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I just received my 9 super samples of the new Platinum Mix Free line. I thought you all might want to see the swabs. I haven’t played around with the inks yet, but I will definitely put up some reviews as soon as I have formed opinions of them.
- Smoke Black is a rather average black.
- Earth Brown is a reddish-brown. It is very similar to J. Herbin Cafe des Iles.
- Aurora Blue is one of my favorite. It is very similar to Diamine Sapphire Blue.
- Aqua Blue is a nice turquoise blue. It is very similar to J. Herbin Blue Prevenche.
- Leaf Green is also a nice green color. It reminds me a bit of J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage.
- Silky Purple is definitely my favorite color of all these, and it is nearly identical to J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen. It’s very bright and a very red purple.
- Cyclamen Pink is nearly identical to the long since discontinued Levenger Pinkly.
- Flame Red is nearly identical to Noodler’s Dragon’s Napalm.
- Sunny Yellow is a fantastically rich yellow.
Sample Kit retailers:
- ISellPens.com sells a sampler for $20. In their kit you get a 10ml sample of each 9 colors of Mix Free inks, 2 extra bottles, and 2 ink syringes. This is where I purchased my kit.
- GouletPens.com sells a sampler for $30. In their kit you get a 5ml sample of each of the 9 Platinum Mix-Free fountain pen ink colors in labeled plastic vials, a Goulet ink syringe set, and ten empty ink vials.
- PearTreePens.com sells a sampler for $29.95. In their kit you get one 5mL sample of each of the 9 specially designed colors, one Write-Fill Kit, an empty full-sized ink bottle (of their choice), and three empty sample bottles.
There are several places you can get full bottles of Platinum Mix Free inks. Individual bottles are around $20 each. Many places are selling full-sized sets of all 9 inks for $149.
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 It has been replaced by Rouge Opera.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.
- 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.
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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.
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.
- 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.
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).
- 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.
This ink is one of my absolute favorites from the R&K line. In terms of color, it sits between PR Burgundy Mist and Arabian Rose. It’s one of those dusky mauve sort of burgundy colors. In fact, I’d say it’s probably one of the closes interpretations of a wine stain that I have come across thus far. It’s not a super saturated ink, but it also isn’t watery.
Alt-Bordeaux is an all-around excellent ink with good behavior, excellent color, and a good price. I highly recommend it!
- Minimal to no feathering depending on the paper quality.
- No bleed through
- Very good flow and lubrication
- Dries pretty quickly
- Shade well
- Unfortunately, it is not waterproof.
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This sample was sent to me for review my Ryan at Pear Tree Pens. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.
The other week I received samples of several Rohrer & Klingner inks from Pear Tree Pens. I’ve been eying this brand for a while. I already have and quite enjoy a bottle of their Sepia ink.
In general, I am quite liking this brand. They have some great colors and the inks behave quite well. So far as saturation is concerned, I’d say they are about like J. Herbin or Diamine’s Old English line.
The Magenta is one of my favorites along with Scaboisa and Alt-Bordeaux (reviews forthcoming).
- Minimal to no feathering
- No bleed through
- Fast flowing and super smooth writing
- Average to slow drying times at 5 seconds on this card and 12 seconds on HP LaserJet 24# paper
- Unfortunately there is only minimal shading at best.
- Another draw back is that it isn’t even very water resistant, so if you are prone to spills this may not be the ink for you.
- Similar to Iroshizuku Yama-Budo, ND Saguaro Wine, PR Plum, and Diamine Amaranth.
I’d definitely consider getting a bottle of this once I run out of my other similar inks. I also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to fans of the magenta color range.
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This sample was sent to me for review by Ryan at PTP. I am not otherwise affiliated with them.
I’m not a big fan of pinks. I only have one other pink in my possession and that is Levenger Pinkly. So, I can’t offer an alternative for this particular Iroshizuku ink. My apologies.
I figured folks would still like to see a review of it, so here it is.
This is quite a bright pink. There is some sort of slight undertone to it, but I can’t decide if it’s blue or purple. I could see using this for grading or editing papers. Suffice it to say I could not imagine reading a page of something written with Tsutsuji. But, if you are a big fan of bright/hot pinks, this may just be the ink for you.
- Overall very well behaved.
- No feathering or bleeding
- Excellent flow and lubrication
- Fairly quick drying time at 4-5 seconds.
- Very minimal shading.
- Slight water resistance, but not very good at all (see sheet).
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This is the first installment in my Iroshizuku segment. Before I begin let me add a disclaimer: The goal of these reviews is to find inks that are similar in color and behavior to the Iroshizuku line but at a lower price point. This should not be construed as an attempt to find exact replicas. That is not possible. The Iroshizuku inks succeed at being unique. The only way you can get an exact match is to save up for the Iroshizuku. Whether or not these suggestions work for you is entirely up to you.
Yama Budo is one of my favorite Iroshizuku inks. It is a deep rich sort of mauve color. It is very reminiscent of grapes and wine. As with all the Iroshizuku Inks it is very well-behaved. The only problem for me is the price. Of the inks I have tried, Noodler’s Saguaro Wine comes the closest to being a substitute for Yama Budo. It is almost the exact color except that SW is a bit brighter and pinker than YB which is matte-er and redder than SW. As you can see from the scanned reviews, depending on the pen these two inks can be largely indistinguishable.
Here is a quick comparison card. Swabs have a way of highlighting the differences between similar inks, but those differences diminish when you run the inks through fountain pens.
Saguaro Wine is
- Pinker and brighter (try mixing in a little red to get the color closer to YB)
- Higher saturated
- Slower drying (you can fix this by adding a little water to SW)
- Smears on Rhodia paper (you can fix this by adding a little water to SW)
Reviews for each (click to enlarge the pictures):
All images were scanned in at 600dpi and then compressed. All images were adjusted in the exact same fashion.
Other suggestions for substitutes (from FPN):
- Private Reserve Plum
- J. Herbin Rose Cyclamen
- Diamine Claret
- Rohrer & Klingner Magenta
- Caran d’Ache Storm
If you have a moment please leave some feedback. Do you like this set up? Is there some other information you want me to include? Do you know of another substitute?
Thanks for looking. No Affil.
This is a recent favorite of mine. I think of it as the darker, thicker, better behave sister to PR Arabian Rose.
- I’d describe this color as a deep dark burgundy color. It leans a bit purple.
- No feathering or bleeding
- Excellent flow. The lub is decent, but can feel a bit dry in a dry writer.
- Excellent shading for an ink this dark.
- Not waterproof, but some small measure of resistance.
Ok I am in love with this color! It is a great pinkly mauve. It is bright and saturated though subdued. It reminds me of a more conservative version of Noodler’s Saguaro Wine.
Bleed through depends on how wet your pen writes and what kind of paper you are using.
Flows readily and offer good lubrication
The drying time is slow. It took nearly 20 seconds for the ink to dry. Lefties be forewarned.
Shading can be very good, but as usually, it will shade better on some than on others.
It is water resistant. I ran it under the tap for about 5 minutes and rubbed across the writing and it was still completely legible. I also dropped water on it, and the ink would spread but remain legible. So as long as the ink has had time to dry you should be able to make it through an accident.