heart of Darkness.



#15 Sandy1

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:08


 

Sandy1 jests.  Few, if any, members are more experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to reviewing and testing inks for actual use.

 

These days, I reckon any black that's darker than a black Bic is dark enough.  But when I wanted the Blackest Black EVAR! (one of the waypoints on the Inky Journey; see the linked thread in my signature), I chose Borealis Black.  It's featherocious.  If I were to get a bottle of black now (say, when my bottles of Borealis Black, Bad Black Moccasin, Parker Quink Permanent Black with Solv-X, and MontBlanc-Simplo Black with SuperCleaner SC21 are all gone), I'd probably go back to my first black, Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Black, or else Noodler's Heart of Darkness.

 

 

__ __ __

 

Hello!

 

I am flattered by your generous remarks. *blushing to the tips of my ears*

 

While I do have a fair bit of experience and some savvy, I never ever pretend to be a 'know it all'.  

 

With the vast array of inks coming to market in recent years, I reckon our horizons continue to expand. As such, our techniques of getting the 'best' out of those inks is open to exploration.

 

Let us not be fixed, but fluid in our own way of going about things.

 

We do what we can so that others do not run aground or capsise.

(But anyone running aground on the isle of PET may consider that a good thing.)

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 23 June 2017 - 11:24.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#16 RocketRyan

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:19

Aurora black is a good black. And it's been a while but I remember cross black being very black.

#17 Astron

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 13:27

J. Herbin Perle Noire - nice, well behaved, really black black.


Edited by Astron, 23 June 2017 - 13:27.


#18 FinScherlis

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 13:32

J. Herbin Perle Noire flows smoothly and is quite black contrary to many so called black inks. Other good choices may include Kaweco Black, Aurora Black. 

 

Jup! Kaweco and Aurora are very black while Perle noire is black with a very nice effect when you have written a full page with it, it has a sort of vintage gradient. It looks smooth and charming in my opinion in contrast to Kaweco, Aurora and also Noodler's Heart of darkness which are deeply black. But when this is what you are looking for than it is perfect but I use them just for sketches.



#19 dcwaites

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 09:50

Ok, officially this little guy's feathers are the blackest black out there --

https://theconversat...hits-them-89689

 

file-20180108-142334-1h044en.jpg

 

In the practical world, there are, at least to me, four kinds of black ink --

  • matt black - Sailor Kiwaguro
  • glossy black - Sumi ink
  • grey black - Noodler's HOD
  • brown black - Noodler's BP Black

How black your ink will look will depend on your pen, your paper, your lighting and your eyes.

Nathan Tardif recommends that your pen should have a tiny gap between the tines all the way along. This will make it wet enough to show as truly black.

Your paper should be hard, smooth and non-absorbent, so that a little ink will sink in for bonding to the paper, and some ink will sit above the paper to provide a thick, black line.

Your lighting should be sunlight, or daylight-flavoured LED lighting.

Your eyes - well, we can't do much about your eyes, but I found that getting my cataracts removed, and the discoloured lenses replaced with clear plastic ones did wonders for my colour vision.

 

Also, if you only use one black ink, and don't compare it to any others, it will become, to you, The Perfect Black™.

Flippancy aside, how an ink looks to you is as much psychology as it is physics and quantum.

Find an ink, use it, love it.

 

Yesterday, The Perfect Black™ was Daiso Sumi ink

Today, The Perfect Black™ is Barrister Black

Tomorrow, The Perfect Black™ will probably be Noodler's Black.

I hope they don't get jealous of each other...

 

BTW, watch the movie near the bottom of the linked article. Their name is Mr and Mrs Lophorina superba.


fpn_1412827311__pg_d_104def64.gif

 

 

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And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

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#20 Flaxmoore

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 19:50

I personally don't love blacks without character. In legal documents, you actually want a blue or other highly visible, saturated ink with color, because it stands out on the paper as a human notation, and when scanned (most legal scanners and copiers are in black/white) you can then readily pick out the original.

 

My patient charts are scanned regularly, and I actually have taken a liking to baystate blue in my F nib metro (an ultrasonic cleaner makes the whole "make sure it's clean" thing irrelevant) since it is mega waterproof and is just eye searing.

 

I like black with character as well. Dark Matter is a favorite- black with undertones of charcoal and some shading. HOD is glossy black, but a little bit finicky- it doesn't like my TWSBI very much.

 

If I need "Burn a hole in the paper" black, then it's Sailor Jentle Black and Platinum Carbon Black. Both are extremely black, little to no shading. I typically have my Ahab loaded with the Platinum- it's my prescription ink.


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