Tag Archives: ink reviews

Diamine Evergreen

27 Jul

Diamine Evergreen is one of those colors that many hoped would replace the now discontinued Montblanc Racing Green. Alas, this isn’t it. While this is a nice dark green it lacks the olive tones and antique appearance of Montblanc Racing Green. Really, I’d say this is a more obviously green version of Noodler’s Zhivago. Nevertheless, if you are a fan of Racing Green, then this color will probably appeal.

Honestly, I’m not much of a green ink sort of person, but even I’m kind of fond of this ink (but not fond enough of it to use it on any regular basis).

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • Flows very freely and has decent lubrication. Not a dry writer at all.
  • Dries pretty quickly on the papers tested.
  • Not much shading at all. It’s a bit too saturated/dense for that.
  • Definitely not waterproof and really not very water resistant. If you are quick you can salvage a faint trace of your writing.

(Click to enlarge and sharpen the image. Scan appear slightly more yellow than in reality.)

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine Ink Co. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Noodler’s Baystate Blue

25 Jul

Few inks inspire the kind of intense emotion that this ink does. You either love it or hate it, and each camp is very vocal about its opinion. FPN has recently attempted to curtail discussions of this ink because of the kind of vitriol that it inspires. Kinda crazy, huh?

These intense emotions all come from stories (some true and some not) that BSB (as it is called) destroys pens. This, in my opinion, is silly. Basically, there was a run of Lamy feeds that were made from a ‘defective’ plastic. That plastic became very brittle/melted when it came into contact with BSB and some other inks. That material has since been replaced, but the legend lives on. Every once in a while someone will get a hold to a new old stock Lamy Safari and resurrect the whole business.

BSB is a high maintenance ink to be sure. IT DOES NOT LIKE OTHER INKS. Even trace amount of other inks can cause it to turn into goo/throw off percipients that, once dried, can severely clog a pen. So, if you are going to use this ink, your pen should either be unused or 100% cleaned of all other inks.

For more info on how to safely use BSB, and tips for dealing with some of its quirks click here.

OK, honestly, I had no intention of trying this ink. It’s not necessarily a color I’d use often, and I didn’t really have a good pen to use it in. Well, when a sample of it came in one of my Ink Drop packages, I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about.

It’s a nice blue violet sort of ink*. Its main draw is its intense vibrancy*. Honestly, it is too bright for me. In fact, it is so bright that it gives me a headache. Still, some folks absolutely swear by it and use it for everything. It’s a nice ink, it’s just not for me.

I didn’t have any clogging issues. There was some staining to the feed and the barrel, but it came right off with a little diluted bleach and soapy water. The Dollar pen was no worse for wear. (I am not recommending that you bleach your pens. I have no idea how your pens will react. Bleach your pens at your own risk!)

The Details:

  • It feathers and bleeds a bit depending on the paper
  • Great flow and lubrication
  • Fast drying time
  • Some good shading depending on the pen/paper combo
  • Waterproof

It is hard to capture the neon quality of this ink. I’ve done my best. (Click to sharpen and enlarge the images)


* I’ve noticed that overtime my writing samples are changing color to a rather average (and not neon) medium dark blue.

No Affil.

J. Herbin Café des Iles

22 Jul

This is the last review in the FPN member Alecgold review series.

While I really love J. Herbin inks, I really dislike this one. It is one of the weakest/lowest saturated inks I’ve used from them. I’d describe this color has a brown with reddish undertones.

I prefer much bolder colors than this. Still, it has all the wonderful characteristics of a JH ink. So long as you don’t mind low color pay off, you might quite like this ink.

The Details:

  • Little to no feathering
  • No bleeding
  • Good flow and Lubrication
  • Fast to average drying time
  • Very good shading with the right pen/paper combo
  • Not waterproof and very little water resistance

(click to enlarge and sharpen these images)

Alec Review 6/6. No affil.


Pelikan 4001 Brilliant Red

21 Jul

This is the 5th of six reviews I’m doing for FPN member Alecgold.

Up today is Pelikan Brilliant Red. I really haven’t the slightest idea why they would call this color “red”. It’s a pink-orange not unlike Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm, Diamine Vermillion, or Diamine Coral. I will say that the “brilliant” portion of the name is quite fitting. This ink definitely jumps off the page at you. As such, it would make a great editing ink, but honestly, I’d rather have Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm. It is bolder and brighter still.

The Details

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • Good flow, Average lubrication
  • Average drying time
  • Good shading
  • Disappears at the mere thought of water.

This color is near impossible to get right. The scans were completely useless, so I went for a photo instead. The photos are better, but they’re still not great. I did the best I could.

(click to enlarge and sharpen the images)


Alec review 5/6. No affil.

J. Herbin Rouge Caroubier

18 Jul

This is the 4th of six reviews I’m doing for FPN member Alecgold.

Up today is JH Rouge Caroubier. I don’t really have much to say about this one. It is just red. If you are in the market for a standard “true” red with is extremely well behave (although not water-resistant), then this is your ink.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleed through
  • Excellent flow and lubrication
  • Fast drying time
  • Good shading
  • Not even remotely water resistant.

(click to enlarge and sharpen the images. They look a little more pink than in reality.)

Alec review 4/6. No affil.

J. Herbin Rouge Fuchsia/Rouge Opera

15 Jul

These are reviews 2&3 of 6 for FPN member Alecgold.

J. Herbin Rouge Fuschia is a discontinued J. Herbin ink. It has been replaced by Rouge Opera. The two inks are nearly identical.

Both colors can be described as a dusky red rose sort of color. Rouge Opera seems a tinge more saturated and a little more lubricating than Rouge Fuchsia, but not by much. Honestly, with the bottle of Rouge Fuschia being so old these differences might just be a function of age. I’m unsure.

These colors are well-behaved as one would expect from a J. Herbin ink.

The Details:

  • Neither feather nor bleed
  • Flow and lubrication of Opera is a bit better than that of Fuchsia, but they are both good.
  • Both are fast drying
  • Fuchsia shades a bit better than Opera, but they are both good shaders
  • Neither ink is water proof or even really water resistant.

(click to enlarge and sharpen images)

Sorry for all the “fuchsia” spelling errors. That word has always tripped me up. You can see the spelling fluctuate in the scans. I’ll be more careful next time. *embarrassed*

All in all I think Rouge Opera is the better of the two inks. In my opinion there is no need to go in search of the discontinued Rouge Fuchsia.

Alec reviews 2&3 of 6. No affil.

Diamine Syrah

22 Jun

In my review of Parker Penman Ruby I mentioned that I thought its closest current production ink was Diamine Syrah. Now, I thought I had already posted my review of this ink, but apparently I did not. Well, better late than never! Here it is.

Diamine Syrah has got to be one of my absolute favorite Diamine inks. This ink is apparently based on Richard Binder’s “Binder Burgundy”. I don’t know if Syrah is a true representation of that ink, but either way it is truly fantastic. I’d describe this ink as an exceptionally gorgeous “glass of burgundy wine” sort of color. It is very close to the color of Parker Penman Ruby. Syrah is just a bit deeper, and it doesn’t shade as well as Penman Ruby.

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • Very good flow, but it could be a bit more lubricating
  • Average drying time of about 7 seconds
  • Shading is pretty good
  • Not waterproof, but it shows some water resistance.

(Click to enlarge and sharpen)

This ink was sent to me for review by the good folks at Diamine Ink. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.

Parker Penman Ruby

20 Jun

This is the first of six reviews I’m doing thanks to FPN member “Alecgold.” In December of last year, he decided to give away the majority of his fountain pen ink collection to people willing to review them on FPN. I offered, he accepted, and he sent me 6 bottles of ink. I got the box in February 2011, but I was unable to do the reviews until now, so here we go.

The Parker Penman line of inks has long since been discontinued. It was one of the first ink lines to develop and distribute highly saturated inks. There were, unfortunately, a few issues with the inks. When they were allowed to dry in a pen they created nasty clogs and strained everything. Apparently, the water component of the inks was more apt to evaporate leaving behind the concentrated dyes. Enough pens were clogged/stained that Parker decided to discontinue the line rather than continue to pay for the repairs or reformulate the inks. As the years have gone by, the Penman inks have become the stuff of legends. They are highly coveted and, although they do come on the market from time to time, they are very pricey. This is especially true for the most sought after Penman ink, Sapphire.

When Alec offered to send me a Penman ink I was enthralled. I’d always wanted to try the ink, but I was never able to get a bottle. This was not for want of trying. I was just always a day late and a dollar short so to speak. As a matter of fact, I’d still very much like to try some of the other Penman inks (especially Emerald and Sapphire). Hopefully I can someday.

The color of Penman Ruby is only marginally similar to that of the gem. It comes off as a burgundy color more than anything else. It is very appealing to my eye. If you are wanting a current production ink that is similar to Penman Ruby, the closest I’ve seen is Diamine Syrah (another excellent ink).

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • Very good flow and excellent lubrication in this Safari (but some complain that the inks are a bit dry)
  • Drying time is slowish at about 10-15 seconds
  • The shading is PHENOMENAL! Apart of the color, this is the most appealing characteristic is of the ink for me.
  • Unfortunately, it is not water-resistant.
  • Although this ink is highly saturated, it is no more so than some of our current production ink lines like Private Reserve and Noodler’s Ink.

As always, I adjust my scans on a calibrated monitor. The scans are true to the color of the ink when viewed in natural light. (click to enlarge and sharpen)

Alec review 1/6. No Affil.

Diamine Oxblood

17 Dec

Earlier this week I reviewed Diamine Red Dragon. Today’s ink, Diamine Oxblood, is cut from the same clothe so to speak. As a matter of fact, if someone told me that Red Dragon was stumbled upon while trying to manufacture Oxblood I’d believe it. The differences, however, are obvious. Oxblood is much darker, and has a bit more brown in it. It definitely has the look of blood.

The ink itself is exceptionally well-behaved. Further, although I’m not one to use red ink for everyday tasks, this ink would be perfect in that role. It is a very subdued color, and it’s very easy on the eyes. I like it!

The Details:

  • No feathering or bleeding
  • excellent flow and lubrication
  • Average drying time
  • Minimal to no shading
  • Not waterproof, and only minimally water-resistant.

(click to enlarge and sharpen the image)

This bottle of ink was sent to me for review by Diamine. I’m not otherwise affiliated with them.

Diamine Red Dragon

15 Dec

This is one of the more recent additions to the Diamine line up. It’s also one that was proved to be quite popular. Red Dragon is a dark red color, but it’s not at all brown. It’s actual very similar to another recent Diamine release–Diamine Oxblood–, but Red Dragon is lighter and redder. Red Dragon also seems rather similar to Diamine Monaco Red, but it does not appear as brick red / red-brown.

All in all, I quite like this red. It’s vibrant, but not cloyingly so. It’s pretty well-behaved. This would make a great red for editing or for use in the workplace. I definitely recommend it.

The Details:

  • No feathering except for poorer quality papers, but even then it isn’t significant.
  • No bleed through.
  • Excellent flow and decent lubrication.
  • Drying times are average
  • There is some shading, but it isn’t extraordinary.
  • Unfortunately, no water resistance.

(Click to enlarge and sharpen the image)

This bottle of ink was sent to me for review by Diamine. I’m not otherwise affiliated with them.

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