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Diamine Inks - Too Concentrated?


epx
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I have bought dozens of Diamine ink bottles - I find that less than 3 pounds per 30ml bottle is a steal for such a quality ink. Bought a number of 150th Anniversary inks, too.

 

One thing I found about them is, they seem to come too saturated/concentrated, almost black. They look different from the swabs, either the (horrible) pictures of the Diamine site or the (great) pictures of Goulet.

 

I have also bought samples and bottles from Goulet as well, but these ones seemed to have the right dillution - the color was more or less the expected.

 

Save for the brighter colors, I add around 10% water in every Diamine bottle, and then the color gets "there".

 

Has anyone experienced something like that?

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Some inks are more saturated than others, and that's the case for every manufacturer. I wouldn't say that makes them look almost black though.

 

If adding some more water to your inks makes them better for you, then that's perfectly fine. :)

 

One thing is for sure: those sold by Goulets are exactly the same inks as those sold by any other retailer. Goulet's don't dilute their inks in any way. :o

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I haven't noticed this phenomenon either. I've gotten both 80 ml bottles and sample vials directly from Diamine and they were all true to color.

I personally do not trust swabs when it comes to choosing colors because swabs show you what painters call mass tone, and that's always different than what you see when the color is laid down as a thin line against white. Line color will have a tendency to look darker. I'm curious as to which colors in particular you see as tending to black and needing dilution. Would those be deep blues and blue blacks? Or are there other?

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I haven't noticed this phenomenon either. I've gotten both 80 ml bottles and sample vials directly from Diamine and they were all true to color.

I personally do not trust swabs when it comes to choosing colors because swabs show you what painters call mass tone, and that's always different than what you see when the color is laid down as a thin line against white. Line color will have a tendency to look darker. I'm curious as to which colors in particular you see as tending to black and needing dilution. Would those be deep blues and blue blacks? Or are there other?

 

I'm betting the Diamine inks that can look black after a while in a pen are the saturated blues like Majestic, Denim, Sargasso Sea, Tchaikovsky, Prussian, Midnight etc. They go darker in my pens too. That's the time to add water, but only to the converter and not the bottle.

 

Plastic converters/cartridges can start to allow water in the ink to evaporate after a couple of weeks or so, and this seems to be particularly noticeable with very saturated blue inks. Those inks that have a heavy dye load to start with will seem to darken quicker.

 

My converters/cartridges of Parker Penman Sapphire exhibit exactly the same behaviour.

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...One thing I found about them is, they seem to come too saturated/concentrated, almost black. ...

wow

 

not my experience at all

 

How about after writing with the pen for a few days? Is this your experience immediately after filling? (maybe the nib/feed is overloaded with ink).

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I never trust the swabs because they look so very inaccurate to me. Instead, I'll search around the net for actual photos of handwriting in that colour.

Anything that has been scanned appears to send the colour accuracy into hyperspace.

 

I think I must have had at one time nearly every single Diamine colour, but I've not noticed many being much darker than they should.

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Diamine used to split their inks into two groups - Old English, which was for for inks that were watery and had high-shading qualities, and New Century, for all the saturated and less shading colours.

 

As time went on, the two groups seemed to get rather muddled, and it probably added an extra layer of complexity to manufacture, and eventually Diamine abandoned the idea. It would still be interesting to find and post a list of which inks were which.

 

John

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I end up distrusting swabs. I marked some of my own bottles of ink with swabs on the cap to quickly identify them. Not worked at all, most of the swabs had a huge tendency to gray. And I know this inks have their colours there, I used them.

 

Sidenote: Hey there EPX! He is responsible for me entering this rabbit hole of pens and inks.

Edited by sdbruder
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Colors you see online are not likely representative of hue. Televisions and computer monitors are very bad at displaying saturated colors.

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Personally I don't have this issue with Diamine - I've ordered different colours from them and they always seem to come out the colour I expect.

'Someone shoot me please.'


~the delectable Louisa Durrell~

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Colors you see online are not likely representative of hue. Televisions and computer monitors are very bad at displaying saturated colors.

I find that Apple products represent color well, but then again I can't trust how the colors were acquired. Then there is the batch to batch variability that comes into play. Nothing beats having a sample of ink on hand to see with your own eyes, with your own pen, paper, and lighting conditions. I suppose that despite so many reviews, the ink sample business is booming.

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I find that Apple products represent color well

They have always pushed the envelope that way, yes. Their latest phone includes cinema-quality cameras and colors.
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If specific inks are coming out darker than expected from what is seen by others who have written with the ink, it is possible that either the pen you are using is very wet and the excess ink is saturating the line, or the nib size is small enough that it concentrates the color to the line, reducing the ability to shade, or spread.

 

I will join others in saying I have not experienced this with Diamine inks with regular use, only if the ink has evaporated from prolonged disuse, or put down excess ink from a very wet nib.

 

It would be good to know what pens/nibs, and specific Diamine inks you have used to understand the issue better.

Edited by JakobS

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If you have Meadow, Autumn Oak, Sepia, Saddle Brown, Monaco Red, Indigo, Beau blue, Aqua Blue, Grey, China Blue, Misty Blue, Umber, you won't be complaining. As a matter of fact, I complain about under-saturation.

 

There are actually not many saturated Diamines around, a few off my head, Sargasso Sea, Chocolate brown, Oxblood, Red Dragon, Bilberry, (Damson), Green black.

 

With Diamines and Iroshizuku, I always think my dealer diluted the inks somehow until I changed vendors and realised they are the same, so it must be Diamine. Some people like the dramatic shading but I don't and I find it irritating to read and write. I can always add the water myself, just give me ink.

 

And I never trust ink swabs: they are always disappointing because not many pens write THAT saturated.

 

What pen(s)/papers do you use?

Edited by minddance
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  • 3 years later...

I don't have any problem with diamine. Any ink shows it difference in saturation or shading according to the pen / nib size and the paper. I like saturated ink. if you use dip pens their writing quality is different in shades and hair lines. Many inks are like that and diamine is cheaper and a best quality options for variety of colours.

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Minddance - Diamine actually did separate their ink into two lines exactly as you suggest, 'Old English' and 'New Century' - the former generally  meant watercolour-y shading sort of  inks, while the latter was more saturated. However, the difference between the two lines was not always that clear cut, and eventually  was abandoned. Printing two sorts of label (gold and silver) probably did not help. I can't remember the actual date (2005 ish?) Although no one remarked much on it at the time, I thought it was quite useful. 

 

John

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The more I read about inks the more confused I get!  Have read in some places that Noodlers and Private Reserve will destroy some pens, stay away from pigment based inks, etc.  Are the two Diamine lines potentially dangerous to some pens? 

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2 hours ago, DiveDr said:

The more I read about inks the more confused I get!  Have read in some places that Noodlers and Private Reserve will destroy some pens, stay away from pigment based inks, etc.  Are the two Diamine lines potentially dangerous to some pens? 

Everyone has their thoughts about certain inks, . I have used Diamine inks exclusively for over 10 years and I have never had any reason to question them - either for vintage or modern pens. At last count, I have over 90 bottles of various colors. I am by no means an ink expert, so my opinion may be completely useless. I have had a few that I wouldn’t buy again because I don’t like it for one reason or another - staining, dry writing, whatever….but these have never impacted my overall good thoughts about the brand.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The only Diamine ink (from very many) that has turned up and proved essentially the wrong colour because it was too saturated was Twilight. The ink I received was simply black. I chose not to contact Diamine to ask for another, though I've read they've replaced bottles that had similar issues.

 

I'm a fan of Diamine inks- I think they're very good as well as being cheap. I know a few misbehave a little- nib creep or flow problems/skipping on coated paper- but there's a lot to like those same inks for. Most inks have a learning curve, when you work out which pens and papers they suit, and what quirks they have.

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