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Ink Micrography (A Diferent Aproach To Photography)


gwet432

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Hey all!

 

So... I received a microscope as a present about a week ago, and today I thought I'd take a look at some inks. I had some Pelikan Brilliant-Red and some Rotring red technical drawing (pigment) ink on hand, so I made a couple of smears and this is what came out:

31697740505_3b39118ea1_h.jpg

 

This is the Pelikan at 100X:

31551427912_8c0c6f7c8d_h.jpg

 

The Rotring at 100x and 400x respectively:

31582240421_d55a90b461_h.jpg

 

31582240801_44b5deaf6c_h.jpg

You can clearly see the small pigment particles that can clog up a pens feed. The dots on the Pelican slide on the other hand are little crystals that formed as the ink dried (I don't have photos of it while still wet, but it was clear). The pictures are not perfect, I still need an adapter to mount a camera directly. These were made with my phone through the eyepiece (the focus isn't great, as I focused by eye first, and the phone camera lens also induced some distortions).

Another thing to note is the smooth, continuous edge on the Rotring ink, whereas the Pelikan has a rough, incontinuous one. This is due to the Rotring ink having a higher surface tension (i.e. it's a dryer ink than the Pelikan).

 

P.S.: tell me if you want to see more pen related microscopic images (like nibs, paper, etc.) and i'll try to do some more.

Edited by Rhodocene
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Thank you very much, Rhodocene.

 

This is a very interesting initiative, and it gives as another reading of an ink, which complets well chromotography, ink splashs, writing samples, and all.

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Fun project!

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You could for example compare a wet and a dry fountain pen ink. :)

 

Here you go, Pelikan Royal Blue (dry, higher surface tension) vs. Parker Quink (wet, lower surface tension):

31580389822_3dc8106013_h.jpg

30917476643_522c5c6ca0_h.jpg

Edited by Rhodocene
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I'm always a sucker for close-ups of nibs. I'd be interested in seeing the upper surface of a nib that has nib creep and one that doesn't. I've heard that nib creep results from microscopic scratches that encourage ink flow by capillary action away from the slit. Let's see if that's true!

 

I'd also be interested in seeing a before-and-after picture of a nib tip meeting some micromesh.

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Here you go, Pelikan Royal Blue (dry, higher surface tension) vs. Parker Quink (wet, lower surface tension)

Nice! They look like planets. Thanks!

I have a nice microscope somewhere. Unfortunately it needs a computer program which was installed on my old, now dead computer. I am pretty sure it was on a CD and I couldn't have thrown it away, but I can't locate it. Maybe I'll find it one day.

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I'm always a sucker for close-ups of nibs. I'd be interested in seeing the upper surface of a nib that has nib creep and one that doesn't. I've heard that nib creep results from microscopic scratches that encourage ink flow by capillary action away from the slit. Let's see if that's true!

 

I'd also be interested in seeing a before-and-after picture of a nib tip meeting some micromesh.

 

Here's a Pilot Metropolitan M (with heavy creep), Picasso M (some creep), Faber-Castell Basic Carbon Fibre F (no creep visible to the naked eye). All are at 40x:

 

30905897374_a31d9590f0_h.jpg

 

30937967973_e70d588c8f_h.jpg

 

30905897524_e521a74c23_h.jpg

 

It looks like it's more dependent on the vacuum formed by removing the cap that draws out the ink (the Pilot has a very strong seal) than any microscopic scratches (although you can see the ink being drawn into the engraving on the Picasso's nib and seeping into the scratches from there, whereas on the Faber, there's a fairly large scratch that has literally no ink in it).

I don't have any micromesh at the moment, but will check back once I do.

Edited by Rhodocene
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Really cool, the example of the Pelikan and Parker inks explains dry-wet, surface tension better than most posts here or textbooks can.

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