Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies






Photo

Ink Testing To Determine Your Favourite Ink

ink test comparison fair diamine herbin visconti parker waterman pilot mont blanc

  • Please log in to reply
44 replies to this topic

#1 HangmanCrewPens

HangmanCrewPens

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 November 2017 - 07:35

what is the most efficient ways to test all the fountain pen inks available and to make a like for like comparison? For instance i have tested Waterman, Herbin, Viscontini and Diamine but the shade of colour vary a great deal i like Visconti Bordeuax as a red but on other days i may like Diamine Oxblood but i like the wetness of a waterman red ink. I aim to reduce to a set number of of inks, so a maximum of two for each of the colours Red, Green, Blue, Black.for daily use.

1 unique colour such as an orange/brown/purple for journal writing. let me know your ideas thanks



Sponsored Content

#2 Jan2016

Jan2016

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,107 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:14

... all the fountain pen inks available ....

 

take care what you wish for...

 

 

I also wanted to reduce, failed miserably  :D 

 

Now I just enjoy the wide variety of colors and characteristics.

If I do not like an ink, I just rinse it out and fill my pen with another color and give the bottle to someone else.



#3 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,301 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:20

what is the most efficient ways to test all the fountain pen inks available and to make a like for like comparison?

 

There is no efficient way to test all the fountain pen inks available and to make a like for like comparison. There are too many.

 

It's best for you to pick an ink in each colour range that you want and stick with those until you've used them. Then decide whether you want to pick different inks.

 

You can check out whether you like any particular ink by searching in the Ink Review forum, Ink Index post, and looking at the previous ink reviews for that ink.

 

Oh and welcome to FPN. :W2FPN:



#4 catbert

catbert

    Vintage

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 588 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:22

:W2FPN: Have you looked at the ink comparison tools at Goulet Pens and Anderson Pens?

Edited by catbert, 25 November 2017 - 08:32.


#5 minddance

minddance

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,508 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:27

Test in a pen/pens that you would write with, and on paper you would write on. If you want to use in a glass dip pen, test with it. If you write with a Pilot Kakuno, fill it. And if you intend to use the ink with cotton swabs or paint brushes, go ahead.

But do not look at dip/flex pen reviews and base your purchase purely on that, for a Pilot Kakuno to write on Rhodia paper: you might be quite sorely disappointed.

Inks can have wide range of possibilities, sheen, shading etc but it is ultimately your pen and paper that matters to you.

There is no efficient method.

I know of some Chinese reviewers who attempt ink reviews with dip pens and/or cotton swabs. Those are irrelevant to me if I were to use a fountain pen.

And also, a primed and unprimed feed makes a whole world of difference too.

Edited by minddance, 25 November 2017 - 08:34.


#6 DasKaltblut

DasKaltblut

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 363 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 08:28

I agree with Jan here. Reduce? Also, different pens work differently with different inks, independent of color - they can be drier or wetter. The pen matters, sometimes futher dictating the ink that can be used. I rely a lot of the testing that others do here, it can give me a good idea of whether an ink is worth a try or not, and saves a bit of money.

#7 crahptacular

crahptacular

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 350 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 November 2017 - 09:29

In theory I would use reviews and pictures to make a "short list" of inks for each color, buy samples of each of those inks, and then use them at will. I would imagine whichever sample you finish off first is probably the ink you'd prefer for the long haul. The one you reach for most often will probably be the best fit for your personal use (including factors like your own pen, paper, etc.), based on trusting your gut rather than attempting exhaustive comparative analyses of color or behavior. If you are satisfied at this point, buy a full bottle; if not, back to the drawing board.

 

In practice, I would imagine a person attempting this would get stuck indefinitely at the sampling stage, constantly finding more inks to try, struggling to settle down with any. If such a failure occurs, at least it doesn't seem like a bad place to end up :)



#8 ENewton

ENewton

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,802 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 16:38

One approach would be to take advantage of the testing stations available at some pen shows.  For example, at the San Francisco pen show this past summer, we had more than seven hundred inks to try.  

 

Before my first pen show, I read many reviews of inks in my preferred color range.  I took note of those that seemed most appealing to me and then made sure to try them at the show.  I used one of my own notebooks, because although paper was provided, there was the obvious possibility that the ink would look different in my own journal.

 

Because the ink-testing pens at a pen show are likely to be different from one's own pens, it still makes sense to get samples of the inks that appealed most at the show, but trying them at a show might help reduce the number of samples one has to purchase.



#9 LizEF

LizEF

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,832 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 November 2017 - 18:11

Efficient is not a standardized measure.  Rather, it is comparative (method X being more efficient than method Y for accomplishing the same task, but neither can be measured without comparing to another).  Efficiency is generally a by-product of other things.  Specifically: knowledge gives one ability; repeated use of ability gives one speed, experience, and understanding (and often more knowledge); thoughtful adjustment of the process followed by more repetition leads to efficiency.  Efficiency always requires organization and sufficient space in which to organize and operate.

 

Therefore, there are more (and less) efficient ways to do this task.  That said, the task described is monumental (all inks available) and will need lots of money.  The more money you can throw at it at once, the more quickly it will be accomplished (quick is not the same as efficient).  The better your initial plan, the faster, more efficient, and more cost effective your task will be.

 

Therefore, if you want to do this task efficiently, start planning.  Test your plans on the inks you already own.  Then tweak your plans and repeat.  When you have a method that works well given your resources, start buying ink samples as able and run them through your process.

 

Some key elements, were I doing this, would be:

  • Design a "form" or layout for my ink sampling (swabs? text? etc.) so that each sample includes the same elements
  • Determine which pens / nibs will be used
  • Determine which paper(s) will be used
  • Design a spreadsheet or database for indexing / tracking / sorting (so that I only need one writing sample and one filing method, but can use the index to find what I'm looking for and know where it will be filed)
  • Decide on the physical spaces for sampling and filing (and storing sample vials - new, and already sampled). Good record keeping and organization on ordering, arrival, sampling, filing will be needed.

Each hour spent on the plan will save orders of magnitude more in execution.  Simple. :)


Edited by LizEF, 25 November 2017 - 18:12.


#10 HangmanCrewPens

HangmanCrewPens

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 9 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 25 November 2017 - 19:03

Thanks for the warm welcome and good to see an active forum. The feedback received so far on ideas to tackle my question will be helpful. I will add a little of history of what I want to achieve which may narrow down the ink testing process. I fully agree with all the comments received i think my initial statement to make "comparison of all inks available" is way of the mark, certainly the pen nib + paper + testing method all contributes to how the results will be received and indeed will be an endless task. Not to mention the mood in which one maybe in whilst testing. One way to ensure some structure would be to use the same pens/ nib types each time under strict conditions.( cleaning, flushing and drying of the pens before test)

 

My goal is now defined by the following: "To own a sufficient number of fountain pens + Inks that i can use on a daily basis that meets the requirements, being happy and content with the collection, i.e without having to constantly looking at alternatives in the market or reviews to improve the collection."  

 

The main purpose of the pens will be to correct papers so ideally (red/green), daily writing/ signing papers ( blue) and one for unique colour for journal writing just so it is a form escape and not reminded about my daily work 24/7. I do not wish to change inks daily, they must be ready to use when required.

 

The pens so far used in testing are: Parker 51 (fine) , Waterman Laureat (medium) , Visconti Rembrandt (medium) , Lamy Vista (1.5mm stub), Lamy Nexx (medium), Kaweco Supra (broad), TWSBI eco.(1.1mm stub) I will add pens to this eventually but that is a different post.

 

The Inks: Waterman, Diamine, Herbin, Visconti, Parker. most likely Pilot inks for sure will join this at some stage.

 

The Paper used will be Clairefontaine and Rhodia. 90 g/m2, no plans to add paper only Moleskine maybe unavoidable in daily use.

 

budget: cost efficient as possible not 1 cent more than need be.

 

Time: ideally no longer than 1 year (currently 2 months into this project), i would like to start enjoying the pens/inks. :)



#11 SenZen

SenZen

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,790 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 19:06

It also depends a lot on one's own experience and expectations. The ink that got me started is Tsuyu Kusa and I rotated it on something like 6 pens, but it never looked quite like I thought it should, until I tried pressing a little on my Sailor Pro Gear... And presto. So my first ink was the last to behave as I thought it should. Mandarin also looked very pale but is finally looking good on a Lamy Vista. SO if you're looking for the most efficient way... Do the opposite of my very inefficient method!


"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

B. Russell

#12 TSherbs

TSherbs

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,757 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 20:11

 

There is no efficient way to test all the fountain pen inks available and to make a like for like comparison. There are too many.

 

It's best for you to pick an ink in each colour range that you want and stick with those until you've used them. Then decide whether you want to pick different inks.

 

You can check out whether you like any particular ink by searching in the Ink Review forum, Ink Index post, and looking at the previous ink reviews for that ink.

 

Oh and welcome to FPN. :W2FPN:

 

I like this. It is sane. 

 

Although, I think it is ok to abandon a bottle (try to give it away) if it behaves terribly (feathering is the worst) or is too dry.



#13 Chrissy

Chrissy

    Ancient Artifact

  • Away
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 14,301 posts

Posted 25 November 2017 - 21:28

 

I like this. It is sane. 

 

Although, I think it is ok to abandon a bottle (try to give it away) if it behaves terribly (feathering is the worst) or is too dry.

 

Thanks. :)  I like sane.   :D



#14 Arkanabar

Arkanabar

    Ain't I a stinker?

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,606 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 01:22

I recommend choosing Six Essential Inks ;)

 

Like others have said, start by deciding which color ranges interest you.  Then check out reviews of various types in various places, and see which appeal to you most.  Be aware that What You See Ain't Always What You Get, because pen, paper, and writer all affect the ink's performance.  Then get samples and try them with your pens and your paper.  Once you've settled on some favorites, buy bottles.

 

There are at least a thousand different inks on the market.  No two inks are alike, including any two different colors (even if similar) from the same maker.  There may be gereralizations about each and every brand, but there are likely to be exceptions to each and every such generalization.



#15 Runnin_Ute

Runnin_Ute

    Super Pinks member:

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,653 posts
  • Location:Sandy, Utah - Elevation 4509'
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 02:57

My suggestion would be to pick a few from each color "family" - say five or six from each. Get samples and then decide what ones you like the best and buy bottles of those.

For Example: In Greens, you might choose, Diamine Sherwood Green, Diamine Evergreen, Pelikan 4001 Dark Green, 4001 Green, Blackstone Daintree Green. You might decide to get a bottle of say Sherwood Green. But along comes some other green (say a lighter one) and you want a bottle of that too....

So, I guess what I am trying to say is your tastes can change. Or you like two (or more) of color x equally as well. I know that has happened with me on both reds, greens, blues and others.

Just in reds I have the following: Diamine Classic Red, Blackstone Red Cashmere and Uluru Red, Levenger Pomegranate, Diamine Merlot, Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot,and I am sure there are others I have a bottle of each of these though.For a long time it was just Classic Red. (a great true red by the way)

Brad
 
"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind" - Rudyard Kipling
"None of us can have as many virtues as the fountain-pen, or half its cussedness; but we can try." - Mark Twain
 


#16 Jan2016

Jan2016

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,107 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 08:00

Goulet has Ink Sample Packages

It is a nice way to get your samples and do try outs.



#17 chromantic

chromantic

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,168 posts
  • Location:so cal
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 10:00

I'm with runnin on this, try a few of each color then pare those down to the one or two you want to use.

 

I love color. I've bought a lot of inks that, while I may have really liked the color, turned out to be something I'd only want to use occasionally. Most of my pen use is at work where I don't actually write a lot - marking off check lists, making notations on stuff, filling out forms, etc. - and this actually works well for those occasional use colors.

 

The "stable" of regular use inks, however, is a result of the winnowing process. Tried a lot of reds before settling on KWZ Maroon, lots of purples before settling on Cross Violet, I'm down to two browns (Yama-guri and Macassar), one blue-black. Reviews are a great help - I looked at a lot of BBs before deciding on one and it turned out to be just what I wanted. I'm still a sucker for dark greens, though.

 

I've learned that I can appreciate pretty inks (via reviews) without feeling the need to buy them myself, because I wouldn't use them a lot, I already have similar colors, etc.


It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.


#18 eyesa

eyesa

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Location:New York
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 14:17

As others have said, 'favorite inks' vary person to person and situation to situation.
That said, my personal ink journey to winnow down the seemingly endless choices was this:
Choose preferred color hue(s)
Choose preferred properties(water resistant, shading, sheening, fast drying,etc.)
Visit Goulet bottled ink section & swab shop comparison tool and read, read, read reviews
Order samples
Fill favorite, most used pens and write on your most used paper(s)
It will become more clear as you write, which inks you return to again and again and which inks you'll want full bottles of. This may change as your experience deepens and you understand exactly how and where fountain pens fit into your life.
I'm a practical girl, who doesn't like a lot of clutter. Even with a relatively trained eye as a painter I wasn't sure which ink hues I'd end up using most. I do have about 30 bottles of ink, but have pared my must-haves down to around 6-8. Those are the inks I have more than one bottle of and are constantly inked, in pens I constantly use.
Through reading reviews & trial and error, I realized I like highly saturated, 'punchy' inks that have water resistance & some shading if possible.
This journey is highly personal. Everyone has their own way with their own choices. There is no 'right' way.
The only criteria is enjoyment. That's why it's a hobby. ;)

Edited by eyesa, 26 November 2017 - 14:36.


#19 RoyalBlueNotebooks

RoyalBlueNotebooks

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,606 posts
  • Location:New Zealand
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 17:11

what is the most efficient ways to test all the fountain pen inks available and to make a like for like comparison? I aim to reduce to a set number of of inks, so a maximum of two for each of the colours Red, Green, Blue, Black.for daily use.

1 unique colour such as an orange/brown/purple for journal writing. let me know your ideas thanks

I can't think of a most efficient method other than being surrounded by fountain pen users and buy in bulk different brands of ink samples and then create a network of exchange with them. Then when you find an ink that you like, you can buy the bottle. Since I don't the possibility to do so without throwing all my money at the postal service, I say thank goodness for the Pelikan 4001 series and the Diamine 30ml bottles and leave the rest for the future.

 

Two for each color? With the wonderful variety of ink manufacturers out there I think it's a pity to reduce oneself to only 2 inks per color. The more the merrier! I want my journals, notebooks and pads to be absolute rainbows, as they used to be when I wrote with only two fountain pens and supplied the rest of the colors with colored pencils and markers. RAINBOWS.


fpn_1502425191__letter-mini.png


#20 inkstainedruth

inkstainedruth

    Ancient Artifact

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,725 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 26 November 2017 - 17:40

Getting ink samples is definitely the way to go.  And if you are someplace where there's a local pen club, you can also try other peoples' pens and samples and sometimes swap samples (or even give bottles away -- I got a free bottle of Platinum Mix-Free Flame Red and I thought the color was so hideous I gave it away to someone to grade math tests with and then HE gave it away to someone else...  :rolleyes:).

But I'm the wrong person to ask.  After all -- I have bottles of both Iroshihzuku Yama-budo and original formula Noodler's Black Swan in Australian Roses because they are just ENOUGH different from each other....  B)  My husband now tells people that I used to collect pens, but now collect ink....  Which may be true -- I'm on my 3rd sketchbook of personal ink reviews but I have samples from 5 years ago I've never opened (okay, a lot of those are various black inks from a project I started and never finished to see which worked best in Preppies set up as rollerball pens to ink over pencil drawings in humid outdoor weather on cheap printer paper).  

There was a guy a couple of years ago who -- IIRC -- ordered samples of EVERY blue and purple ink that Goulet Pens carried.  :o  It was several *hundred* samples.  I think Amberlea Davis took over testing a good chunk of them when he realized JUST how overwhelming that many inks at one time was....

I tend to go through phases -- a couple of years ago it was trying to match what was probably gel pen ink for color and sheen.  So I ordered a bunch of samples of burgundy and dusky purple inks.  Didn't find a match, but I did find some inks I really liked in the process.  And a few I didn't (and one, De Atramentis Patchouli, which is an interesting color but is one of the scented inks and it smelled VILE -- and not at ALL what real patchouli is like...  :angry:).  More recently, it's been turquoises and cyans and cerulean blues (trying to find a close match in a modern ink to the old Skrip Peacock).  But of course I also look at reviews and sometimes what I see on my screen is NOT what comes out my pen....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ink test comparison fair, diamine, herbin, visconti, parker, waterman, pilot, mont blanc



Sponsored Content




|