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  1. I recently purchased a bottle of Lamy Blue-Black and was quite surprised by the performance. It seemed to do much better than any review would have had me believe. I initially purchased the ink more or less just to get the bottle (with the hope that I might actually like the ink), but after using this ink for a couple of weeks I have to say that I am really impressed with it. This leads me to believe that either Lamy has reformulated their reformulated version of Blue-Black, or that folks have been overly critical of what I have found to be a pretty good ink. Right now I am using this ink in a Jinhao X750 with a Knox 1.1 nib; and in a Jinhao X450 with an Anderson Pens 1.1 nib (identical to the Goulet Pens 1.1, but with different brand etchings, obviously). I have used the ink on a number of different papers all with fairly similar results. What I have found is that this ink does not write overly wet, but still tends to bleed through a little bit even on good paper. It is an unusual color, it has a nice chalky blue color that dries a little bit on the dark grey side. The most unusual finding is that the ink is actually fairly water resistant. I would not call it waterproof, but I wrote a sample on an index card with a sample written using Chesterfield Archival Vault ink (an iron gall ink) for comparison, ran the card under water, and the Lamy held up fairly well. I would never use it to address an envelope, but I have no issues using it as an every day ink. I performed three water tests with Lamy Blue-Black and all of them had the same results. The test consisted of me washing the index card under a fast moving tap for 60 seconds. While this could have been made more rigorous by actively rubbing the ink while under water or adding a soap, I feel that my test is adequate for general use conditions. Below is the index card before the test, an example of bleed through (on a Rhodia #12 pad...the bleed through is not as bad here as it is on many other papers, but it is still visible), and the index card after the test. So, either I am more accepting of Lamy Blue-Black, or it has been reformulated to be a better overall ink. I could believe either scenario, but I tend to think that I am just not as hard on this ink as other folks have been. If it is the case that I am not as harsh as other users, then I tend to think that this is due to the fact that I never tried the old iron gall formulation. In any event, taken on its own merits I think that Lamy Blue-Black is a good ink. It has either gotten a bad rap, or is now better than it used to be. I would be very interested in hearing what other folks think about this subject.
  2. I apologise for the longish post. When I initially thought about doing this it seemed like it would be a lot more succinct, but it seems to have gotten away from me. I hope that the formatting on this post comes out okay too. I should add too I don't know my green from a teal and indigo from a purple, so please don't expect very eloquent musings on the colour palettes. Anyway here's some thoughts on Sheaffers Blue Black, Watermans Serenity Blue, Diamine Blue Black, Diamine Denim, Watermans Mysterious Blue, R&K Salix, Lamy Blue Black. My standard ink for a long time has been Noodlers Black and it's behaved wonderfully. Recently however, I've been thinking about trying something with a little colour and being the adventurous person I am decided to look into the world of blue blacks. I tried samples of Watermans Serenity Blue I ordered this as it seems to be a standard and reference ink. I wanted to try this out as I wanted to get an idea for what a low maintenence ink was like. Watermans Mysterious Blue This was to try a Blue black colour from a well known ink company. Sheaffers Blue Black This was to try a Blue black colour from a well known ink company. Diamine Blue Black There were a lot of blue blacks from Diamine and after going through a bunch of online reviews and postings I almost at a whim selected Diamine Blue Black and Diamine Denim to try out. Diamine Denim See comments for Diamine Blue Black. Lamy Blue Black As the only pens I have are two Lamy 2000s I thought it would be appropriate to try a Lamy ink. R&K Salix. I've been intrigued by Iron Gall inks but as I wanted to try something a little away from black I thought that this would be the 'blueist' IG ink. My intended usage for the ink is an everyday ink, meaning my own notes at work, shopping lists, reminders, etc. The majority of my writing is at work so I need something that will allow me to use both sides of the paper, so show through and bleedthrough are important to me. As I'm already using a fine nib I didn't want an ink that felt excessively dry (I had read Salix was dry but decided I wanted to try it anyway) or created a very tight line. The Lamy 2000's have fairly small but for me, useful ink windows. I wanted an ink that wouldn't stain the window. Also for this ink water resistance isn't a big issue as I sit in an office all day. My plan is to fill a couple of Pilot Varsity's with Noodlers Black for the times that I need permanence. In fact the lack of permanence might be beneficial as I have a couple of nice white shirts now personalised with Noodlers Black. I wish that I had the writing that would bring out the world of shading inks but that's not going to happen so a shading ink is not a priority. So with the samples in hand I have been using them for a couple of days a piece on the paper that I normally encounter. I know that this is not the best paper, but it's what I have to use on a regular basis. Norcom Composition Book made in Brazil Staples Bagasse Notebook (didn't check where this was made before I bought) made in Egypt. Whatever paper was in the printer. I wanted to put something together that I could use as a reference so in the future I can look back and see why I made the decision to buy a bottle of a particular ink. To do that as well as using it for a couple of days, I copied out some text on to the three different papers as mentioned above. I should also note that I used the same pen for all the testing. My Lamy 2000 with a fine nib. I also included some writing with Noodlers Black for reference. I hope that this is of use or at least interesting to folks. Firstly here are the inks on the Norcom Brazil Composition Book. Secondly here are the inks on Staples Bagasse Thirdly here are the inks on the cheap printer paper. Order of the inks.. Noodlers Black Sheaffers Blue Black Watermans Serenity Blue Diamine Blue Black Diamine Denim Watermans Mysterious Blue R&K Salix. Lamy Blue Black I apologise for the scans. I thought I would have more time to scan them in better but life got in the way. Now some of MY initial impressions of the inks. Watermans Serenity Blue This is a nice colour when it first goes on the paper but then seems to get lighter and then after a few days purply. Flow was a moderate and clean up a breeze. No water resistance when paper put into water. Watermans Mysterious Blue This was a really nice colour when it went down but also seemed to change. Not sure about this ink but didn't impress me enough to want to order a bottle of it. Sheaffers Blue Black Thin tight lines. Fairly dry. Colour is nice but probably needs a broader nib to show it off better. Diamine Blue Black This was the first ink of the lot than when I tried it I thought this is different and nice. Smooth flow and an intriguing colour. Not sure what I mean about the colour but it's something that I keep going back to look at. No water resistance when paper soaked. Diamine Denim To my eyes quite similar to Diamine Blue Black and similar performance. Diamine Blue black felt a little wetter and a little broader line than the Diamine Denim. No water resistance when paper soaked. Lamy Blue Black I'm surprised that this doesn't have more of a following. I suppose it's just because it's a general allround good ink but not great in any one department. A water soak shows the blue lifts off revealing a readable black underneath. R&K Salix. This I had great expectations for as it was my first Iron Gall ink. So it had the most to live up to, not fair I know. It is a dry ink but not excessive and not something that would bother me. I was expecting to see the colour transition fairly quickly but it didn't seem to happen within 30mins of writing but looking at my notes from before the weekend they now seem darker than I remember them being. Scans were done two days after the writing. This ink also seemed to have the most shading. A good ink, but I need to real a little more about the hygiene issues. Bleedthrough and showthrough was pretty much dependent on the quality of the paper, but for my purposes all papers could be used on both sides. I know this is not the most scientific way of picking an ink nor the most rigorous, but it should serve my purpose. I hope this post helps or entertains. I'll post some follow up when I've tried these inks a little more.





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