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Noodler's Inks - Production And Shipping, How Long Does It Take?

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#1 cheap-skate

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 19:37

Hello all!

 

I am new here, this is my first post. I know there's an "Introductions" section, but I have an ink-related question so I figured I'd keep things neat and contained and just start here, if that's all right with you. (I'll move to Intros if the mods prefer ofc)

 

A short introduction: I'm 22 y/o, from the Netherlands, just finished my bachelor's and currently doing an internship. As such, I have very little money to spend - hence my username! I've always loved fountain pens but for a long time the fountain pen enthusiast world seemed too daunting. Turns out there's nothing daunting to it  :)  I own only cheap pens, of course: LAMY Vista (B and EF, the latter being my daily driver), Platinum Carbon Black Desk pen EF, and a clear Pilot Kaküno EF. Can you tell I have a thing for small nibs?

 

Now, my topic: 

 

3 months ago, I ordered some Noodler's Black Eel and Heart of Darkness from an online store in Europe, among some other products. (I don't want to get so specific that someone might guess which store it is.) The other products I received just fine, but they told me the Noodler's inks weren't in stock. I had expected they'd put that on the site before I paid, but alright, they'd deliver it once they had it - they told me 3 weeks tops.

After 4 weeks, I contacted them and they told me it was at customs. So I waited.

After another 6 weeks I contacted customs myself and found out that the store lied (probably to buy some time): customs in the Netherlands don't hold products like that. I contacted the store again and they apologized profusely, offered to send me an alternative product of my choosing and told me what I already knew: it's one guy making all the inks. They also told me he doesn't have either BE or HoD on hand, he still has to make it. 

 

My question: does this story seem at all reasonable/believable to you, based on your experience with Noodler's?

 

Like I said, I know it's one guy making everything by hand. I don't want to push anyone, least of all him, because I know he must have a lot of customers. But I find it hard to believe he doesn't have an ink as common as Heart of Darkness at all in a period of over 12 weeks, especially not for a relatively large European store. What do you guys think? Should I try ordering somewhere else, or just buy another ink (which one?) and expect the HoD somewhere next year? Did something happen to Nathan or is he otherwise engaged? Does this happen more regularly with Noodler's and should I just get used to it?

 

It may sound dumb but I really need these inks. The Black Eel was supposed to be a b'day present for my mother which I bought well on time, but her b'day is less than 5 weeks away now. My daily driver, Vista EF, was inked up with Platinum Carbon Black before and that ink is just disastrous in a Leuchtturm1917 A5 lined journal (feathering, spreading, bleeding), which I used for daily journaling. So I just cleaned out my Vista and waited for HoD, from what I heard a very well-behaved ink. I also intended to start a Bullet Journal in my regular-sized LT1917 which is doable with Platinum, but because of the spread, my Kaküno EF is effectively an F/M, which is too large for the neat writing I'm looking for on a 5x5 grid. Initially I figured I'd wait because it won't take long, and now I wait because I've waited all this time already dangit, but I really miss my (bullet) journaling as a way to improve my mental health. (All this because of some ink, I know, I know, I just underestimated how much I need the journaling).  

 

If you'd like to recommend another ink: I'm looking for something blacker than black, well-behaved with low spread, and very preferably something that doesn't budge once dry. (Liquid-y accidents happen in this household and I don't want to lose anything. I also just like the feeling it gives... Everything I put on paper is there to stay. I love that.) I might ask the store for some of Noodler's Black - if they have it... 

 

Thank you if you came this far! 

 



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#2 Drawing61

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 20:43

Aurora Black, Diamine Jet Black, Pelikan Brilliant Black are some of my favorites. You might search on FPN for previous posts on this topic.


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#3 Enkida

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 21:50

If you want a really nice dark black that works on Leuchturm paper, J. Herbin Perle Noir is great.  Caran D'Ache Cosmic Black is also nice but overpriced if you can't find it on sale, though their unique bottles make them nice gift items if you want to nab that for your mother.  I've heard Diamine Onyx Black is the darkest they make, and you usually can't go wrong with Diamine inks.  They're also the most budget friendly on this entire list.

 

As for the Noodler's story, that sounds like a suspect seller to me, and honestly:

 

 

After another 6 weeks I contacted customs myself and found out that the store lied (probably to buy some time): customs in the Netherlands don't hold products like that. I contacted the store again and they apologized profusely,

 

I would have gotten my money back and run for the hills from that point on.  If full reimbursement is not an option, grab another ink and be done with them.


Edited by Enkida, 26 May 2019 - 21:51.

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#4 5Cavaliers

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 21:58

Welcome to FPN! 

 

Does it need to be waterproof?  

 

While Noodler's inks are "less expensive", there may be better options for you.  If you are in the Netherlands, you may want to check out the offerings at Appelboom (https://appelboom.com/) there in the Netherlands.  You might be able to save on shipping costs.  They have a variety of inks and some are less expensive as well.  If you don't need waterproof inks, there are a number to choose from.  If it needs to be waterproof, you may want to consider some of the "document" inks or "pigment" inks.   I don't use black ink so I can't comment on colors, but I am very familiar with brands that Appelboom carries.  DeAtramentis and Rohrer & Klingner both make document inks that are good.  You can see ink reviews of hundreds of inks here on FPN at : http://www.fountainp...35-ink-reviews/

 

It is my understanding that Nathan Tardiff of Noodler's does make all of his ink by hand.  I personally have never heard of a backlog of his ink though. But then again, I don't use Noodler's inks very much. 

 

Good luck!  


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#5 welch

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 22:52

I have never seen a store go "out of stock" on Noodlers Heart of Darkness. It is one of Mr. Noodlers staples, one of the inks on which his business appears to depend. Black Eel is available in a US online store, so it should not be out of stock, either.

 

Of course, Noodler probably depends on his representative agent, just as Pilot depends on Pilot USA for import and sales here. If they have not imported ink to NL, then you are stuck.

 

Incidentally, I used Blue Eel about ten years ago and found that it slipped around the pistons of some older pens. After the third seep-around and a leak, I dumped it in the office sink. It sank into the collar around the drain, and I spent about 30 minutes scrubbing it out. Eel is a demon ink, to me! No big loss except for the money you spent.

 

Heart of Darkness is famous, but also can be replaced by Diamine or Aurora or other European-made inks. Unless you drop your notebooks into a bath-tub, you might not need ultra-waterproof ink, ink of the sort that binds itself to paper fibers. (It will also bind itself to cotton fibers, like your shirt, or wood fibers, like your floor). 


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#6 TSherbs

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 22:59

That store owes you your money back, and a gift for your patience.

#7 TSherbs

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 23:00

Lamy Black is a fantastic BLACK ink.

#8 pararis

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Posted 26 May 2019 - 23:11

The Black Eel from Mr. Noodles is my first recommendation because of your penchant for skinny nibs. It's dark enough to show a good line and wet enough to flow. Although the wetness may also exacerbate the feathering, etc. on some papers.

 

You can probably get DeAtramentis Document Black easily and quickly. It's dark and permanent; no liquid will touch it. You may find it a bit dry for an EF nib though.

 

Another possibility is Pilot Black. It's a solid black, and while it may spread a bit under water, it's virtually watertight.



#9 A Smug Dill

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 04:53

LAMY Vista (B and EF, the latter being my daily driver), Platinum Carbon Black Desk pen EF, and a clear Pilot Kaküno EF. Can you tell I have a thing for small nibs?


A LAMY Extra Fine nib that writes finely enough is hard to find (although one of mine qualifies, out of five or so I have here).

(I don't want to get so specific that someone might guess which store it is.) The other products I received just fine, but they told me the Noodler's inks weren't in stock. I had expected they'd put that on the site before I paid, but alright, they'd deliver it once they had it - they told me 3 weeks tops.


I'm confident I can correctly guess which retailer that is, and it too owes me a bottle of Noodler's ink that I ordered some months ago, although Noodler's inks aren't the only products it will take orders for without advising customers upfront they're out of stock and to be backordered. Having dealt with that store on many occasions now, I'd say that's pretty much its business model, which would be fine... if the business model is adequately supported by the shop's suppliers, which in fact it isn't.

My question: does this story seem at all reasonable/believable to you, based on your experience with Noodler's?


Sure, based on my experience with that retailer.

My daily driver, Vista EF, was inked up with Platinum Carbon Black before and that ink is just disastrous in a Leuchtturm1917 A5 lined journal (feathering, spreading, bleeding), which I used for daily journaling. So I just cleaned out my Vista and waited for HoD, from what I heard a very well-behaved ink.


Platinum Carbon Black is well-behaved on the 'right' sort of paper, including some relatively economical options from Daiso and Muji. Non-exhaustive list of examples:

If you'd like to recommend another ink: I'm looking for something blacker than black, well-behaved with low spread, and very preferably something that doesn't budge once dry. (Liquid-y accidents happen in this household and I don't want to lose anything.


The only black ink I've come across that, once dried, absolutely does not budge either under a running tap or soaking in a bath is Platinum Carbon Black. Noodler's X-Feather is pretty good, but I find it has more of a tendency than PCB to bleed through the page; and then, of course it's a Noodler's. Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink is not waterproof, because some colour will wash off and that could stain the area around the indelible pen strokes of the page, possibly rendering the writing illegible anyway. I haven't tried the new bottle of Pelikan Fount India I received from that very unnamed shop yet, and perhaps it may fit the bill.

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

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#10 Monophoto

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 11:42

The thing you need to understand about Noodler's is that the inks are all made in small batches by the owner of the company (Nathan Tardiff) in the basement of his home in South Dartmouth, MA.  So if an ink is truly 'out of stock', it will remain unavailable until Mr. Tardiff gets around to making a new batch of that color - which can be a fairly long time. 

 

In addition, there are issues involved in shipments outside the US.



#11 Eclipse157

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 17:15

Hello there!

 

I had an astonishingly similar experience with a big EU store concerning my order or Herbin and Noodler's inks: blaming customs, blabbering about delays, making vague statements about possible future availability of my items; in the end it was a VERY bad customer experience. I actually had to ask a few times to get a full refund, which in the end I did, and I don't plan on shopping with them any more, especially considering the excellent alternatives I discovered in the meantime.

 

If you're still looking for Noodler's stuff I could recommend other shops, but as I'm fairly new around I wouldn't want to seem to promote specific businesses so please send me a PM for that.

 

As alternatives I could recommend:

 

  • Noodler's X-Feather. Bulletproof and really does what it says on the tin: it does not feather. It simply sits on the surface of the paper, this comes with side effects: a very VERY black line with absolutely zero shading; a shiny appearance like paint or enamel; a longer dry time; an inclination to smear. I love the ink, it's my favourite black from Noodler's (I tried HoD, Borealis, Dark Matter).
  • Aurora Black. Expensive, but very black and very pleasing to write with. It feathers and bleeds a bit on cheaper paper. Not water resistant.
  • Herbin Perle Noire. Better behaved than Aurora, less "black hole" black. Not water resistant but better than Aurora.
  • Organics Studio John Hancock Black. This one surprised me, it feels very smooth in writing and is excellently behaved, maybe better than Herbin, and like Perle Noire isn't as black as Aurora or HoD. If you don't need a permanent ink, I'd recommend this one over all others.


#12 Noihvo

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 17:27

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#13 Bill P

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 18:14

This out of stock experience sounds VERY similar to my experiences with a Netherlands Pen Store..La Couronne du Comte.

 

I ordered several Krishna Inks from them...the web site seemed to reflect all were in stock....I also ordered some Lamy products...seemingly also in stock.

 

Well, with no tracking info after two weeks I sent them an email and asked what the delay was ?...the reply was that several (MOST) of the items were out of stock.

 

I stated that their website did not reflect out of stock...they replied that they don't have the ability to reflect an item is out of stock...I asked in that case why not take the out of stock items OFF the website until they are in stock - no reply.

 

So after 6 weeks, some items were still out of stock, so I had them ship what they had...after 3 months of waiting I selected replacements from existing stock for the items that were still not in stock...after 3 months of waiting!!

 

Many of their replies were very kurt, and there was no offer of a gift or discount of any sort due to my waiting such an extended period of time.

 

​I will NOT order from them in the future without them confirming the item is in stock...unfortunately they don't reply quickly either...for me to be interested in buying from them it will have to be a really good deal AND IN STOCK.  Any delays and I will cancel the order quickly.

 

.La Couronne du Comte is NOT like Fontoplumo, another Netherlands retailer, who I have have had excellent experience with....



#14 txomsy

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 19:10

I'm not based in the Netherlands, so my experience may not apply.

 

I've ordered Noodler's ink several times. The only think I always try to make sure is that the ink is in stock before ordering. I've had good experiences with sellers on eBay, as well as ordering on Amazon, usually coming from Italy. No problemo there as it is all "local" to EU.

 

If you ordered from an EU seller, there is no way the ink can be retained at customs. That's bullbleep. There is free circulation of merchandise. No way it will pass through customs.

 

If on the other hand you ordered from abroad, some things may happen. I've had parcels retained up to two weeks at customs, rarely more. I had an issue with Goulet once, where I ordered some inks and nibs and they never arrived. They left the US but formally never arrived in the EU. I waited one month just in case (with regular checks in the Post Office). When it was apparent that the parcel would not arrived, I contacted them and the issue was solved without a fuss.

 

So, yes, a parcel from OUTSIDE EU may be delayed, but rarely that much (in *my* experience). Even so, if you contact customs or the post office and they say they don't have the parcel, then you have to assume it is so, and then have to contact the seller and get reimbursed. If they claim that's because of Nathan's slow service, that's not your concern and they should have stated so clearly before selling the item.

 

That said, I love Lexington Gray. Some time ago (more than a year) it was almost nowhere to be found. I don't think it took too long to reappear almost everywhere. Usually as soon as an ink starts to be highly demanded its production is increased to satisfy demand.

 

As for blacks. Lots of suggestions. I've had very good experience with Noodler's X-feather. But there are many blacks to choose from. Just pick a good provider and make sure the ink is in stock.



#15 keo

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Posted 27 May 2019 - 21:48

I signed up for email notification from a popular reseller to be told when Heart of Darkness was back in stock. That was at least a year ago, and still no notification. I emailed them last October, and they had no ETA. I check their website every month or so, and have never seen it in stock. A quick check of 4 US-based resellers just now shows 2 with stock of HoD and 2 without.

#16 TSherbs

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 01:22

Jeez, I would move on from Noodlers inks. They're ok, but not great. Definitely not worth all that hassle!

#17 cheap-skate

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 08:50

A big thank you to everyone who read and replied! I'm giving it one more shot: I'm going to ask them if they have Noodler's Black, at least, and if they don't I want my money back. And a free converter or something. I'll also start looking into other inks. They told me they have actually received a few parcels of Noodler's inks, but HoD nor Black Eel were included because again "Mr. Noodler's doesn't have it". Of course I guess they're most likely lying again  because U.S. stores do have HoD, just to make themselves look better, but I can give it a go. 

 

I checked a few other retailers and they're all out of stock on either only HoD or all of their Noodler's inks. I can only stil get it on Amazon for a grand total of €30,- which... Is a lot, for me, to spend on ink. Although the size of the bottle makes it a good price still, but I mean, 30 euros... I think I'll give other inks a try, I might go for either Diamine Onyx Black, J. Herbin Perle Noire or Aurora Black. As long as it's blacker than black I'm happy. So thank you very much for all your suggestions!

 

 

I have never seen a store go "out of stock" on Noodlers Heart of Darkness. It is one of Mr. Noodlers staples, one of the inks on which his business appears to depend. Black Eel is available in a US online store, so it should not be out of stock, either.

 

Of course, Noodler probably depends on his representative agent, just as Pilot depends on Pilot USA for import and sales here. If they have not imported ink to NL, then you are stuck.

 

Yeah, Goulet also has both readily available. I checked a UK-based store and they also have no HoD, so I guess there's an import issue. 

 

 

While Noodler's inks are "less expensive", there may be better options for you.  If you are in the Netherlands, you may want to check out the offerings at Appelboom (https://appelboom.com/) there in the Netherlands.  You might be able to save on shipping costs.  They have a variety of inks and some are less expensive as well.  If you don't need waterproof inks, there are a number to choose from.  If it needs to be waterproof, you may want to consider some of the "document" inks or "pigment" inks.   I don't use black ink so I can't comment on colors, but I am very familiar with brands that Appelboom carries.  DeAtramentis and Rohrer & Klingner both make document inks that are good.  You can see ink reviews of hundreds of inks here on FPN at : http://www.fountainp...35-ink-reviews/

 

Thanks for the link, I'll make sure to check those inks out! 

 

 

That store owes you your money back, and a gift for your patience.

 

I agree, they also added a whole LAMY converter to my order for free... I'm super grateful for when I get it maybe a year from now  :lticaptd:

 

The Black Eel from Mr. Noodles is my first recommendation because of your penchant for skinny nibs. It's dark enough to show a good line and wet enough to flow. Although the wetness may also exacerbate the feathering, etc. on some papers.

 

You can probably get DeAtramentis Document Black easily and quickly. It's dark and permanent; no liquid will touch it. You may find it a bit dry for an EF nib though.

 

Another possibility is Pilot Black. It's a solid black, and while it may spread a bit under water, it's virtually watertight.

 

Thanks for the recommendations!

 

 

A LAMY Extra Fine nib that writes finely enough is hard to find (although one of mine qualifies, out of five or so I have here).


...


Platinum Carbon Black is well-behaved on the 'right' sort of paper, including some relatively economical options from Daiso and Muji. Non-exhaustive list of examples:


The only black ink I've come across that, once dried, absolutely does not budge either under a running tap or soaking in a bath is Platinum Carbon Black. Noodler's X-Feather is pretty good, but I find it has more of a tendency than PCB to bleed through the page; and then, of course it's a Noodler's. Sailor kiwaguro pigment ink is not waterproof, because some colour will wash off and that could stain the area around the indelible pen strokes of the page, possibly rendering the writing illegible anyway. I haven't tried the new bottle of Pelikan Fount India I received from that very unnamed shop yet, and perhaps it may fit the bill.

 

 

Yeah, LAMY is a Western brand after all... That's why I got myself a Kaküno as well. The LAMY EF works just fine as a daily driver at work and uni, though. I actually even contacted LAMY to ask if they were ever going to make an UEF (which likely is more what I'd expect from an EF) and they told me "We try!! But it's super difficult! But we'll keep trying!" I thought it was cute. They're really struggling (or at least pretending), and the Japanese have been churning out needlepoint nibs for ages like it's no big deal. Hilarious. 

 

And yes, I'm also still very fond of my PCB, it's a beautiful ink with amazing properties. It works like a charm on the Rhodia paper I have, as well as Oxford paper although it takes an eon to dry. It works especially well in my Platinum desk pen (even though the pen itself is pretty ugly). It's really because of the Leuchtturm paper that I'm looking for a different ink. And I chose the LT because I couldn't find a regular non-dot grid notebook with the properties I was looking for... Ah, the intricacies of picking your products. Why is everything dot grid these days? It's so impractical I find...

 

 

 

Hello there!

 

I had an astonishingly similar experience with a big EU store concerning my order or Herbin and Noodler's inks: blaming customs, blabbering about delays, making vague statements about possible future availability of my items; in the end it was a VERY bad customer experience. I actually had to ask a few times to get a full refund, which in the end I did, and I don't plan on shopping with them any more, especially considering the excellent alternatives I discovered in the meantime.

 

If you're still looking for Noodler's stuff I could recommend other shops, but as I'm fairly new around I wouldn't want to seem to promote specific businesses so please send me a PM for that.

 

It's really the part where they lied about customs that set me off. Like, what business lies to their customers just to keep them at bay for a bit longer? I actually did have a hilarious phone convo with the customs guy, he literally shouted, why would we hold on to fountain pen ink?? Maybe if you're ordering "powdered sugar" from Colombia, alright we'd want to look into that, but ink??

 

 

This out of stock experience sounds VERY similar to my experiences with a Netherlands Pen Store..La Couronne du Comte.

 

...

 

Many of their replies were very kurt, and there was no offer of a gift or discount of any sort due to my waiting such an extended period of time.

 

Yeah it was this exact store. They've now set up an automated e-mail reply along the lines of "Sorry our customer service is super busy atm so it may take a while for us to reply :/" and then either 1 day or 1 week later I get an actual reply. It's bizarre, and I'm never shopping there again either. Thanks for the store suggestion, I'll take a look!

 

 

If you ordered from an EU seller, there is no way the ink can be retained at customs. That's bullbleep. There is free circulation of merchandise. No way it will pass through customs.

 

If on the other hand you ordered from abroad, some things may happen. I've had parcels retained up to two weeks at customs, rarely more. I had an issue with Goulet once, where I ordered some inks and nibs and they never arrived. They left the US but formally never arrived in the EU. I waited one month just in case (with regular checks in the Post Office). When it was apparent that the parcel would not arrived, I contacted them and the issue was solved without a fuss.

 

Yeah, they told me they were waiting for customs clearance as they were importing from the U.S. But that was horse**** as well, they just straight-up lied. 

 

Again, thanks to all! I'll keep you posted on the ink adventures. I feel like I've waited for so long now, I might as well try to go for the gold and get the ink that looks the most like the one I wanted in the first place. Cheers!



#18 A Smug Dill

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:08

They told me they have actually received a few parcels of Noodler's inks, but HoD nor Black Eel were included because again "Mr. Noodler's doesn't have it". Of course I guess they're most likely lying again  because U.S. stores do have HoD, just to make themselves look better, but I can give it a go.


As least the staff there essentially told me they were going to receive a shipment of inks from Noodler's (presumably what the store ordered/backordered) in late April, and then when the end of April has come and gone, they just said, "Sorry, we looked but the shipment we received did not contain any bottles of what you ordered." That I could trust was not an untruth.

J. Herbin Perle Noire or Aurora Black. As long as it's blacker than black I'm happy.


I haven't tested my bottle of Perle Noire yet (even though I have inked a pen with it), but from my testing last night, Aurora Black isn't worth a dental dam when it comes to water resistance.

Yeah, LAMY is a Western brand after all... That's why I got myself a Kaküno as well.


The steel EF nib on my Rotring 400 astounds me as to how fine it is. Not finer than my Sailor Promenade's 14K gold EF nib, but on par. The steel EF nib on my Diplomat Aero is alright (and I think unintentionally stubby, which suits me fine), and some of the 18K gold EF nibs on my Aurora (Ottantotto and Optima) pens are acceptably fine.

And I chose the LT because I couldn't find a regular non-dot grid notebook with the properties I was looking for... Ah, the intricacies of picking your products. Why is everything dot grid these days?


Huh? What's not fit-for-purpose with blank and lined notebooks from Rhodia, Clairefontaine, Midori, Maruman, Apica, Kokuyo, and dozens of brands you could probably easily buy on Amazon.com (even though it won't now ship those third-party products to me in Australia)? Do you specifically want eight perforated pages at the rear, a printed index page at the front, and page numbers already printed on each page?

Let's give each other due respect, and approach discussion rigorously. I believe we're all peers and equals here as fellow hobbyists, with common interests in the acquisition and use of fountain pens, but no shared values and no obligation to offer each other moral support for one's narrative.

Don't think 'cos I understand, I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking', we're friends

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#19 Enkida

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 09:55

Just adding in on here, I got the Rohrer & Klingner Documentus Black from Seitz-Kreuznach, where I believe it is still in stock (and free shipping in the EU over 15€ if I remember that right), and it's an excellent, dark dark, waterproof, lightfast, archival ink.

 

It also costs 19€ for a single 50mL bottle, but if you really need a blacker than black ink that can survive being dropped in a flowing river without even smudging, this is the one.

 

*nb: because it's pigment based, it's finicky, and riddled with warnings on the box and bottle screaming at you to not let this ink dry out in your pen.  So it may be too heavy duty for everyday needs unless you clean your pen regularly.


Edited by Enkida, 28 May 2019 - 09:57.

sig2.jpgsig1.jpg

 

Events may be horrible or inescapable. Men always have a choice - if not whether, then how they endure.

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#20 Monophoto

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Posted 28 May 2019 - 11:19

It's really the part where they lied about customs that set me off. Like, what business lies to their customers just to keep them at bay for a bit longer?

 

 

 

Uhh - - - automobile dealers?







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