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Black Ink/pen Dilemma!

dilemmaquestions black ink fitting pens

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36 replies to this topic

#1 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 14:11

It's about black ink, and what pen.

I'm seeking a silky-smooth writing experience; smoother and less scratchy/feathery than my Platinum Preppy 03 that has a mix of Levenger Raven Black and Montblanc Black.

This pen will always be filled, ready to write, a dedicated black-ink pen. And since paper is a biiiig factor, my usual papers are Kokuyo Campus, Rhodia and MiquelRius, with the occasional foray into Cheap Lousy Paper.

The ink candidates:

Levenger Raven Black (pretty much ruled out for Bad Behavior)
Quink Black
Pelikan Black
Waterman Black
Montblanc Black (in the old shoe bottle)
Chesterfield Obsidian
Monteverde Black Ash

Sailor Black carts
Platinum Black carts, an endless supply
Lamy Black (carts) and a Lamy Safari F (this was actually a pleasant combo, I may return to it).

The 🖊 pen candidates:

Nemosine Singularities, F and XF
Platinum Plaisir F
Sailor Sapporo MF
Jinhao Shark (I like these cute little writers)
Wing Sung 601A
Hero 616


Currently filled:
A Pilot Petit with a mix of Levenger Raven and Quink Black. Complete disaster. Bleedyriffic.

That Platinum Preppy with a mix of, yes, you guessed it, Levenger Raven and MB Black. Slightly less of a disaster.

Any thoughts? Experiences with any of the above in combination? Recommendations?

Oh...and I am NOT buying any more black ink, not even carts or samples. Thanks for reading this overlong, overfussy post! B)

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#2 sombrueil

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 16:18

Have you tried Aurora Black? I haven't tried all the blacks but that is the smoothest black I know. 



#3 BDarchitect

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 16:24

You have listed nine inks and six pens and want advice on which combo will work best, and you won't consider any new inks?  Not sure why this is a post, you have a small enough sample set to just go ahead and try them out.



#4 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:24

I have a Nemosine Singularity with a medium nib inked with Pelikan 4001 Black right now. I had to adjust the ever loving junk out of this nib when the pen first came. It wrote about as dry as an extra fine nib that was left uncapped for about 2 hours...LOL. I got it on closeout, so I didn't want to send it back. I had to pull the nib from the feed and spread the tines enough to get that dry Pelikan ink flowing! Now, it writes amazingly.

 

I was going to give it away, but I don't have a pen dedicated to black ink and now that this one is writing so well, I think I might keep it. I only have the one black ink though, and have never tried all the others you listed. There might be better combos out there, but for me, a pen putting down a wet line of a dry ink like this is awesome. I had almost given up using my Pelikan 4001 because the only pens it wrote well in were already dedicated to other inks.

 

The only negative is that Pelikan 4001 sticks to the cheap Nemosine converter wall very badly. I might pick up a standard international converter to swap it out in the hopes of fixing that; or maybe some cartridges, and then just refill them with a syringe.


Edited by sirgilbert357, 02 October 2019 - 18:04.


#5 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:25

You have listed nine inks and six pens and want advice on which combo will work best, and you won't consider any new inks?  Not sure why this is a post, you have a small enough sample set to just go ahead and try them out.

 

The man has a point...sounds like a fun couple of hours of testing.



#6 ethernautrix

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:32

Of the black inks you've listed, I've not tried two: Chesterfield and Monteverde.

You might hate my off-your-list suggestion: Noodler's Black.

I don't know from the pens you've mentioned, but I've used Noodler's Black in many, many pens -- mostly modern but also vintage and in a wide range of prices. If you want to avoid feathering, bleed-through, and ghosting -- which, collectively, is my main objective -- then Noodler's Black.

Having said this, I recently (within a coupla weeks) bought a bottle of Iroshizuku Take-sumi, which is a beautiful, "velvety" black. I want to use this ink. Even though about ten years ago, after finding out how trouble-free Noodler's Black was, I gave away all my other black inks. They were great inks, but I couldn't use them on the cheap paper I had to buy cos of prolific (and not keep-worthy) stream-of-consciousness output.

Noodler's Black is why I've been able to use Moleskine annual diaries (or planners, except I don't use them to plan but to track, or to remember). I finally inked up a Wing Sung 9158 (Lamy-style EF nib) (price was... $3.50, IIRC) and tried the Take-sumi in my Moleskine 2019 Diary. Tiny bit of feathering and a bit of "fading" or lightening. It happens also with the KWŻ inks I like.

What to do, what to do? I like the Take-sumi (very much), and I like the Moleskine Diary, but, come on, the Moleskine paper is lousy for not-Noodler's-Black inks.

I zagged instead of zigging and bought a Hobonichi Techo 2020, cos Tomoe River paper.

I guess I'm saying, you might have to compromise. Either try Noodler's Black (I would be happy to send you a sample), or embark on the search for cheap paper that doesn't feather.

Good luck, and have fun!

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#7 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:43

I have a Nemosine Singularity with a medium nib inked with Pelikan 4001 Black right now. I had to adjust the ever loving junk out of this nib when the pen first came. It wrote about as dry as an extra fine nib that was left uncapped for about 2 hours...LOL. I got it on closeout, so I didn't want to send it back. I had to pull the nib from the feed and spread the tines enough to get that dry Pelikan ink flowing! Now, it writes amazingly.
 
I was going to give it away, but I don't have a pen dedicated to black ink and now that this one is writing so well, I think I might keep it. I only have the one black ink though, and have never tried all the others you listed. There might be better combos out there, but for me, a pen putting down a wet line of a dry ink like this is awesome. I had almost given up using my Pelikan 4001 because the only pens it wrote with in were already dedicated to other inks.
 
The only negative is that Pelikan 4001 sticks to the cheap Nemosine converter wall very badly. I might pick up a standard international converter to swap it out in the hopes of fixing that; or maybe some cartridges, and then just refill them with a syringe.



I just got some of those closeout specials. I might risk the Nemo/Pel combo with a Fine, just to see what happens. My older Nemo M wrote very very wet to begin with.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I love hearing the hands-on experiences AND I have been reminded that I have a teeny sample of JH Perle Noire...somewhere.

Edited by Sailor Kenshin, 02 October 2019 - 17:53.


#8 Bo Bo Olson

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 17:54

I still have half a bottle of Pelikan 4001 black, that I bought with the blue...inks of my US past in the early '60's when as imported ink were cheaper than Parker and Shaffe, when I returned to fountain pens a bit more than a decade ago.

 

I have absolutely nothing against 4001 black, it is well black enough (if one don't have black hole Noodler inks). But being retired I don't need a black business ink, and I'm into shading inks.

( :yikes:Just read this month there are black shading inks!!!! :o )

4001 is a good black ink..........if you are not using an EF or narrower nib on PP paper....then those folks complain it is gray. One needs better paper for any ink.

 

I don't have nor need Aurora Black...........but some day, for the sheer hell of it, I'll buy a bottle of it.

Before Noodler's black Hole inks, Aurora Black was rated as #1, Pelikan 4001 as #2.


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.

 

 

 


#9 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:08

Of the black inks you've listed, I've not tried two: Chesterfield and Monteverde.

You might hate my off-your-list suggestion: Noodler's Black.

I don't know from the pens you've mentioned, but I've used Noodler's Black in many, many pens -- mostly modern but also vintage and in a wide range of prices. If you want to avoid feathering, bleed-through, and ghosting -- which, collectively, is my main objective -- then Noodler's Black.

Having said this, I recently (within a coupla weeks) bought a bottle of Iroshizuku Take-sumi, which is a beautiful, "velvety" black. I want to use this ink. Even though about ten years ago, after finding out how trouble-free Noodler's Black was, I gave away all my other black inks. They were great inks, but I couldn't use them on the cheap paper I had to buy cos of prolific (and not keep-worthy) stream-of-consciousness output.

Noodler's Black is why I've been able to use Moleskine annual diaries (or planners, except I don't use them to plan but to track, or to remember). I finally inked up a Wing Sung 9158 (Lamy-style EF nib) (price was... $3.50, IIRC) and tried the Take-sumi in my Moleskine 2019 Diary. Tiny bit of feathering and a bit of "fading" or lightening. It happens also with the KWŻ inks I like.

What to do, what to do? I like the Take-sumi (very much), and I like the Moleskine Diary, but, come on, the Moleskine paper is lousy for not-Noodler's-Black inks.

I zagged instead of zigging and bought a Hobonichi Techo 2020, cos Tomoe River paper.

I guess I'm saying, you might have to compromise. Either try Noodler's Black (I would be happy to send you a sample), or embark on the search for cheap paper that doesn't feather.

Good luck, and have fun!

 

 

For what it is worth, this mirrors my experience exactly. I never had any trouble with Noodler's Black on ANY paper I used it on. And it was pretty well behaved in any pen I used it with. I'm pretty sure I gave my bottle away, but I'm not sure why...lol. Maybe because I just literally never actually use black ink and having less of it made sense to me. Somehow Pelikan black survived the cut. They are both very water resistant in my experience, in case that factors in at all. I'd give the edge to Noodlers though...



#10 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:10

I just got some of those closeout specials. I might risk the Nemo/Pel combo with a Fine, just to see what happens. My older Nemo M wrote very very wet to begin with.

Thanks to everyone who replied. I love hearing the hands-on experiences AND I have been reminded that I have a teeny sample of JH Perle Noire...somewhere.

 

Yes, the other Singularity I ordered along with the medium nib one was a broad. It wrote like a BBB with a leak. I had to adjust the junk out of that one too...LOL. It's loaded with Pilot Blue Black now and writes wonderfully...



#11 bemon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:10

I'd like to make a pen suggestion. Of your candidate pens the only ones I've tried are the Nemosine Singularity and the Sailor Sapporo. Neither are smooth. The Singularity wrote like a rusty nail and to my eye through my loupe the nib looked good. Used it once and sold it at a loss just to get it out of my collection before it tainted everything else.

 

The Sapporo puts down a nice line but it's got that Sailor feedback. Nothing wrong with the pen at all, it's just toothy.

 

I can't comment on the others, but if it were my dollar I'd order a modern Conklin Durograph and steel No. 6 Edison nib. Rip that Conklin nib out with your dirtiest pair of pliers and dispose of it from the open window of your moving car. Overkill? Only if you live stream it. 

 

Fire in the Edison nib and you've got a moderately priced pen that's feels great in your hand with a smooth Edison nib. I chose a broad and mine writes like butter on hot glass. 

 

This is assuming you want to keep your costs down and I assume you do since you're considering Chinese pens. If you've got Edison money.. just buy an Edison ;)

 

Can't comment on black inks- I only use blue. 


Edited by bemon, 02 October 2019 - 18:39.


#12 Sailor Kenshin

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:36

I'd like to make a pen suggestion. Of your candidate pens the only ones I've tried are the Nemosine Singularity and the Sailor Sapporo. Neither are smooth. The Singularity wrote like a rusty nail and to my eye through my loupe the nib looked good. Used it once and sold it at a loss just to get it out of my collection before it tainted everything else.
 
The Sapporo puts down a nice line but it's got that Sailor feedback. Nothing wrong with the pen at all, it's just toothy.
 
I can't comment on the others, but if it were my dollar I'd order a modern Conklin Durograph and steel No. 6 Edison nib. Rip that Conklin nib out with your dirtiest pair of pliers and dispose of it from the open window of your moving car. Overkill? Only if you live stream it. 
 
Fire in the Edison nib and you've got a moderately priced pen that's feels great in your hand with a butter smooth Edison nib. I chose a broad and mine writes like butter on hot glass. 
 
This is assuming you want to keep your costs down and I assume you do since you're considering Chinese pens. If you've got Edison money.. just buy an Edison ;)

:lol:

No, those are just the pens I already have that feel most comfortable in my hand for long whiny sessions in a black mood. You've made me laugh, and that's a plus.

I had two different black carts on hand. And tried them just now...the Lamy Black I put in a Lamy Safari F. The second, yup, Sailor Black in a MF Sapporo. I don't mind the feedback, but the line is pale.

#13 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:41

I'd like to make a pen suggestion. Of your candidate pens the only ones I've tried are the Nemosine Singularity and the Sailor Sapporo. Neither are smooth. The Singularity wrote like a rusty nail and to my eye through my loupe the nib looked good. Used it once and sold it at a loss just to get it out of my collection before it tainted everything else.

 

The Sapporo puts down a nice line but it's got that Sailor feedback. Nothing wrong with the pen at all, it's just toothy.

 

I can't comment on the others, but if it were my dollar I'd order a modern Conklin Durograph and steel No. 6 Edison nib. Rip that Conklin nib out with your dirtiest pair of pliers and dispose of it from the open window of your moving car. Overkill? Only if you live stream it. 

 

Fire in the Edison nib and you've got a moderately priced pen that's feels great in your hand with a butter smooth Edison nib. I chose a broad and mine writes like butter on hot glass. 

 

This is assuming you want to keep your costs down and I assume you do since you're considering Chinese pens. If you've got Edison money.. just buy an Edison ;)

 

 

LOL, wow. Quite the mental picture there!

 

Both of my Nemosines write amazingly smooth. My Conklin All American has a fantastic nib that isn't quite glassy smooth, but it's darn close. An Edison nib is just a Jowo with their branding on it. You can buy any stock Jowo nib and get the same writing experience (within the quality control standards anyway -- some might be more smooth, others less so). Goulet Pens sells loose nibs made by Jowo with their branding on it for 15.00 bucks. The Edison nibs look identical, except for the logo, and come with a feed and collar for 25.00 bucks. And guess what? Those Goulet branded nibs fit Conklins too. So if you want to be really cheap, just get a Goulet nib and some micro mesh and you'll be golden...



#14 bemon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:42

:lol:

No, those are just the pens I already have that feel most comfortable in my hand for long whiny sessions in a black mood. You've made me laugh, and that's a plus.

I had two different black carts on hand. And tried them just now...the Lamy Black I put in a Lamy Safari F. The second, yup, Sailor Black in a MF Sapporo. I don't mind the feedback, but the line is pale.

That makes sense! Well glad I could at least give you a laugh :) I found my Pro Gear Sapporo put down a pretty wet line. Maybe it's the inks I use though. Usually KWZ Azure #4, Iro Shin Kai or Sailor Yonaga. Could be that it just happens to play well with those inks. 



#15 bemon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 18:45

 

 

LOL, wow. Quite the mental picture there!

 

Both of my Nemosines write amazingly smooth. My Conklin All American has a fantastic nib that isn't quite glassy smooth, but it's darn close. An Edison nib is just a Jowo with their branding on it. You can buy any stock Jowo nib and get the same writing experience (within the quality control standards anyway -- some might be more smooth, others less so). Goulet Pens sells loose nibs made by Jowo with their branding on it for 15.00 bucks. The Edison nibs look identical, except for the logo, and come with a feed and collar for 25.00 bucks. And guess what? Those Goulet branded nibs fit Conklins too. So if you want to be really cheap, just get a Goulet nib and some micro mesh and you'll be golden...

Actually that's a good point. I just suggested Edison because the store I usually buy from in Toronto sells Edison branded nibs but not unbranded JoWo. But you're right. 

 

I've had 3 Conklins and wow have those nibs been terrible. I'm glad someone's having a better experience than me. 


Edited by bemon, 02 October 2019 - 18:45.


#16 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 19:09

Actually that's a good point. I just suggested Edison because the store I usually buy from in Toronto sells Edison branded nibs but not unbranded JoWo. But you're right. 

 

I've had 3 Conklins and wow have those nibs been terrible. I'm glad someone's having a better experience than me. 

 

 

Sorry to hear this bemon. Yeah, I actually had very low expectations for the Conklin to be honest. The only reason I have a loose Goulet nib is because I ordered it with the Conklin fully expecting to chunk the Conklin nib in the trash and immediately put the Goulet nib in, LOL. Not even kidding...

 

But to my immense surprise, the Conklin wrote like an effin dream right out of the box! And I wouldn't call it "flex", but the nib is springy (I guess due to the crescent shaped breather hole maybe??) in a way none of my other Jowo nibs has ever been. The nib is a medium, will reverse write in a fine and if I give it some pressure, it will put a line down that is equal in width to the Lamy 1.5mm stub nib. And the feed keeps up with this ridiculous demand of ink too...but only with the right ink in it. Some drier inks don't work obviously. So I have one pen that will write a consistent fine, medium and basically a broad out to a 1.5 mm line. That's as far as I would push it though and I almost never write with it that way anymore...but if I want a little flourish at the end of a letter, its there for me.

 

So, yeah...I got a unicorn or something. But I love it. I need to do a review just so I can formally put all my observations down "on paper" for others here, but I just haven't done it yet.



#17 bemon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 19:47

 

 

Sorry to hear this bemon. Yeah, I actually had very low expectations for the Conklin to be honest. The only reason I have a loose Goulet nib is because I ordered it with the Conklin fully expecting to chunk the Conklin nib in the trash and immediately put the Goulet nib in, LOL. Not even kidding...

 

But to my immense surprise, the Conklin wrote like an effin dream right out of the box! And I wouldn't call it "flex", but the nib is springy (I guess due to the crescent shaped breather hole maybe??) in a way none of my other Jowo nibs has ever been. The nib is a medium, will reverse write in a fine and if I give it some pressure, it will put a line down that is equal in width to the Lamy 1.5mm stub nib. And the feed keeps up with this ridiculous demand of ink too...but only with the right ink in it. Some drier inks don't work obviously. So I have one pen that will write a consistent fine, medium and basically a broad out to a 1.5 mm line. That's as far as I would push it though and I almost never write with it that way anymore...but if I want a little flourish at the end of a letter, its there for me.

 

So, yeah...I got a unicorn or something. But I love it. I need to do a review just so I can formally put all my observations down "on paper" for others here, but I just haven't done it yet.

I'm very impressed with the body fit and finish. I still have the "Cracked Ice" and also had the "Ice Blue" and "Forest Green". They all seemed well constructed and smooth to the touch. And always so warm. Kind of inviting to the touch.

 

(The voice in my head is saying 'Ok weird pen guy, dial it back a little, you weren't on a date.')

 

The the cap threads are precise and I like the screw in converter. The nibs though- when they got going they put down a generous line and I agree they have some flex to them. But I kept finding that they'd all hard started and skipped. It also seemed that the tines would get knocked out of alignment just with regular use. 

 

But anyway that's only my experience. I did buy them fairly close together so maybe I ordered part of a bad batch or two. Maybe the QA team had drinks on the job that week ;) 

 

I actually dropped mine while cleaning it last night and destroyed the nib. No tears though because loose No. 6 nibs are cheap! So I'll just order a 1.5 mm to replace the broken broad.

 

Pretty big relief actually because I was cleaning my Lamy 2000, GVFC Classic, Carene, Vanishing Point and the Conklin. So if I had to drop one I'm glad it was the one with the easy to replace nib. 



#18 sirgilbert357

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 20:11

I'm very impressed with the body fit and finish. I still have the "Cracked Ice" and also had the "Ice Blue" and "Forest Green". They all seemed well constructed and smooth to the touch. And always so warm. Kind of inviting to the touch.

 

(The voice in my head is saying 'Ok weird pen guy, dial it back a little, you weren't on a date.')

 

The the cap threads are precise and I like the screw in converter. The nibs though- when they got going they put down a generous line and I agree they have some flex to them. But I kept finding that they'd all hard started and skipped. It also seemed that the tines would get knocked out of alignment just with regular use. 

 

But anyway that's only my experience. I did buy them fairly close together so maybe I ordered part of a bad batch or two. Maybe the QA team had drinks on the job that week ;)

 

I actually dropped mine while cleaning it last night and destroyed the nib. No tears though because loose No. 6 nibs are cheap! So I'll just order a 1.5 mm to replace the broken broad.

 

Pretty big relief actually because I was cleaning my Lamy 2000, GVFC Classic, Carene, Vanishing Point and the Conklin. So if I had to drop one I'm glad it was the one with the easy to replace nib. 

 

 

Whoa, seriously. That would have been really bad if it were any of the others...



#19 sansenri

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 20:19

Rhodia is a smooth paper, if you want a smoother and less scratchy experience my doubt is you may be using equipment that cannot provide what you want, and my suggestion is you try a medium or a broad nib (you don't say that it must be an F or EF), or, a better F / EF nib (perhaps a Montblanc or an Aurora, or even a Lamy 2000 F which is already very smooth without going into more expensive pens). You don't seem to mention a budget, at any rate.

The Sailor you mention should be smooth though...



#20 bemon

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 20:20

 

 

Whoa, seriously. That would have been really bad if it were any of the others...

You said it. 







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