Posts Tagged ‘fountain pen ink’

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Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet Review

12/06/2014

Last year Caran d’Ache retired their much-loved line of inks in favor of a redesigned bottle and more saturated colors. Elaine at Jet Pens sent Ultra Violet for my first look at the current offering.

The current bottle design and packaging deserve a few remarks. The cap is overly heavy and unwieldy for me. The box top slips off with no way to secure it. Every time I pick it up, the bottom containing the bottle detaches. Luckily the bottle only fell a few inches onto my desk the first time it happened. Otherwise, it would have been a disaster. The slanted bottle and opening made it a little awkward to orient the nib in the ink.  While it may be attractive, the packaging is annoying if not impractical.

How does the ink fare? The purple has a slightly red bias and is highly saturated with no subtlety. The color looks slightly different on Rhodia than on Staples Sugarcane paper with the red component stronger on the latter. This doesn’t affect performance, but it is worthy of mention.

Depending on pen flow, some shading is possible though the Platinum #3776 Century SF used for the writing sample shades with most inks. As a Noodler’s and Diamine fan, I like saturated colors, but miss the more delicate shades that some companies have tossed aside. The discontinued CdA Storm was more to my liking. (Let me know if you have a bottle to sell, trade or know where one can be purchased.)

The ink seems a bit more thick than some brands though I have noticed no difference in pen performance. That  characteristic might contribute to its excellent coverage when used with a firm nib. Ultra Violet would be well suited to my Sailor Sapporo F or a Lamy EF. The degree of lubrication should be a treat with either nib.

So here’s what we have:

  • Purple with a slightly red bias
  • Highly saturated
  • Excellent coverage
  • Sightly more thick than some inks
  • Somewhat lubricating
  • Packaging and bottle are disappointing

Want a saturated purple ink? Caran d’Ache Ultra Violet might be the one for you. Just be careful with the packaging so the ink goes in your pen and not somewhere else. Well, unless you are fond of purple splotches where they don’t belong.

Much thanks to Jet Pens for providing this product. More purple ink reviews on the way soon.

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Is One Of These In Your Future?

11/24/2014

Jet Pens sent three purple inks for review. That will take some time to complete, but for now, enjoy the swatches made to find pens compatible with the ink colors and characteristics. Will any of them make it to your holiday wish list?

  • Pelikan 4001 Violet
  • Caran d’Ache Chromatics Ultra Violet
  • Diamine Bilberry

On a Rhodia Ice pad of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sailor Nioi-sumire Update

11/08/2014

Yesterday was pen cleaning day. Of the dozen tackled, only two required overnight soaking and one still isn’t clean. The stubborn ink? Sailor Nioi-sumire.

The color and performance are good so my review still stands. However, it is a bear to clean. Just ask my Lamy Safari and Sheaffer Taranis. This isn’t a reason to forgo the ink, but it is a warning to plan ahead when choosing a pen for it. Make it one that is easy to clean and expect to soak the nib since it will probably be necessary.

And this is important. Do not let this ink dry out in your pen unless you have oodles of time to rinse it out. Keep the ink flowing and cleaning should be much easier.

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Noodler’s General Of The Armies Ink

10/18/2014

Noodler’s Ink has a new release with a split personality. General of the Armies is dark green when wet, but blue when dry. If your pen has an inkvue window or it is a demonstrator, this ink will confuse your senses. For an audience, it looks like a magic trick so make the most of it. Thank the ink wizard, Nathan Tardif, for the admiration you will receive.

As for other inky qualities, it is well-behaved on a variety of papers. No shading with the Noodler’s Dixie #10 Methuselah Ebonite on absorbent paper, but it did shade nicely on Rhodia.  No feathering, show-through or bleed-through on any paper except to a mild degree on Moleskine. The color is green-blue when dry and not highly saturated. Like many inks from Noodler’s, it does not budge when smeared with water. Frankly, what more could you ask from an ink?

Thank you, Carol, for the ink and pen. Luxury Brands U.S.A. has been a good and supportive friend to this blog. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Graf Von Faber Castell Ink

10/10/2014

Recently, Bert Oser of Bertram’s Inkwell sent samples of Graf Von Faber Castell ink. Unlike many lines, this one is almost thematic with its mellow colors.

The tubes containing the ink are too narrow for my pipettes and test pens so swatches made with swabs will have to do. The colors might be a tad too blue. However, any deviation is miniscule.

Garnet Red is somewhere between the discontinued Mont Blanc Bordeaux and Noodler’s Tiananmen. Hazelnut Brown is similar to Diamine Dark Brown and Moss Green resembles Diamine Woodland Green. Stone Grey is a match for the discontinued Sailor Grey and Cobalt Blue is close to Diamine WES Imperial Blue. Carbon Black looks like J. Herbin Perle Noire though slightly more saturated.

Eventually, Stone Grey and Garnet Red will become replacements for Sailor Grey and Mont Blanc Bordeaux in my collection. Nice to tick that off my To Do List.

What makes this ink line different is the harmonious selection. The lack of purple and orange leaves a hole in the range, but the six offered colors comprise a most useful palette. For many fountain pen fans, this group is all that would be needed to make a complete ink wardrobe.

According to Bertram’s, these are the key points about Graf Von Faber Castell inks:

  1. Permanent for documents
  2. Large size 75ml
  3. Not visible on the back of standard paper
  4. Non-correctable; not removable without traces
  5. UV-resistance: Color still readable after exposure to Ultraviolet light
  6. Fast drying on standard paper
  7. Resistant to certain chemicals and solvents
  8. Water resistant; writing lines still visible after exposure to water.
  9. 6 amazing colors
  10. 2 Light Fast colors Garnet Red and Hazelnut Brown

Retail is $30, but the bottle is attractive and substantial. No accidental tipping over for this design.

Consider Graf Von Faber Castell a premium ink with a commensurate price. For the permanence and resistance to chemicals and solvents as well as the color range, this looks like an excellent ink for business and academic use or anything else for that matter.

Thank you, Bert, for giving me the opportunity to play with these inks. Now I know where to go when I’m ready to purchase a bottle or maybe that will be two. I keep glancing at the grey swatch and thinking it would be just the thing for a certain rhodium trimmed demonstrator that is watching me from its box. Kismet?

My water test of Graf Von Faber Castell ink.

 

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There Is A Storm On The Way From J. Herbin

07/30/2014

Email announcement:

Sunny Huang from Exaclair, Inc. will be attending the D.C. Fountain Pen Supershow this year showing off new products including an exclusive look at the new “1670” fountain pen ink, “Stormy Grey”.

The show is August 8th – 10th at the Sheraton Premiere in Tysons Corner for you lucky folks who live in the D.C area. That’s on the other side of the country, so I will wait impatiently for what could be a tasteful match for my Rhodia Ice pad.
How about you? Are you ready for a new “1670” ink?
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A Few More Remarks On Noodler’s Australian Roses

07/30/2014

There is one characteristic of Noodler’s Black Swan In Australian Roses (new version) that bears mentioning. Though it is very pleasant to use on Clairefontaine paper, it takes FOREVER to dry. Writing with a 1.1 mm calligraphy nib brought new meaning to the concept of patience – on the order of “you could go gray in the interim” kind of patience. On a cheap envelope, drying time was fast. On Staples 5 x 8″ writing pad with paper from Egypt, it took 15 – 20 seconds to dry with a few faint dots of color taking longer. Paper really matters with this ink.

A fine or extra-fine nib or a pen with less than average flow might be more manageable. As a chunky nib user, BSAR will get limited time in my italic nibs even if it does look amazing in a thick, luscious line.

Adding a small amount of water to the BSAR might improve drying time. Experiment by adding a drop or two of distilled water to the filler and then sucking up ink from the bottle or top-off a fill with a little water. Gently agitate the bottle to insure there is adequate pigment in the fill. The color should remain true with a 10% – 20% dilution. Shading might be more evident, but performance should not be noticeably affected. Noodler’s Inks are particularly good with such treatment. Limiting experiments to just one fill at a time will be a good test of the results without risking much ink. It isn’t very different from leaving water in the feed between changes of ink.

All things considered, strongly saturated inks are at risk for being slow to dry whether from Noodler’s or any other maker. But when you are smitten by the color, it’s worth the effort to match ink, pen, and paper for best results.

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