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  1. I was definitely not looking to acquire a new pen! But when local letter press and stationer oblation papers & press in Portland's Pearl District posted about the "new" Sailor 1911 Compass in their IG feed, I immediately decided to order one. I'm usually careful not to make impulse purchases when it comes to FPs, so why the Compass? Lots of reasons: First was the color, which made an immediate impression on me. Though billed as "olive," it looked to me from the picture like it was a flavor of "lime." The picture was true to the real-life color, and I was ultimately pleased to add this olive-lime (??) pen to my collection.I have a 1911M with a F nib and have been curious about the Medium Fine (MF)--the only nib option for the Compass, it turns out--but unsure about buying a 14k version as an experiment. This seemed to present itself as an opportunity to try the MF out with relatively little risk.The Compass has some interesting features, like a clear feed and a matching converter, that made this budget model especially appealing.Finally, I miss regular visits to oblation in these covid times. Sometimes a Saturday morning destination in its own right, sometimes an interesting and friendly stop on the way to a Thorns FC match, this PDX institution is just awesome and I was happy to find a random reason to place an order. (As an aside, I originally discovered oblation looking for a vintage typewriter and only then discovered it had a lot of pen stuff. Cool place, for sure!) Since it was an impulse purchase, I did not immediately realize that the Compass is really just a re-branded Profit Jr. and not actually a new offering, per se. That detail doesn't really matter to me but I found it interesting. I did pay the full $49 retail, but with some additions to my order got free shipping. In addition to the afore-mentioned matching converter (interestingly, marked "lime green"), the pen also includes a couple of cartridges. Upon arrival, I was surprised to see how bulky its gift packaging was--seems like a bit of overkill, but I guess helped ensure that the pen arrived completely undamaged. The pen itself did not disappoint: As part of Sailor's 1911 lineup, it's the exact same size as my 1911M (see photo above). The olive/lime acrylic is a really neat color and its minimalistic design is appealing. That said, there is no doubt that it's an economy model: except for the nib, clip, and thinly-plated cap band, it's an all-plastic affair. The acrylic, though beautiful, is very light and does feel..."intrinsically fragile." (Is that a euphemism for "cheap"? Yes, it is.) I have no doubt that a single careless drop will result in critical damage, and I suspect I may not have the opportunity to pass it down to future generations. This one lacks the FP heirloom factor and is reminiscent of the likes of a No-Nonsense. That said, what I feared to be a catastrophic crack in the section proved after a quick evaluation to simply be a crease in the acrylic from the molding process and, structurally speaking, quite sound. The most interesting part of the Compass, of course, is the nib. (As it should be!) Though, again, with a simple minimalist steel design, the medium fine (MF) nib was instantly recognizable as a Sailor once I wrote with it. This was the gamble, and it totally paid off. I inked the nib using the converter and started writing: no alignment issues and really no sacrifice in writing quality that I can tell by going the steel route rather than gold. The flow is perfectly medium. (I will say that it took ~5 days to fully write the nib in, but I did not need to make any adjustments whatsoever.) The biggest question is whether the pen is a good value for what it is. The street price puts it at ~$39, so it's directly competing with the likes of the venerable Safari and the opaque Prera (both favorites of mine), which are both solidly built pens. So with that in mind... Pros Cool color! (Whether "olive" or "lime.")Distinctive Sailor medim fine (MF) nib.Clear feed.Solid clip.Matching converter included.Good size.Lightweight.Posts securely.Cons (Likely) fragile plastic.Only available with MF nib. Thin plating on the cap band.Bulky extra packaging.In conclusion, I think the Compass is a great addition to the "entry" or "student" class of FPs. It's really different than either the Prera or the Safari, with a focus on the character of the nib rather than the durability of the construction. But the overall quality of the construction is still good and I feel that attention to detail makes this a pen a surprisingly good value--definitely at street price, but I would argue even at full MSRP. I honestly have not been able to put it down since I got it. That said, I would consider it an alternative or complement to--rather than replacement for--either a Safari and/or Prera. Highly recommended! A quick (positive) note on some inks: I've tried several inks in the Compass so far with fun results. The Compass seems to be reasonably ink-agnostic. I started with Sailor's blue-black (see brief writing sample above) but quickly branched out. I've had awesome results using Pilot's 100th Anniversary Hoteison, a saturated but nuanced green-brown ink. This ink looks unremarkable in many of my pens (which generally run wet) but is shown off to great effect when writing with the Compass. Pilot's iroshizuku Yu-yake (orange) actually looks great in the pen: you can see it in the converter and especially the clear feed. It is a perfect complement to the green acrylic and really pops!
  2. Another one of eight new ink colours Sailor introduced in the second release of its “overseas exclusive” Manyo line of inks. Close-up: Colour: dark khaki / olive / murky green Flow: moderate Feathering: Not observed on Rhodia Dotpad 80g/m² paper, looking closely at the thinnest hatching lines, and words/glyphs ‘reverse-written’ with the nib upside-down (i.e. the bottom of the feed facing up) Show-through: Low to nil Bleed-through: Not observed Drying time: 18–20 seconds Smudging after fully dry: Didn't happen when I rubbed my thumb over the hatching/stippling panel and the largest Chinese hanzi chharacters Water resistance: Good, as far as retaining legibility in the face of a spill or a dunking goes Shading: Moderate, without having too drastic a delineation between lighter parts and darker parts along the same pen stroke; can be seen even in very narrow ink marks (i.e. when writing with the equivalent of an Extra Fine nib) Sheen: None observed Shimmer: None My thoughts: I like its desaturated colour, and that it's a largely sheen-free ink good for where distractions from the written content is undesirable, but for the market price I don't know whether it stands head and shoulders above other murky green inks I have to compel me to buy more.
  3. (Another quickie review, being largely a by-product of my checking how the EF nib on a Delike Alpha performs.) Colour: I suppose the closest colour of ink I have to it is Diamine Evergreen but, at least in daylight, Monteverde Olivine is slightly more yellow (and Diamine Evergreen has an obvious red sheen). Feathering: None observed on the Rhodia paper I used. Ghosting and bleed-through: Not from normal writing, but several passes with a soaked cotton swab or a wet nib can cause some ghosting and even bleed-through. Drying time: Quick enough. No smearing after 15 seconds. Water resistance: None whatsoever. Washed clean off the page under a running tap in under 15 seconds. Shading: Some, but slightly subtle. No distinct step going from faint to dark. That's a good thing. Sheen: Not any to speak of. There is the slightest hint of a dark red outline or 'halo', if you look really hard, but that's about it.
  4. Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ twelfth series. It is named after the city of Hangzhou in eastern China. Hangzhou is famous for its beautiful scenery and is where longjing green tea is grown (a wonderful tea which I highly recommend). This tea is pan-roasted so the color is a little darker than some other green teas. I think the color of this ink is a good representation of the color of the tea leaves, although I don’t know if that’s what the ink makers were going for. What do you think? The color may just be a reference to the city’s natural scenery. The color is slightly darker and greener than the olive Penbbs ink No. 132 that I reviewed previously. This makes it more useful for daily writing. The color is certainly gentle on the eyes. This ink gives some shading on all papers with wider nibs. Its drying time is a little longer than No. 132, but it also feathers a little less. Bleed through was quite bad on Moleskine, but on other papers it was passable with wet nibs and non-existent with the Japanese fine nib. This ink is slightly water resistant as well. The darker green component remains to leave a barely legible line while the rest washes off. The interesting color and shading make this a nice ink, but as with ink No. 132, it feathers and bleeds too much for my taste. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance Mini-comparison (No. 157 is at the bottom) [My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. No. 157 mistakenly appears lighter than No. 132 on this image. ] SDG
  5. Cursive Child

    Straits Pens Honest Ink: Slowpoke Green

    Courtesy Mattematical. Thanks!
  6. Hi Everyone: I'm trying to solve a mystery regarding the inks Diamine Dark Olive and Diamine Salamander. Are these 2 actual different inks or is Salamander a new name for Dark Olive? When using the Anderson Pens ink tool, I was unable to find dark olive in the list but found Salamander there and am seeing both come up in Google searches. However, no one seems to be willing to acknowledge of both of these inks. Thanks! Sincerely, Howard
  7. akszugor

    De Atramentis - Sahara Grey

    http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-nazwa.png I present to test the ink De Atramentis Sahara Grey color olives mixed with old gold. I have to admit, it's quite an interesting color. But writing it refer strange feeling that my eyes lost written text that is noticeable after a few seconds. Very nice shading can be achieved with a nib "F". As an interesting note, the color is painted in different shades depending on the lighting. It is worth looking him up on a sunny day cloudy and ... in the light bulb. A multitude of colors may be surprised ... Manufacturer: De Atramentis Series, colour: Sahara Grey Pen: Waterman Hemisphere "F" Paper: Image Volume 80 g / cm2 A drop of ink smeared with a nib http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-kleks.jpg The ink smudged with a cotton pad http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-wacik.jpg Lines http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-kreski.jpg Water Resistance http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-woda.jpg Ink drops on a handkerchief http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-chromatografia1.jpg Sample text http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-txt.jpg Specifications: Flow rate: good Lubrication: good Bleed through: possible point Shading: noticeable Feathering: unnoticeable Saturation: good Ink drying time: ~ 5 sec. Other tests carried out: Sample text in an Oxford notebook http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-Oxford.jpg Sample letters in a Rhodia notebook http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-Rhodia.jpg Chromatography http://inks.pencyklopedia.pl/wp-content/uploads/De-Atramentis-Sahara-Grey-chromatografia2.jpg
  8. DanielCoffey

    Diamine Salamander

    INK : DIAMINE SALAMANDERPAPER : RHODIA #16 A5 white linedPEN : Onoto Magna 261 Medium nib tweaked for wet flow by John Sorowka (Oxonian).
Scanner : IT8-calibrated Epson V600 flatbed
Colour Space : Adobe RGB
Matte : 50% grey and 100% white
Post-process : Unsharp MaskColour Balance : Neutral http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/fountainpennetwork/ReviewSalamander.jpg

 DRYING TIME : Fairly long, particularly since I use a nib and feed adjusted for very wet flow. I found that 15s was about right for copy paper and a good 30-45s for Rhodia. This was from a well-cleaned pen with very high flow however. May not be suitable for left-handed over-writers. SATURATION : Salamander is a moderately saturated ink. It achieves its colour without excessive dye and is easy to clean. It does not smudge at all when dry. In natural light, there is good contrast on the paper and the ink is easy to read and relaxing on the eye. It would probably be work-safe unless you live under the rule of Blue or Black Only. BLEED THROUGH : I saw moderate bleed-through on Pukka 80gsm copy paper but only the odd pin-(bleep) on Rhodia. I suspect that a finer pen or one with more moderate flow would not have significant problems on marginal papers. If you want to use a fat, wet pen with this ink, make sure to use paper designed with fountain pens in mind. LUBRICATION : Diamine Salamander feels very smooth under the nib and starts very readily. I have had no problems with the pen drying out but then again the Onoto does not have a safety breather hole in the cap. Flow was high to very high but despite this the ink didn't feather at all even on copy paper. Line quality was excellent. It works well on very dry papers such as those with a Laid finish and might be worth checking out on off-white or cream papers such as G Lalo Vergé de France. Here is a close-up of the swab. 
http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/fountainpennetwork/ReviewSalamanderSwab.jpg Diamine Salamander is a nice olive greeny-brown with a touch of grey. It is similar to other colours such as Noodler's El Lawrence and Mont Blanc Racing Green. To the eye it has a little more green than in these scans but the scanner is freshly calibrated. Salamander looks at its best in natural daylight. And a close-up of the shading. http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/fountainpennetwork/ReviewSalamanderShade.jpg While there is some shading when used in a wet pen like this one, I feel that in a pen with more typical flow or a finer nib, the shading would not be very evident. There is no sign of sheen on any of the papers I used. The typical water tests... http://www.dcoffey.co.uk/images/fountainpennetwork/ReviewSalamanderWater.jpg As is typical of many Diamine inks, Salamander is not at all water resistant. There is a barely legibly residue, just enough to tell you what you have written if you look carefully. Almost all of the colour lifts readily, especially a yellow component which is visible on paper towels. The plus side to this is that it is very easy to clean and does not cling to the walls of a converter.
  9. truthpil

    Penbbs No. 132 Avg Ink Review

    Penbbs is a Chinese online fountain pen community similar to FPN. They not only talk about inks but also produce their own inks every year. Each series consists of ten to fifteen inks and 2017 marks the release of Penbbs’ fifteenth ink series. Due to Chinese postal restrictions, these inks are virtually impossible to obtain outside of China. However, within China they are extremely affordable (21 RMB or about US$3 per 60ml bottle) and can easily be purchased through the Chinese online shopping giant Taobao. This ink up for review is from Penbbs’ eleventh series. It is named after the group of American pilots who volunteered to help the Chinese Air Force fight the Japanese before the US officially entered World War II. The First AVG is popularly known as the "Flying Tigers” and Nathan Tardif pays homage to them in the artwork on the Noodler’s Ink Air Corps Blue Black bottles. You can read more about this group here. I’m a big fan of warm, brown-leaning sepias and all kinds of greens, but I never thought a color like this would catch my eye. Judging by the military-themed name, my guess is that the ink is supposed to be a military “olive drab” color. However, it’s quite light to my eyes so I like to think of it as “greepia”. This ink gives some shading on all papers with any nib. I really like the look and the quick drying time, but there are some problems with the ink’s behavior that keep me from buying a bottle. It bleeds through and feathers on anything other than expensive paper, severely limiting its use. It also has no water resistance whatsoever. All in all, I like this color and its nice shading, but its poor performance on regular paper makes it a no go for me. Pens used (in order): 1. Pilot 78G Fine 2. Lamy Safari Broad 3. Pilot Plumix Italic 4. Noodler’s Nib Creaper Flex 5. Hero 5028 1.9mm Stub Swab Paper Towel Drop 80gsm Rhodia 73gsm Chinese Tomoe River Wannabe (brand unknown) 70gms Deli Copy Paper Moleskine Water Resistance (Water drops and finger smear 30 minutes after writing) Mini-comparison (My apologies that I don’t have any inks close to this color to do an adequate comparison. The colors in this photo also don’t seem to be looking right on my monitor.) SDG
  10. I found a stash of old reviews that got misplaced during a house move, so this one's a bit old. Still a great ink though! http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/913/XQv830.jpg
  11. I’ve had these photos on my phone for almost 2 weeks now and was excited to finally upload them last night, but couldn't get them on the site . After some experimenting, I'm happy it just worked with photobucket, so here it goes! 

I wanted to do this comparison for two reasons. First, because green olives are a big guilty pleasure of mine (I ate around 20-30 of them while writing this review last night ) and second, (and more importantly) I read in a couple threads that people were asking how the Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green ink compared to other "olive-ish" greens. So, I thought I would add the samples I have to the wonderful comparisons that amberleadavis and dcroe05 already did! The inks tested are: Diamine Salamander, Stipula Verde Mushiato, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu, Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green, Rohrer and Klingner Alt-Goldgrun, and J. Herbin Vert Olive.

 The samples were done on Rhodia using a 1950s 146 and a Pilot Custom 74 B nib ground down to a smooth stub by Mike Masuyama.



 http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo1-2copy_zps78c4ed9d.jpg http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo1copy3_zpsf99fb482.jpg?t=1413835720 (group shot in indoor lighting) Closeups: (done in sunlight only - I find these photos truer to the color on paper) http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo3-1_zps3186c004.jpg?t=1413835721 http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo3-2_zpsdbc43397.jpg?t=1413835722 http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo5-1_zpsdb35c6a5.jpg?t=1413835722 http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo1-2_zps4dfa8c03.jpg http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo1copy2_zpsdcfc475b.jpg http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo4-1_zps2f6eade9.jpg?t=1413835721 Tokiwa-Matsu Sheen Closeup: (indoor lighting) http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo1-1_zpsa96f77fd.jpg Ink Swabs: http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo2copy_zps8039db56.jpg?t=1413838161 Ink on Paper Towel: http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f99/emrys1221/photo3_zps34c025f5.jpg?t=1413838161 Top Row: Diamine Salamander, Stipula Verde Mushiato, Sailor Tokiwa-Matsu Bottom Row: Montblanc Daniel Defoe Palm Green, Rohrer and Klingner Alt-Goldgrun, J. Herbin Vert Olive Salamander is probably my favorite shade of “olive” in this group, because its color is difficult to pin down. It’s not a green, brown or grey (and maybe not even an olive) but all three combined and the mix makes for a unique shade that is great for someone looking for a more exciting alternative to black that could be used in an office environment. My biggest complaint with this ink is that I wish that the flow and smoothness were both stronger. (But, I should note that I like very wet and smooth inks, so please do not let that discourage you from trying it.) On a side note, if you’ve tried a smooth wet ink that is very close in color to Salamander please let me know!

 The Defoe ended up being my second favorite shade of olive from the bunch (another amazing Limited Edition color from MB!), but I have yet to pick up a bottle. I am on the fence about whether I will get one or not, because, although, I love its color, as with most of my MB inks I wish it felt a little smoother under a flexi nib and given the heavier pressure I use while writing. (Though it felt smoother to me than Salamander.) 
Tokiwa-Matsu is by far the most interesting ink of the ones compared because of its spectacular reddish sheen. It's not my favorite shade of "olive", but it is my favorite ink to use out of the 6. I highly recommend it if you are looking for an ink with that special factor that makes you do a double-take every time you use it. Alt-Goldgrun is the closest in color to the Defoe. I loved the shade and shading when I first got a bottle, but I find myself using it less and less. After testing the Defoe, I much prefer it for note-taking since it is less yellow and a little darker.

 Verde Mushiato is an ink that I’m on the fence about, because I wish that, in my pens, it looked closer to some of the writing samples I’ve seen where it has more green mixed into the brown. Don’t get me wrong; the ink is a beautiful color, but I just don’t enjoy using it for a full page of notes, so my bottle doesn’t get much use. Performance wise, the ink has a different but pleasant, slightly powdery-soft feel under the nib which makes for a pretty smooth writing experience. 

Vert Olive is another nice shade but too light for me to use as a daily ink. Which is your favorite of the six?





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