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Ink Is Losing Intensity As I Write

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#1 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 03:01

Hi, I'm new with fountain pens, I recently bought one, and I love it. I write with black ink, and when I start, it is very intense, what I like, but as I write, it becomes more gray, as if losing intensity, is it normal? Will it be a problem with the ink or the position? I use ink in cartridges, and the pen is not the cheapest or the most expensive, I would like to hear your recommendations, thanks.

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#2 praxim

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 03:10

You say "when I start". Do you mean, every time you uncap the pen and write with it, or do you mean after first filling? If the latter, that would not be unusual because there is an excess of ink hanging around the feed straight after filling.


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#3 Honeybadgers

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 03:39

sounds like the pen's feed isn't keeping up.

 

Are you using parker quink? Some black inks in particular are very prone to going gray and shading when they shouldn't. Quink in particular, is a very pale black. It makes it easier to clean from a pen, but less intensely black.

 

If a color fading bothers you, you may want to either assess if there's a problem with the pen (what pen is it?) or if you just might need a different ink.

 

If you like a nice, intense black, aurora black is well liked, as is noodlers black.

 

Waterman black works well too.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 10 June 2019 - 03:40.

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#4 SoulSamurai

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 03:48

Does the ink uniformly lose intensity as it dries? If so then it's just not a very dark ink.

Or are the first few lines more intense (even when dry) and then intensity lessens? If this is what's happening, then either the feed isn't keeping up with the nib (so when you first start writing it puts down a lot of ink because the feed is holding a lot of ink, but once that ink is used up it is not supplying ink from the cartridge quickly enough - unlikely with a medium or fine nib) OR the ink in the feed is suffering evaporation and becoming more saturated when the pen is left sitting, so when you first start writing the more staurated ink puts down a darker line, then the line fades to the ink's true colour as new ink from the cartridge reaches the nib.

If the problem is the feed not supplying ink quickly enough, it could be caused by the feed being a little dirty (new pens can have manufacturing residue interfere with ink flow), properly cleaning the pen and flushing the feed could solve the issue.

If the problem is evaporation then I'm not really sure there's a solution. Some inks seem less vulnerable to this issue though, maybe try some Pelikan 4001 ink.

Edited by SoulSamurai, 10 June 2019 - 03:54.


#5 Jerome Tarshis

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 05:18

There is also the possibility of skin oils being deposited on the paper as one writes. In that case, the first few lines at the top of the sheet will look dark and then the color will look more attenuated, because the ink isn't being absorbed by the paper fully. Skipping also happens in this situation.

 

Some of us (not I) avoid the deposition of skin oils on the paper by resting the writing hand on a smaller sheet of paper, which acts as a shield. Indeed, some advice to beginning users of a fountain pen strongly advises doing this. I avoid the necessity by using at least a medium nib with strong ink flow.



#6 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 09:10

You say "when I start". Do you mean, every time you uncap the pen and write with it, or do you mean after first filling? If the latter, that would not be unusual because there is an excess of ink hanging around the feed straight after filling.


I'm sorry if my English is bad, I mean every time I write the first sentences, no matter if I just change the cartridge or not

#7 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:06

sounds like the pen's feed isn't keeping up.
 
Are you using parker quink? Some black inks in particular are very prone to going gray and shading when they shouldn't. Quink in particular, is a very pale black. It makes it easier to clean from a pen, but less intensely black.
 
If a color fading bothers you, you may want to either assess if there's a problem with the pen (what pen is it?) or if you just might need a different ink.
 
If you like a nice, intense black, aurora black is well liked, as is noodlers black.
 
Waterman black works well too.

I'm a student, so I did not spend money on a very cheap pen, but neither the most expensive (then probably if), i bought a Micro brand that cost me 800 Argentine pesos, which would be around 20 dollars, the body is of metal and writes quite fluid, ink i use normal cartridges because I do not know much about bottled ink (where to buy it, how to use it, etc.)

Edited by Sofiacapella, 10 June 2019 - 10:58.


#8 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 10:07

There is also the possibility of skin oils being deposited on the paper as one writes. In that case, the first few lines at the top of the sheet will look dark and then the color will look more attenuated, because the ink isn't being absorbed by the paper fully. Skipping also happens in this situation.
 
Some of us (not I) avoid the deposition of skin oils on the paper by resting the writing hand on a smaller sheet of paper, which acts as a shield. Indeed, some advice to beginning users of a fountain pen strongly advises doing this. I avoid the necessity by using at least a medium nib with strong ink flow.


I will try it, thank you!

#9 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:20

Does the ink uniformly lose intensity as it dries? If so then it's just not a very dark ink.

Or are the first few lines more intense (even when dry) and then intensity lessens? If this is what's happening, then either the feed isn't keeping up with the nib (so when you first start writing it puts down a lot of ink because the feed is holding a lot of ink, but once that ink is used up it is not supplying ink from the cartridge quickly enough - unlikely with a medium or fine nib) OR the ink in the feed is suffering evaporation and becoming more saturated when the pen is left sitting, so when you first start writing the more staurated ink puts down a darker line, then the line fades to the ink's true colour as new ink from the cartridge reaches the nib.

If the problem is the feed not supplying ink quickly enough, it could be caused by the feed being a little dirty (new pens can have manufacturing residue interfere with ink flow), properly cleaning the pen and flushing the feed could solve the issue.

If the problem is evaporation then I'm not really sure there's a solution. Some inks seem less vulnerable to this issue though, maybe try some Pelikan 4001 ink.


I do not think it's a problem with the ink, as it dries it does not lose intensity, it's like you say, the first lines are more intense because more ink comes out, after a while the flow is not so "intense", maybe I have to clean it

#10 praxim

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 11:29

Nothing wrong with your English. :) The language itself is prone to ambiguity.

Given your clarification, I would add to what others have said only a query about how your pen rests between use? Nib up, or horizontal? This may affect initial flow.
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#11 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 13:01

Nothing wrong with your English. :) The language itself is prone to ambiguity.

Given your clarification, I would add to what others have said only a query about how your pen rests between use? Nib up, or horizontal? This may affect initial flow.


Thank you!, If you refer to how it is positioned while I'm not using it, I always carry it in the pencil bag, so it's always horizontal, but I do not know what position the tip is in, since the body is not transparent

#12 SoulSamurai

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 13:38

I do not think it's a problem with the ink, as it dries it does not lose intensity, it's like you say, the first lines are more intense because more ink comes out, after a while the flow is not so "intense", maybe I have to clean it

 

It's always good to clean a new pen, it can solve a lot of problems. An ear bulb can help to push water through the feed and help clean it out; they are available from a lot of online fountain pen retailers, but a converter can also do (you may have received one with the pen, or you might be able to find one in a local stationary shop). It can help when washing to first use a tiny bit of dish soap in water, then wash again with pure water.

 

By the way, do you know what the nib width is? Fine, Medium, Broad?


Edited by SoulSamurai, 10 June 2019 - 13:41.


#13 SoulSamurai

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 13:49

Thank you!, If you refer to how it is positioned while I'm not using it, I always carry it in the pencil bag, so it's always horizontal, but I do not know what position the tip is in, since the body is not transparent

 

The rotation doesn't matter, all that matters is nib-up, nib-down, or horizontal.

 

If you're storing the pen horizontally or nib-down, then I think evaporation is less likely to be the issue, and it's more likely to be an issue with the feed not supplying enough ink, which again is most likely due to it being obstructed by dirt etc.

 

If washing the pen doesn't do the job, you could pull the nib and feed out of the pen and give them a proper scrub with a toothbrush and a bit of dish soap (followed by clean water of course). In the average modern fountain pen the nib and feed will pull straight out without damage if you're careful, but you do need to be careful not to damage the fins or anything. And don't twist the feed. You'll need to be a bit careful when replacing the feed: there is usually a flat face on the inside of the feed housing that matches a flat surface at the bottom of the feed.

 

I recommend searching youtube for videos of how to clean pens, how to remove and replace nibs and feeds, etc.



#14 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 13:51

 
It's always good to clean a new pen, it can solve a lot of problems. An ear bulb can help to push water through the feed and help clean it out; they are available from a lot of online fountain pen retailers, but a converter can also do (you may have received one with the pen, or you might be able to find one in a local stationary shop). It can help when washing to first use a tiny bit of dish soap in water, then wash again with pure water.
 
By the way, do you know what the nib width is? Fine, Medium, Broad?


thanks, I'll clean it to see if that corrects the problem. at the tip it does not say what it is, but I have used medium pens, and I am sure that it is of fine nib

#15 Sofiacapella

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 14:17

 
The rotation doesn't matter, all that matters is nib-up, nib-down, or horizontal.
 
If you're storing the pen horizontally or nib-down, then I think evaporation is less likely to be the issue, and it's more likely to be an issue with the feed not supplying enough ink, which again is most likely due to it being obstructed by dirt etc.
 
If washing the pen doesn't do the job, you could pull the nib and feed out of the pen and give them a proper scrub with a toothbrush and a bit of dish soap (followed by clean water of course). In the average modern fountain pen the nib and feed will pull straight out without damage if you're careful, but you do need to be careful not to damage the fins or anything. And don't twist the feed. You'll need to be a bit careful when replacing the feed: there is usually a flat face on the inside of the feed housing that matches a flat surface at the bottom of the feed.
 
I recommend searching youtube for videos of how to clean pens, how to remove and replace nibs and feeds, etc.


I will clean it and see if it is solved, thanks! 😃

#16 Arkanabar

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 17:15

Changing inks can solve a lot of problems.  I don't know what kind of ink you're using, but in addition to Noodler's bulletproof Black and Aurora Black, I can suggest Noodler's Heart of Darkness and J. Herbin Perle Noir.



#17 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 10 June 2019 - 22:31

Paper can be the problem....nib width.....but yours sounds like you are lacking flow.

With a cartridge that shouldn't happen. With a converter that often happens a vapor lock.

 

I find Pelikan 4001 quite black enough....but I use F and wider and good to better paper.

Some folks using as skinny a nib as they could find and PP paper complained it was gray.

 

So try a better paper.

 

In Argentina, I don't think a wet Japanese black ink would be more expensive than a wet super dark Noodlers ink. Noodlers has many blacks.

I still have half the bottle of Pelikan 4001 ink I bought when I got back into fountain pens a bit more than a decade ago.

 

We are living in the Golden Age of Inks...................as soon as your problem is solved, try inks of different color.

Blues are a start and there are ever so many.

I was chasing purple, when I ran into the old two toned Brilliant Green 4001.....and if I'd not gotten it dirt cheap, I'd never bought it. Who needs a green ink.

That year I bought 14 green-greenish inks.......now have 18.

Only have 7-8 purple, not enough browns..........I have no idea why I have 8 blue black inks.............I don't chase blue-black.

 

I can remember thinking 12 pens and 10 inks would be enough :lticaptd: .....LOL

If I had money, I'd have more than the 70 inks I have.....I am falling so behind.

 

Don't forget the papers..........90g laser paper is best for two toned shading inks.

There are also inks with sheen...............glitter too. ;)


Edited by Bo Bo Olson, 10 June 2019 - 22:40.

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,

 

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#18 Sofiacapella

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 00:43

Changing inks can solve a lot of problems.  I don't know what kind of ink you're using, but in addition to Noodler's bulletproof Black and Aurora Black, I can suggest Noodler's Heart of Darkness and J. Herbin Perle Noir.


Thank you! Yes, I would also like to try an ink that is water proof some day, since I would like to be able to use a highlighter on it without making a disaster 😆. A few hours ago clean the pen, these days I will try it to see if it is solved, and if not try with another type of ink.

#19 Sofiacapella

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 00:47

Paper can be the problem....nib width.....but yours sounds like you are lacking flow.
With a cartridge that shouldn't happen. With a converter that often happens a vapor lock.
 
I find Pelikan 4001 quite black enough....but I use F and wider and good to better paper.
Some folks using as skinny a nib as they could find and PP paper complained it was gray.
 
So try a better paper.
 
In Argentina, I don't think a wet Japanese black ink would be more expensive than a wet super dark Noodlers ink. Noodlers has many blacks.
I still have half the bottle of Pelikan 4001 ink I bought when I got back into fountain pens a bit more than a decade ago.
 
We are living in the Golden Age of Inks...................as soon as your problem is solved, try inks of different color.
Blues are a start and there are ever so many.
I was chasing purple, when I ran into the old two toned Brilliant Green 4001.....and if I'd not gotten it dirt cheap, I'd never bought it. Who needs a green ink.
That year I bought 14 green-greenish inks.......now have 18.
Only have 7-8 purple, not enough browns..........I have no idea why I have 8 blue black inks.............I don't chase blue-black.
 
I can remember thinking 12 pens and 10 inks would be enough :lticaptd: .....LOL
If I had money, I'd have more than the 70 inks I have.....I am falling so behind.
 
Don't forget the papers..........90g laser paper is best for two toned shading inks.
There are also inks with sheen...............glitter too. ;)


wow what a great collection! I think I'll end up like that one day, I really like fountain pens but I'm still starting haha, thanks! I will check the paper too, the pelikan ink, from what I could see is quite common and not very expensive, so if I do not find a solution I will buy it

Edited by Sofiacapella, 11 June 2019 - 00:49.


#20 A Smug Dill

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:51

Yes, I would also like to try an ink that is water proof some day, since I would like to be able to use a highlighter on it without making a disaster .


Please note that waterproof does not necessarily mean the words written (or other marks made) in that ink are resistant to blurring or smudging when you run a highlighter over them, because the solvent used in the highlighter's own 'ink' may be other than just water.

Edited by A Smug Dill, 11 June 2019 - 01:51.

I'm a fountain pen enthusiast, but not your consultant (as a fellow consumer) to advise on getting better value-for-money from your discretionary spending or protecting your investment in the hobby. I like to share the particularly meritorious or disappointing traits of products I've used, through product reviews and replies to others' posts, but please don't expect (or ask) me to frame things specifically in terms of how it would apply to your choice of pens, inks and paper products, or satisfy your preferences for shading, sheen, wet, broad, cheap, et cetera.






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