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Ink Testing To Determine Your Favourite Ink

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

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#21 TSherbs

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 18:11

This thread spurred me to order some purples (my one bottle is running low). Five samples are now headed my way for $7. Pretty good deal to sample five colors that I have never tried before.



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#22 HangmanCrewPens

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Posted 26 November 2017 - 19:45

I've had a good 24 hours to ponder on the comments so far and here it is, 

 

Step 1: I started a plan/strategy as suggested by LizEF and narrowed it to being able to find just one ink at a time, this will be the Red I am after then followed by Green and then Blue. I have trawled the review sites high and low as mentioned and looked at the samples others have made already. I concluded there will be at least 24 different brands out there that can provide a decent red colour.  

 

Step 2: to make a shortlist to test, this will be tricky as I have seen two reviews of the Cross red ink for example and it looks different when (cut and paste next to each other). I agree with InkstainedRuth the screen is not showing the same as on paper but I like to add not even the same samples are showing the same on screen! 

 

Step 3: assuming I make it this far, I need to start to consider, shading, sheen, feathering, wetness, drying times, saturation and all the other buzzwords. I will need to build a small lab at this point to control my test subjects :) 

 

to summarize, I think the question is not how difficult the task is to test all the inks, but why are we testing to this great length and to what end. I can grow to love any ink through rating/ranking them through others recommendations and then jumping to my own conclusions but ultimately I will have to live with the ink I use, it shouldn't be a rushed process with budget and time limitations imposed. I guess I still like the notion of stumbling on an ink when I least expect it and finding this is the one Ink I have been looking for all my life.



#23 Arkanabar

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 16:46

I actually found it easier to thin my list by choosing properties first (specifically, better than mediocre fade resistance, and then largely fuss and feather free), and then looking at colors.

 

eta: of reds, I'd recommend Sheaffer Skrip in the cone-shaped bottle.


Edited by Arkanabar, 27 November 2017 - 16:48.


#24 yongsheng

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 22:35

I've had a good 24 hours to ponder on the comments so far and here it is, 
 
Step 1: I started a plan/strategy as suggested by LizEF and narrowed it to being able to find just one ink at a time, this will be the Red I am after then followed by Green and then Blue. I have trawled the review sites high and low as mentioned and looked at the samples others have made already. I concluded there will be at least 24 different brands out there that can provide a decent red colour.  
 
Step 2: to make a shortlist to test, this will be tricky as I have seen two reviews of the Cross red ink for example and it looks different when (cut and paste next to each other). I agree with InkstainedRuth the screen is not showing the same as on paper but I like to add not even the same samples are showing the same on screen! 
 
Step 3: assuming I make it this far, I need to start to consider, shading, sheen, feathering, wetness, drying times, saturation and all the other buzzwords. I will need to build a small lab at this point to control my test subjects :) 
 
to summarize, I think the question is not how difficult the task is to test all the inks, but why are we testing to this great length and to what end. I can grow to love any ink through rating/ranking them through others recommendations and then jumping to my own conclusions but ultimately I will have to live with the ink I use, it shouldn't be a rushed process with budget and time limitations imposed. I guess I still like the notion of stumbling on an ink when I least expect it and finding this is the one Ink I have been looking for all my life.


There's really no need for hurry. I recommend starting with Goulet's most popular ink sample sets, then there should be about a dozen of samples for red, probably less. Starting with these inks you can quickly sort out what property you want.

#25 displacermoose

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 19:27

I actually found it easier to thin my list by choosing properties first (specifically, better than mediocre fade resistance, and then largely fuss and feather free), and then looking at colors.

 

eta: of reds, I'd recommend Sheaffer Skrip in the cone-shaped bottle.

+1 for this. You can knock out a lot of ink if you define the characteristics that are most important to you.

 

I'm not particularly helpful with red. Every time I try to settle on a red I end up with burgundy or magenta or red-orange. But De Atrementis Dante Alighieri (which I initially tried for the name alone) is quite a nice mostly-red-with-a-bit-of-pink-and-magenta. It's about as close to red as I get.


Yet another Sarah.


#26 RockingLR

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 13:30

I actually found it easier to thin my list by choosing properties first (specifically, better than mediocre fade resistance, and then largely fuss and feather free), and then looking at colors.

 

eta: of reds, I'd recommend Sheaffer Skrip in the cone-shaped bottle.

 

 

+1 for this method.  I'm currently in the same process and I've noticed that the properties I want (fade resistance and water resistance...at least so i can read it if i spill something on it or rain drops on it)  really paired down the giant list of ink choices. I read a lot of reviews, ask for suggestions and then usually end up buying a few samples of the ones that fit the properties and that appear to be the shade i'm looking for. 

Though what they've said about the online reviews looking different out of the pen really has held true. But it gives you an idea at least and really narrows your search to a bit more manageable level :D 



#27 Venemo

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 14:45

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

 

There are some companies that sell ink samples in tiny vials, for a fraction of the price of a full ink bottle.

In the USA, there is Goulet Pens, and in the UK, The Writing Desk has similar offers. KWZ also sells smaller ink samples if you write them an email.

 

Here's what I do:

- Consider what kind of ink I'm looking for: colour, drying time, water resistance, etc.

- Read reviews about the most interesting looking inks

- Look around the aforementioned web sites and order a bunch of samples of the most interesting inks I found (currently I'm waiting for several fast-drying, water resistant blacks and browns over the mail).

- Test the samples in your pens

- Buy a full bottle only of the one(s) you like the most.

 

EDIT:

 

If you feel like it, perhaps also post reviews about those that you did and didn't like, so that others can benefit from your experience too.


Edited by Venemo, 29 November 2017 - 14:46.


#28 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 15:04

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. :D :lticaptd: :P

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

 

Why limit your self, we live in the Golden Age of Inks.

Go to Ink Reviews, look at any Review done by Sandy1 :notworthy1: :notworthy1: :thumbup:. She uses 4 or so normal nibs of various widths, some 4-5 different good but obtainable papers..............and you'd often never believe it was the same ink with this or that nib width on a different paper.

 

I like two toned shading inks.....and believe a mono-tone supersaturated ink or two is also needed. 

Which of your inks have sheen on good to better paper.....90g and or + laser paper (Rhoda 80G...is better than it's weight).

 

IMO for every three inks you have you should have half a ream or a box of good to better paper....you do have a ream of 90g laser paper....of course. And if you don't put it in a printer should last half a decade..........I have @ 40 papers and really think my self as a paper 'noobie'.

I'm missing basic papers.........or have a heavy 25% cotton paper like 160 Verge de France instead of the 90g....which I need. That is a laid paper so you need a M or B nib on it.

 

Do you have a semi-flex nib yet???? There in they are wetter nibs due to ease of tine spread....one needs a better match of ink and paper to have shading along with line variation. If you don't have one yet....don't worry, I recommend not even thinking about one until you have 5 pens.

Of course you need R&K's Alt Goldgreen.....a strange ink....in it's own catagory....not gold and not really all that greenish.

 

Of course you need 4-5 green/greenish inks..............a murky Herbin Vert Empire, a bright green-green;  R&K Verdura/MB Irish Green, I have some 14 green/greenish inks....still need some.

My sudden chasing of shading green inks, left me with only 8 purple/violet inks.

 

I do need more than 5 or 6 brown/brownish inks. I don't even have my basic dozen :headsmack:.

There are a number of different blues......and even more trouble with Turquoise ....do you want those tilted towards blue, or them headed for green?

 

Inks with sheen....glitter inks........both of them are 'rather' new with in the last 3-4 years.

 

Blue blacks....there is a number of them  You need a Pelikan BB, the Waterman one....ESSR is made in England and you get 110 ml at a real good price. :notworthy1: :thumbup:

 

There was an 80 or more page thread on that Sandy1 called a mischievous ink BB ink....personally I called it tricky. A good BB ink changes color over 24 hours. Depending on the paper, I've watched it change from blue to BB with in minutes............some papers it took three days and well do read the thread. :happyberet:

 

Edelstein Tanzanite is is well liked for a slightly wetter BB ink.

There must be 1,000 inks one can buy.


German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

 


#29 Aquaria

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 20:46

What is this ink reduction you speak of?

 

I am unfamiliar with the concept.



#30 KKay

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:28

I thought I would limit myself to 12 inks.  Once I started sampling though, that number ended up being way too low.  I found many were okay, some were good, and some were great.  Now I have enough inks that I really only am interested in what I consider a great ink.  They keep coming out with new colors though, and then you know I have to sample more, and the whole cycle starts all over again. 



#31 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 11:01

I thought I would limit myself to 12 inks.  Once I started sampling though, that number ended up being way too low.  I found many were okay, some were good, and some were great.  Now I have enough inks that I really only am interested in what I consider a great ink.  They keep coming out with new colors though, and then you know I have to sample more, and the whole cycle starts all over again. 

Story_Of_My_Life.mp3

 

With a bit of a stretch, the 30ml bottles from Diamine can be considered samples, right?  :rolleyes:


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#32 displacermoose

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 14:58

Story_Of_My_Life.mp3

 

With a bit of a stretch, the 30ml bottles from Diamine can be considered samples, right?  :rolleyes:

Yes, they can. They are smaller than the "normal" bottles, and are thus samples. So are the 10ml bottles from J. Herbin. And the 15ml bottles from Iroshizuku.


Yet another Sarah.


#33 KKay

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 17:28

Story_Of_My_Life.mp3

 

With a bit of a stretch, the 30ml bottles from Diamine can be considered samples, right?  :rolleyes:

Sure, I have lots of "samples".



#34 HangmanCrewPens

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 20:36

Its been a while since my last post, I have gone on to test around 50 different inks in that time.

Limiting to 2 shades per colour was not possible to do because on different days i preferred different shades. I do have favorites so far,

For Red : 1st diamine oxblood, 2nd pw akkerman chinatown red
For green : 1st Herbin Lierre sauvage, 2nd diamine green black
For blue: 1st diamine oxford blue, 2nd herbin Diablo menthe
For black: 1st waterman black, 2nd Lamy black
For purple 1st waterman tender purple, 2nd herbin violette pensee

This is as about as far as I got.. I did not include pilot, or Mont Blanc ink yet so do not how they compare against above. Let me know if you have better inks than above for the respective colour

Paper used was Rhodia 80g/m which turned out to be most suitable paper for me.
Favourite pen in testing for colour is sailor pro gear zoom nib.

#35 RoyalBlueNotebooks

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 22:30

For Red : 1st diamine oxblood, 2nd pw akkerman chinatown red
For green : 1st Herbin Lierre sauvage, 2nd diamine green black
For blue: 1st diamine oxford blue, 2nd herbin Diablo menthe
For black: 1st waterman black, 2nd Lamy black
For purple 1st waterman tender purple, 2nd herbin violette pensee
 

Interesting choices. Diablo Menthe in particular, it looks so light.

About the blacks, I fell for Sailor Kiwa-Guro, it glides on the paper and is water-proof. Black is, for now for me, the only color that I demand to stay on the page if a document gets rained on or something like that. 

But it's so darn expensive. I wish Diamine or Herbin made a nano-pigmented black ink.

 

Not interested in gray, brown, orange or pink hues? 


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#36 HangmanCrewPens

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 23:18

Diablo menthe more for journal writing, indeed it is the lightest choice compared to the other inks I have picked. coupled with my poor hand writing you can barely see it in my journal but I guess thats the idea of it being personal writing.

I do have a sailor black ink when it dries it is like a dull grey colour when it catches the light so was not too fond of it. I do have it inked on a sailor pen right now.

Brown, no way I cant stand the colour I was prompted to test it after seeing Smokey quartz etc.. I thought nice old vintage feel to it but I just did not connect with the colour

Same with grey, just dull fade tired look... the only faded colour I would consider is herbins very empire Greenish..

Orange Indien is ok, and pink rouge Bourgogne not had chance to test much to compare against these herbin inks

For document signing in particular I would prefer to use a blue right now , instead of black anyway as they say black looks like photocopy which prompts me to search for dark blue- blue black permanent ink anything recommended? Anything but Parker blue .... as this was what I used in my school days, 1st ever ink 😀 Now that would be weird to go back after testing over 50 colours ...

#37 sansenri

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Posted 21 January 2018 - 23:55

I think it does depend a lot on your choice of favourite colour, and also for which use.

As much as I do like fancy colour inks, I don't seem to like writing with them...

Too often I feel that bright colours are distracting, sometimes unreadable, I tend not to use them.

I don't like black too much either.

So what happens to me is I stick with blue, and all possible variations of blue.

This might happen to you if you like black, and all possible variations of black, or purple and all possible variations of purple, etc., etc.

I mean, you may investigate all similar shades of one colour before maybe moving into another colour.

It might not be essential to have 5 standard colours like red, green, blue, black, brown.

With blue I usually move into reddish blues, greenish, blues, darker blues, lighter blues, etc. so for example for me it is more important to have

a True blue, a blue-black, a teal blue, a reddish blue, a purplish blue, a dark blue.

e.g.

Waterman Serenity/Private Reserve american DC/Hiroshizuku Asa Gao

Pelikan Blue-black/Edelstein Tanzanite

Diamine Majestic

Aurora/Visconti/Omas/Pelikan Royal/Montblanc Royal

Diamine Sapphire/Edelstein Sapphire/J Heribin Eclat de Saphir
Diamine Sargasso/J Herbin Bleu Nuit

(you will notice I have not mentioned turquoise - simply because I tend not to like this shade particularly, it is not really blue anymore)

 

It may look boring but looking into the slightly different shades of one colour is quite fascinating, you would be surprised how many possible alternatives there are ( I am still missing too many interesting blues before I step into the next colour...) :)

 

I will not describe a testing method because I don't really have one
I tend to read reviews and try to make up my own idea of what an ink looks like (very easy to get it wrong by looking at images on the PC, there are too many variables that will change the colour of the ink as you see it on a PC, vs what it looks like on paper), when I think I have a close idea I buy a bottle and try it!


Edited by sansenri, 21 January 2018 - 23:57.


#38 Inkling13

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 00:01

How deep is your wallet?!

#39 Torrilin

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Posted 22 January 2018 - 02:40

For Red : 1st diamine oxblood, 2nd pw akkerman chinatown red
For green : 1st Herbin Lierre sauvage, 2nd diamine green black
For blue: 1st diamine oxford blue, 2nd herbin Diablo menthe
For black: 1st waterman black, 2nd Lamy black
For purple 1st waterman tender purple, 2nd herbin violette pensee


If you like oxblood, Syrah seems similar. Can’t tell you which is “better”. Totally different in style, but J Herbin Rouge Caroubier is very pretty.

Lierre Sauvage is quite similar to Kaweco Palm Green and Platinum Green. All are nice writing inks from what I’ve seen, but I find them quite distressing when drawing. If you like to draw, the weird, bright and yellow to olive greens can be a lot of fun, and some might appeal for writing.

I have Oxford blue inked and it veers towards cyan and rather sticky in a fine nib. Ugh, not to my taste at all. Maybe it’s better in a fat nib, but it’s such a saturated ink that I fear there’d be no shading. I’m really weird about blue, so I don’t have better ideas. Definitely consider blue black inks given your overall tendency to like near black in other colors.

I also love Violette Penseé.

#40 sansenri

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 10:52

How deep is your wallet?!

You have to consider this over time...I'm in no hurry...

I did not buy all those inks in one go, but in several years of pen use.

actually it's also rather important to me to resist the urge... and use the ink up before buying the next bottle :)

when I buy an ink I already have a pretty good idea of what it will look like, also thanks to some very useful reviews here on FPN, so it is unlikely that my trial method will go very wrong very often.







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



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