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Iroshizuku Substitutes – When Color Matters

06/02/2010

The subject of color substitutes has come up in the past for a handful of unique though retired inks. Some are just simply irreplaceable like the long discontinued Parker Penman Ruby and Sapphire inks. Others like the recently discontinued Montblanc Racing Green have a few close color neighbors though none that have the other stellar qualities of MBRG. Sometimes only the original will do.

Then there is the category of substitutes for inks that are not marketed internationally like the Sailor Kobe and Pen Gallery inks. One has to order from Japan for those beauties.

Lastly there are inks that, for some fountain pen aficionados, are too pricey, whether on principle or for budgetary constraints. Pilot’s Iroshizuku line now fits that category so finding substitutes, albeit imperfect ones, has resurrected a discussion about likely prospects at Fountain Pen Network. Check it out if you balk at paying $35 retail or even $28 at discount for a single bottle of ink.

Caveat: None of the substitutes will function like Iroshizuku but the colors should be acceptable. In fact I prefer Rohrer & Klingner Magenta over Yama Budo but that might be considered heresy so do keep that little tidbit under your hat. Much appreciated.

More at The DizzyPen.

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8 comments

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Margana, Writer's Bloc. Writer's Bloc said: RT @inkophile Iroshizuku Substitutes – When Color Matters: http://wp.me/pfSKv-xr […]

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  2. Thanks for the link to the discussion. I did get a bottle of kon-peki at JP before the price increase and I love the color but not the new prize, even the old price seems steep. I’ve heard how the ink is supposed to perform better but at least in my pens on my paper I like JHerbin and Noodler’s just as well, just need to find a color substitute and off we go. I do imagine this bottle will last me quite awhile though.

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    • Iroshizuku ink does have a stellar reputation but there are so many other brands and colors on the market that there really is no need to pay the premium price. Besides J. Herbin and some Noodler’s inks, Rohrer & Klingner and Diamine make high quality products for less than $13 per bottle. Put all four lines together and that’s a whole lot of colors from which to find the perfect shade of ink. Or you can buy Noodler’s V-Mail inks and mix your own colors according to the company owner, Nathan Tardiff. Lots of choices, eh?

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  3. […] The subject of color substitutes has come up in the past for a handful of unique though retired inks. Some are just simply irreplaceable like the long discontinued Parker Penman Ruby and Sapphire inks. Others like the recently discontinued Montblanc Racing Green have a few close color neighbors though none that have the other stellar qualities of MBRG. Sometimes only the original will do. Then there is the category of substitutes for inks that ar … Read More […]

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  4. I bought a “bunch” of Iroshizuku inks before the price increase at Jet Pens. I love the colors but also love some of the Private Reserve, Nooodler’s, Diamine, Levenger, J.Herbin, Visconti Blue and Omas Blue and Violet. Haven’t tried any of the Rohrer & Klingner yet.
    So many color choices among all the inks produced and I’m finding close matches in many of them. I do like the Iroshizuku but don’t think the new higher price warrants our loyalty to just that one brand when so many others are excetional as well.

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    • There really are tons of color choices but I don’t recall ever seeing two that were exactly alike. I think ink makers do that on purpose so we’ll feel the need to buy them all!

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  5. I was so happy when I got Diamine Claret. My favorite of the Iroshizuku inks is Yama-budo, and Diamine Claret is about as close to it as I could get, and at a more affordable price point.

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  6. While I don’t own it, I think Noodlers Habanero is close to Fuyu-Gaki (which I have a sample of). Habaneros and Persimmons are similar in color so why not?

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