Posts Tagged ‘pilot’

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Pilot “New Brush” Pens Have Arrived

01/22/2014

The Pilot “New Brush” pen was reviewed last year thanks to Leigh Reyes who sent one as a gift. At the time, they were not available in the U.S., but Jet Pens now stocks them. So if my review piqued your interest, add one to your next order along with a refill or two just in case you enjoy the pen as much as I do.

Pilot “New Brush” fine in a Stillman & Birn Epsilon Sketchbook

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Fountain Pen Nibs – It’s All Relative

04/03/2012

When it comes to nib size, fountain pen users have a multitude of choices. Recently I was doodling with the inky beauties on my desk and was struck by the differences between them. Even two from the same maker and of the same width produced varied results. Getting the perfect line size to show your writing to its best may take a little trial and error, but the satisfaction in seeing your words look their best is worth it.

I have become an equal opportunity user though I was stuck on narrow nibs for a very long time. Most fountain pen nibs are either fine or medium with a smaller number available in broad and extra-fine widths. The tip of the nib is round in shape, a bit like a ball point pen when you put it to paper. That angle of contact suits general use very well.

Moving beyond the typical nib, the sweet spot where nib meets paper becomes less forgiving and requires more care in use. If it suits your writing style, even an exotic nib should work well once you get the hang of it. Less common categories include double broad (BB), stub, italic, cursive italic, music, and Arabic. There are other exotic nibs but they are too rare for a general discussion.

If a rigid nib doesn’t thrill you, there is a unique characteristic called flex which can be an attribute of any sized nib. It is measured in degrees from a soft give that produces just a slight squish with pressure to a wet noodle that puts down ink like a paint brush.

Another quirk is that Asian nibs for the most part are more narrow than Western nibs. Add to that the interplay between nib, ink and paper as well as the rate of flow from the ink supply to the nib tip and the range of line widths can get ridiculous.

Still there is a range and that is what the image demonstrates. Size is relative.

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Fountain Pen Line Comparison

Note that the ink scan has not be color adjusted. Take that aspect of this post with a grain of salt.

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I’m In The Mood For Green – Ink That Is

03/20/2012

There are four green inks that form the mid-range of my green rotation. Each is different enough to get its own time usually in one of my Pilot Elite ‘Socrates’ pocket pens and when I’m in a bold mood, a Lamy Vista 1.1 mm calligraphy nib.

  • Diamine Kelly Green has the most yellow of the green inks and shades incredibly well from light green at the tops of letters to shamrock green at the bottom.
  • J. Herbin Lierre Sauvage is less yellow and might be considered the truest green of the bunch. It shades less and offers more consistent coverage than Kelly Green.
  • Rohrer & Klingner Verdura starts the transition to blue-based green. The blue isn’t strong but is definitely present in greater measure than yellow. Shading is more subtle and the flow a bit dry compared to the other green inks.
  • Iroshizuku Shin-Ryoku is the most blue of the group. Depending on the paper it can produce excellent shading with excellent flow. Even though it leans decidedly blue, it is definitely a green.

In that same color range ,Diamine Umber, J. Herbin Vert Empire, and Diamine Emerald get high marks, too.

No one has done a better job of comparing green inks than geoduc with two outstanding posts (#1 and #2) at FPN. Be sure to scroll through all of the graphics. It’s an amazing body of work.

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Favorite Brand Of Fountain Pen Ink – The Poll Results

01/12/2012

Remember that Favorite Brand of Ink poll from December? The poll has closed and the results are in. The top ten inks are

  1. Noodler’s
  2. Diamine
  3. J. Herbin
  4. Iroshizuku
  5. Private Reserve
  6. Waterman
  7. Sailor
  8. Pilot/Namiki
  9. Aurora
  10. Sheaffer

Noodler’s received a whopping 23% of the vote. That’s huge compared to the next three brands. Diamine at 14%, J. Herbin at 13%, and Iroshizuku at 12% are good numbers but Noodler’s reigns with Inkophile readers. Given the variety of colors offered by the top brand, perhaps the win shouldn’t be a surprise though Diamine runs a well-earned second in that regard.

Also, consider that four brands of ink garnered 62% of the vote while the next two brands received another 10% combined. That means 72% favor six companies and 28% prefer 29 other ink makers. Those top six companies are really doing something right though availability might play into preferences. The majority of you are located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada where the top three inks are more easily purchased. Hard to love an ink you’ve never tried.

Many of the other ink brands are excellent quality and worth buying. I have lots of Rohrer& Klingner and use Solferino and Magenta regularly. When only a red ink will do, Morinda is my usual choice. Admittedly, I tend to horde my other preferred red, J. Herbin ‘1670’ Rouge Hematite. That’s one ink I do not want to be without.

That brings up another factor: cost. Noodler’s Ink is a veritable bargain compared to many brands especially since it can often be diluted without losing its best attributes. At $12.50 US, a single 3 oz./90 ml bottle can last a very, very long time. That doesn’t sway me when making a purchase but a pricey ink won’t find its way into my shopping cart except on rare occasion.

Many of my favorite individual inks like Caran d’Ache Storm and Montblanc Racing Green are made by companies farther down the list and I only discovered them through trial and error. Do keep looking if you haven’t found that perfect ink. It’s out there.

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Iroshizuku Retailers And Current Prices

01/06/2012

Need an ink fix? If you are in the market for Iroshizuku, this post is for you. Below are the current prices in U.S. dollars as listed on the websites of fifteen retailers. Where shipping discounts were easy to locate, they have been noted.

  • Art Brown – $28
  • Bertram’s Inkwell – $35
  • Fahrney’s – $35
  • Fountain Pen Hospital – $35
  • Goulet Pens – $28
  • I Sell Pens – $27.80
  • Jet Pens – $31 – Free shipping over $25
  • Mel Pens – $29
  • Nibs.com – $35
  • Paradise Pen – $35
  • Pen Boutique – $28 – Free shipping over $50
  • Pendemonium – $35
  • Scottsdale Pen – $35
  • The Writing Desk – £25
  • Vanness Pen Shop – email for discounted price
  • Writer’s Bloc – $28

Links to these retailers can be found in the sidebar. Ebay is another source but beware the shipping fees. What looks like a good deal might be virtually equal to a retail purchase from your favorite ink purveyor. I want Pilot to see the U.S. as an important market so I purchase my Iroshizuku domestically. Hey, it’s simple, too, and I do love simple.

Update: The Ink Flow has Iroshizuku for $28 plus UPS shipping and a $3.50 handling charge. (h/t Gourmet Pens)

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This Pilot Prera Is Clearly Brilliant

10/25/2011

If you like clear fountain pens, the Pilot Prera Demonstrator might be the perfect thing. Wouldn’t it be gorgeous paired with Iroshizuku ink? Whether matching or contrasting, it’s sure to be eye-catching. Anyone game for this one?

Pilot Prera Demonstrator at Art Brown Pen Shop

Pilot Prera Demonstrator at Art Brown Pen Shop

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Iroshizuku Plus A Few More Links

09/10/2011

Can’t wait for the new Iroshizuku colors to land nearby? If you are willing to pay the freight, it seems there is always someone who will help you spend your money.

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