Posts Tagged ‘levenger true writer’

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A Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Ink Review

11/26/2013

Recently, Jet Pens offered the opportunity to review Rohrer & Klingner Cassia. Several R&K inks make it into my rotation on a regular basis, but not even so much as a sample of Cassia has landed on my desk before now. Would it be as memorable as its better-known siblings Alt-Goldgrun and Verdigris?

At the price point and volume of $12.50 for 50ml, R&K is good value on the ink market. The quality and color range make it an Inkophile favorite. Solferino gets the pink slot and Morinda the red in my rotation more often than other inks. Neither has met a pen it didn’t like and that makes them especially easy to use.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia and Waterman Purple

Then there is Cassia. It is vaguely violet under artificial light, but decidedly purple in sunlight. Waterman Purple is quite similar but doesn’t shade as well. It is not a muted color, but neither does it demand attention. This is an all-purpose purple should you only allow one or two in your collection.

Flow is good, but not lubricated enough to glide like some of the Iroshizuku inks. Paper texture communicates through the nib which is a normal part of the fountain pen experience. In my test, pens with copious flow produced feathering or at least uneven outlines. It won’t tame that beast, but will prove a good match for an average to slightly free-flowing pen.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Writing Sample

Mild shading and outlining with the Namiki Falcon were unexpected treats. Cassia reduced the flow of the Pilot Elite Pocket Pen to a neat fine line, and produced bold color with the Levenger True Writer medium nib. The stronger the flow, the more violet the color.

There was some show-through on Rhodia with a couple of minor dots of bleed-through from more free-flowing nibs. There were no issues on Apica 6A10 journal paper. Performance on Moleskine Volant paper was typical with feathering, irregular outlines and bleed-through. Look elsewhere if Moleskine is your vice.

I like it best with the True Writer medium nib, but then I am fond of a wider nib. The color is useful and attractive for sketching when black or brown would be too sedate. It may seem quirky, but for sketching I do prefer inks that let the paper texture participate rather than inks that make nibs skate over the surface. Cassia does not tend to glide so it works well at providing a tiny bit of feedback.

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia has made friends with the three test pens, but has yet to find her soul mate. The Pelikan M215 with the fetching silver rings and a custom italic nib is promising, but for now otherwise engaged. When he becomes available, he might be just the one to charm pretty Cassia into a lasting relationship. We shall see…

Rohrer & Klingner Cassia Water Test

Water reveals the red violet component in Cassia.

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Heads up! Levenger fountain pens on sale!

06/25/2013

Levenger is offering a 15% discount on orders of $100 or more through 7/11/2013. The promotion code on my catalog is 3CDB06C. In addition to that enticing offer, True Writer pens are on sale along with select Circa products and assorted other items. Interested?

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The Good, The Bad, And The Rest

06/13/2013

Most often, pens, inks, and paper are great fun to use. Other times they can be stinkers. Almost as bad are the ones that are unpredictable or unreliable. Such is the case with a few of the products often mentioned on Inkophile and now is the time to put out some caveats.

YMMV hasn’t been attached to every post or comment but perhaps it should. For now this entry will suffice, but it will also earn a permanent presence in the sidebar. Any updates will appear as a post first with relevant info added to “The Good, The Bad, And The Rest” listed in the Pages section.

  • Fountain pen nibs are so easy to get wrong with just the tiniest manufacturing error. Some retailers check the nibs before sending pens off to new homes. That can be helpful, but I don’t always want a pen to flow as generously as other users. So that doesn’t always work for me. If you want to tweak a nib to get the perfect tip and ink flow, find a nibmeister who understands exactly what you want. You might want to put him/her to the test with a pen of no importance first or with one that has a replaceable nib should you be less than enamored with the modified one. If this is the right person for you, then send a pricey, special pen. However, any modification carries with it the potential for damage, but if you want a special nib, it might be worth the gamble.
  • Lamy 1.1mm nibs are inconsistent. The flow can be perfect, stingy, or anywhere in between. Perhaps because the nibs can be swapped, they slip into position incorrectly causing erratic flow. Be prepared to adjust the nib should you encounter a stinky one. Note that the fine nibs in my collection have flowed well without adjustments.
  • Levenger True Writer – rings, nibs, collars. The decorative cap ring has come loose on my older TW fountain pens but can be reattached with a spot of glue. More recent models have that issue less often. There was a time when some of the nibs were inconsistent. A new pen like that should be returned to Levenger. Another option is to send it off to a nibmeister and have it modified. I did that with a disappointing broad nib and now have a terrific stub. My biggest frustration with TWs is that too many of the collars have cracked. That is the part that holds the nib in place. If it is loose, the nib wobbles and that makes for a less than satisfying writing experience. At some point the collar may break entirely resulting in a leaky, useless pen. At least three of my TWs have hairline cracks so I am a bit jaded on this issue. I will continue to buy this model because the size, weight, and looks are just right for me but I will treat them gingerly in hopes they will last forever.
  • Pelikan piston fillers. In my experience, these are high maintenance pens because the piston mechanism can stop working. Then it’s off to the shop for a tune-up. Meh.
  • Apica 6A10 – mild feathering along some fibers like Moleskine paper produces and significant feathering on some pages. For me it is worth using because the texture is soft and soothing to my fatigued hand, plus the color is not light-reflective even under bright lights.
  • Staples Sustainable Earth Sugarcane paper. This is an inconsistent paper that I use regardless. Sometimes ink spreads far beyond the letter outlines but with the right ink and a fine nib, it’s good stuff.
  • Private Reserve ink and that sour odor. The smell is very off-putting but it doesn’t come with all colors. None of my other inks have this problem so I’m placing the target on PR alone.
  • Any fountain pen ink can spoil or grow mold. Always check before filling.
  • Ink stains from Namiki Blue and Iroshizuku syo-ro on Esterbrook barrels, and from Private Reserve Arabian Rose on a Levenger converter. I use all three inks more carefully now.
  • Photos and scans lie. So do monitors. Take all color rendering as approximate or at best, relative. Even things that are black can be misrepresented as gray.

There is one other thing worth mentioning. In my experience BlogSpot/Blogger is horrible for posting comments. I can only do it anonymously and at that there are issues. So if your blog is hosted there, please don’t think I am ignoring you. It’s the platform and nothing more.

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Nothing Shy About This Lot

05/19/2013

Warmer weather always brightens my ink rotation. Orange, pink, and a paler shade of green add some fun to the hold-overs from early spring.

In addition, Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa is getting a run in the Namiki Falcon SB fire hose. So far – so good with that test. It’s a muted gray-purple that suits clouds more than unrelenting sunshine, but if it tames the beast, it will be a good choice.

  • Kyoto Levenger True Writer custom stub with Diamine Dark Brown
  • Clementine Retro 51 Scriptmaster II fine with Iroshizuku fuyu-gaki
  • Lamy AL-Star custom fine italic with Iroshizuku tsutsuji
  • Montblanc 220 OB with Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses
  • Namiki Falcon SB with Rohrer & Klinger Scabiosa
  • Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Violet
  • Waterman Deluxe Carene Stub with Iroshizuku asa-gao
  • Platinum Century B Chartres Blue with Diamine China Blue
  • Platinum #3776 music nib with Diamine Mediterranean Blue
  • Namiki Falcon SF with Diamine Kelly Green

Ink and Pens

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A Spring Bouquet From Levenger

04/23/2013

Levenger has a new True Writer with a color scheme based on Redouté’s flowers. It is called Bouquet and certainly suits the season. It also works well as a gift for Mother’s Day. If I owned one, it would be a sure bet for green ink but there might be a pink lurking in my collection that would be a cheerful alternative. Fun either way.

Levenger True Writer Bouquet

Now if only the Tiffany styled Arrondissement Ballpoint came as a fountain pen, I might splurge on a new pen for myself.

Arrondissement Ballpoint from Levenger

Arrondissement is a municipal district of certain cities, esp Paris. I don’t know what that has to do with the pen but the colors are very attractive.

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An Ink Rotation And Its Worksheet

04/07/2013

You are not alone if you wonder/aren’t certain/debate which inks make a rotation. Truthfully, it’s anything that makes you happy but a worksheet can help narrow and refine choices without inking a gazillion or even a dozen pens.

Worksheet for comparing inks

The pens in the upper right section were already inked and some will continue into the summer with the same colors.

The bottom section is a test of possible inks culled from a review of my ink journal. The dots of color were made with the tip of a cotton swab. The paper is from my daily journal which will see the most use of my rotation. It is tinted pale gray which has a mildly dulling effect on ink color so I like to test directly on it for better accuracy.

The upper left section of my worksheet reflects the most likely prospects along with possible pens. Though good colors for the season, some of the inks were eliminated due to degradation or poor performance.

April 2013 Ink and Pen Rotation

This rotation is in flux. Waiting in the wings are Sailor Uranari, olive green, Sailor Yaki-Akari, pale aqua, Diamine Steel Blue, turquoise, and Noodler’s Black Swan in Australian Roses. If a red is needed, Noodler’s Tiananmen or J. Herbin  ’1670′ Rouge Hematite will do depending on whether subtle or flashy suits the occasion. China Blue will replace asa-gao and Noodler’s Cayenne will replace Vermillion for summer. BSAR might eliminate Claret and Solferino as well. Chocolate and Pilot BBk will return in autumn. That will leave a nine pen rotation which is plenty even for me.

What I don’t like about this group of inks is that the colors don’t come together thematically. What I do like is that it provides lots of options for duos and trios. In addition, the inks are well-matched to their pens so writing will be very enjoyable.

The Levenger True Writer (TW) dominates for now but that is in part because it uses an easy to fill converter and the fine nibs aren’t terribly narrow. My collection needs more broad nibs and stubs to show ink color better. Skinny nibs just don’t have enough punch for a color addict but do not tell me there is a 12-step program for that addiction. I absolutely will not listen. No, no, no, no, no.

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Three Noodler’s Inks – Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

02/19/2013

Nathan Tardiff, grand master of the Noodler’s realm, never ceases to invent new colors and types of inks. For that he deserves the highest marks. But the colors that have been around for years are no less worthy of note. Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands USA kindly sent three fan faves for review. What could an inkophile do but accept the opportunity and set to work.

The trio includes Beaver, Purple Martin, and Tiananmen. Brown, purple, and red are workhorse colors so they were easy to incorporate into my rotation. My Levenger True Writers leapt at the opportunity to test new inks and away we went.

Noodler's Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Noodler’s Inks Meet Levenger True Writers

Fair warning that my scanner lamp is dimming so colors are not as they should be. For better color renditions, go to NoodlerInk.com.

Noodler's Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

Noodler’s Beaver, Purple Martin, Tiananmen

These are clean, saturated colors. No dramatic shading or other exotic properties but the flow is especially well-suited to a fine nib on smooth paper. The True Writers were perfect mates especially on Rhodia Bloc No 16 paper. My Apica 6A10 daily journal was a good match, too. There was a small amount of feathering on Staples (pineapple) bagasse paper and in a Mead composition book with Tiananmen. Moleskine performed as expected. The full-sized image of the Mead composition book shows feathering with a number of inks. Caveat emptor on that one.

Noodler's Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Rhodia Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler’s Ink Test On Staples Bagasse Paper

Noodler's Ink Test On Moleskine

Noodler’s Ink Test On Moleskine

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Mead Comp Book Ink Test

Should you be as silly as I was this past month and forget that Beaver was in a pen that got no use, well, it might not start up instantly. All it took was priming the flow to get it back on track. No damage noted.

My three-pen leather case stocked with these new friends and a pad of paper would carry me through any day. Brown for work, purple for personal notes, and deep red for edits that don’t scream. Now if I could just find that pen case…

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