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aurore posted a topic in Ink ReviewsHere is a brief review of a double concentrated Pilot Blue-Black ink. A prelude. Or a kind of I have always been fascinated with this ink. For a bunch of reasons except one: it is rather lifeless. Then I used it in my modern Duofold (with the damn hole in the cap causing evaporation) and found out this ink can be gorgeous with a lot of gravitas, beautiful shading and some sheen... if evaporates a bit. Pilot Blue-Black standard concentration properties summary A couple of positives of this ink (in the normal 100% concentration): 1) VERY cheap if you get a 350ml bottle from Japan, it costs there roughly $12, 2) VERY water resistant, 3) (unlike most Blue-Black inks) when exposed to water it stays purely blue instead of black/grey, 4) flows well in any pen, 5) safe, 6) no strong smell, 7) while it stains, the stains disappear fully if well soaked/filled with a soapy (dish detergent) water with no other treatment required at all; it is also very easy to wash from clothes, leaving no stains. Aren't these 7 wonders of the ink? Well, yes, but despite all the positives this ink normally isn't what one would expect of a solid blue black. Honestly, it is quite dull. Say no to the dullness - let it evaporate So what did I do? I bought a 350ml bottle, filled my empty Edelstein Sapphire bottle (actually not the most lively ink either), folded a kitchen paper towel in 8 layers and fixed it with a rubber band to the bottle. Then put it in my desk (the place that is dark and dry - just like my soul). I had been checking it regularly, but cannot remember how long did it take to evaporate a half of the bottle, but roughly 2 weeks. And... see the result below. A lovely navy ink, very water resistant, with a sheen and shading. With no misbehaviour. And still very cheap. For this process the wider the open surface of the bottle is the faster is the evaporation. Sailor old style 50ml round bottle (reminding jar) would fit the best. On the contrary heating or exposing to sunlight would not be the best idea. Testing The paper used is Oxford 90g A4 optikpaper notepad (a coated paper like Rhodia etc.). The pen used is MB 146 from early 90s (1st gen. plastic feed) with M(edium) feed - a bit broadish but not the wettest. The photos were taken in a natural light (direct sunlight/2 sorts of a shadow). You can see the comparison of the ink in 100% and 200% concentrations, written with the same pen. The writing sample was kept in the notebook for 24 hours before performing the water test. It was left for 30 second under a tap. I went quite hard with cotton swabs, it even damaged the paper surface. UV resistance results (notebook vs. summer window) will be updated in 2 weeks. The inks does not bleed (except the cheapest paper in almost a toilet paper quality), does not feather. Conclusion While the standard Pilot Blue-Black is a very good ink it is not the best choice if you need a serious business ink. The double concentration will do the job. What a lovely colour, isn't it?! What a performance! And very, very cheap. As for the price, while the ink is cheap the shipping is tricky but for instance Mercari now and then offers discounts on shipping or even a free international shipping, like recently.
I posted a review of the Kaweco AL Sport Stonewashed Blue pen in the pen reviews forum. Here. I am now adding a separate review of the Kaweco Midnight Blue ink that I used in that pen. I used a cartridge, and the AL Sport Stonewashed Blue pen has a F steel nib. Kaweco ink comes in 30ml bottles and packs containing 6 standard international sized cartridges. This Midnight Blue is lighter than some other blue-black inks, but it's a really well behaved dark blue, and it has some lovely shading. It isn't waterproof, but was reasonably water resistant. I moved the water around with my finger, then blotted it off, yet I can still see ink remains. It's a reasonably saturated ink. I would say it's definitely worth considering.
First of all I must apologise as this ink should have been launched at the same time as the other Diamine new colour: Classic Green, that The Good Captain launched in his excellent review. However, due to me having been laid very low by a bacterial stomach infection, I'm late on parade with this review. Still, the show must go on, so I have written with this ink a few times and finally managed to get the review form done and scanned. So I'm back in bed with my trusty MacBook typing this. As many of you will know, Oxford Blue has to be a dark blue. That is Oxford University's team colour, whereas Cambridge University's colour is light blue. This is a fabulous dark blue. When I wrote with it, I thought I knew of several dark blues that I could use as comparisons to it, but when I actually came to find similar colours, it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Oxford Blue is more blue than Montblanc JFK Navy Blue, and it's darker than Diamine Midnight. It's a well saturated really dark blue, with plenty of shading. I'm sure it will be a popular colour. I really like it. I'm not sure of the exact launch date, but it's not too far away. This isn't a waterproof ink, but it has good water resistance. The water was on the grid for about 1 minute before being swabbed and blotted by kitchen roll.Bearing in mind the paper I use is thick with a shiny, smooth surface, and I used a Lamy F and 1.1mm nib, this ink took 12-16 secs to dry.It flows very well and lubricates the nib very well. I saw no skips or hard starts despite leaving the pen uncapped while I did all of the swab tests.I'm not 100% sure yet if it will be part of the standard range, but I think it will. If it is, it will be available in 80ml glass bottles and 30ml plastic refill bottlesDiamine sell it directly to end-users on their web-site.
Today I'm reviewing Diamine Denim This is a saturated dark blue ink, and is a very good match for the material that it’s named after. It’s a dark denim colour. I wouldn’t quite call it blue-black, although in some pens it will look more like a blue-black ink. It’s a darker blue than Diamine Midnight, but not as dark as Cult Pens Deep Dark Blue or Diamine 1864 Blue-Black. It was a well behaved performer for me in two of my pens. It felt wetter and flowed better when I was using the Lamy M nib and the Parker 45 Cursive Italic nib. *As far as show through goes, I’ve listed the papers where I saw any show through at all. However, on all but the Field Notes paper, show through was really minimal and I would find it acceptable to write on the reverse sides of all of these papers. Scanning really seems to accentuate any possible show through. Flow Rate: Good. Much wetter in the Lamy Al-star with M nib.Lubrication: Good with both Parker and Lamy M nibs I used.Nib Dry-out: Not noticed.Start-up: Immediate.Saturation: Saturated.Shading Potential: Shading seen.Sheen: None seen.Show-Through*:Apica PaperMidori PaperRhodia Graph PaperTomoe River 52gsm paperTomoe River 68gsm paperField NotesHobonichi TechoSpread / Feathering / Woolly Line: Not seen.Nib Creep / “Crud”: Not seen, even after over 1 week in the penStaining (pen): Not seen after several days - easy clean-upStaining (hands): Not seen - Easy clean-upClogging: Not seen. Seems unlikely.Water resistance: Not sold as waterproof. Not particularly water resistant although some remains. I left it soaking in during the time it took me to have a shower.Availability: Available from Diamine Inks web-site and many other outlets.