Posts Tagged ‘Noodler’s Ottoman Azure Ink’


Sailor Sky High Ink And That Sheen Thing


Have you heard of sheen as an ink characteristic? It’s that fleeting appearance of more than one color when an ink is first applied to paper. Don’t blink! It disappears in an instant, if you even see it.

Learned my lesson and will never buy an ink again on that sort of promise. If an ink does something exciting like show tons of shading or outlining, that’s a whole different matter. Those are enduring qualities. Ten years from now, they will still be evident. If an ink has amazing flow or seems to cushion the nib in a delightful way, well, at least those are tactile pleasures that enhance the writing experience. So those are worth a little extra money even if temporary thrills. But sheen? Bah, humbug.

On the right paper and with perfect lighting, you might see that second color. But I just want to write and for that Sailor Sky High does not disappoint. The Pelikan M215 Rings with the Binder stub nib has performed very well with Noodler’s Ottoman Azure and Eel Blue amongst other inks so I had a good basis for comparison. Sky High is a bit more lubricating than the former but better controlled than the latter. The Pel is quite content with it and good performance is always a treat. In fact, there is a nice degree of shading on Rhodia paper. The color is less saturated than the two Noodler’s inks, but not enough to make it less colorful. Any one of the three will work for an ink in this hue.

Sailor Gentle Ink - Sky High

The greatest difference between the three is the odor. Virtually no odor to Eel Blue, typical if mild Noodler’s odor to Ottoman Azure, but Sailor Sky High is pungent in comparison. That is from biocides and a good thing since it retards or prevents ink’s nemesis, mold. For the chemically sensitive, Sailor inks may not be a good option. Eel Blue will give you the color without the odor although it may be too free-flowing for all pens. That has not been an issue for me even with wide nibs and I find it an absolute joy in Japanese fine nibs since it has good lubrication. Sky High performs equally well though it is more pricey at $12.50 US for 50 ml. Noodler’s is the same price for 90 ml. The bottle design is quite different so one may suit better than the other.

If I had to pick one out of the three for my rotation, it would be Noodler’s Ottoman Azure. It’s been a top ten ink for me since I bought it. Sailor ink is excellent for quality but the standard colors haven’t caught my fancy although some of the limited editions from a few years ago remain unique and deserve special recognition. Retiring Sailor Brown and Red-Brown shouldn’t have happened but perhaps someday those colors will be re-released. In the meantime, Sailor Sky High will do as a mid-range, slightly green-biased blue. I mean an inkophile must have Sailor ink in at least one pen, right?


Do You Have A Signature Ink?


There is little in life that is more unique than a signature. Unlike fingerprints that are immutable from birth, we get to choose the color by which we are best known as well as the design (signature) by which we are most easily recognized. As testament, my parents have been gone many years but I can still picture their signatures quite vividly. So much else has faded but not that.

Using a real pen with real ink to sign documents may eventually go the way of the dodo bird. Until then, what do you choose in all of inkdom to make your signature memorable? If I had a bottle, Pendemonium‘s Noodler’s Legal Lapis would be mine. In its absence, Noodler’s Ottoman Azure or Diamine Mediterranean Blue will do.

Practicing a Signature

Noodler’s Ottoman Azure with a Brause dip nib and Diamine Mediterranean Blue in a Platinum #3776 Music nib doodled on Clairefontaine GraF it 90g Sketch paper. It has a slightly rough surface well suited to pencil sketching but a little less ideal for pen use. I like the way ink skips over the paper and enjoy the break from perfection found with more fountain pen friendly paper.


Noodler’s Has The Blues – Inks That Is


Noodler’s has the blues and that makes fountain pen users lucky, especially me since Dick Egolf of Luxury Brands sent four for my writing pleasure and review. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Two are new to the Noodler’s line, 54th Massachusetts, a bulletproof blue-black, and Q’E-ternity, a fast-drying Bernanke series Blue-Black. The other two have been around for years, Air-Corp Blue-Black and Turquoise. It will take weeks to truly explore them but a quick look will do for now.

Keep in mind that my scanner is old and challenged by so much color. None of the images were adjusted. Consider the colors relative rather than absolute but some remarks follow the images to help reveal the differences. Images tend to blow feathering and indistinct edges out of proportion, especially viewed at the scanned size that will appear when you click the image. So don’t expect to see much feathering in the real world unless you use a loupe, and if you do, we need to talk

Noodler's Blues - A Comparison

Noodler’s Blues – A Comparison

  • 54th Mass is less green than the other three and a very dark if fairly middle-of-the-road blue-black
  • Q’E-ternity is very dark and has more green than 54th Mass but not as much as Waterman Blue-Black
  • Air-Corp is very dark with some green to it. This one can almost pass for black from a pen with a heavy flow.
  • Turquoise leans toward the darker side of the turquoise range but can be diluted to a beautiful paler shade.

Ottoman Azure was already in my collection. It’s a pretty blue with a hint of green and has become a regular in my rotation. It works well from any sized nib so that makes it particularly well-suited to a fickle pen user like me.

Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink

Noodler's Turquoise Ink

Noodler’s Turquoise Ink

Noodler's Ottoman Azure Ink

Noodler’s Ottoman Azure Ink

Notes on each ink:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof (waterproof), no feathering, good flow, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time on Rhodia but less so on cheaper paper. Color more pale on cheap paper with mildly indistinct outlines but little feathering.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, moderate to heavy bleed-through, feathering worse on Rhodia than on cheap paper, drying time very fast with a fine nib. Designed to prevent smearing so even lefties can write with a fountain pen.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, good flow, no bleed-through, minimal show-through, slow to dry, no feathering on Rhodia but does on cheap paper. Diluting produces very good shading. Dry-writing pens should bring out the green element.
  • Turquoise – Mildly water resistant, very good flow, feathering on cheap paper, minimal show-through, no bleed-through on Rhodia, slow drying time. Not terrific on cheap paper. Great for flex due to shading and flow.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, very good flow, good shading, minimal show-through, no bleed-through, good to fair drying time depending on paper. No feathering on Rhodia but some on cheap paper.
Noodler's 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s 54th Massachusetts Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Q'E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Q’E-ternity Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler's Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Noodler’s Air-Corp Blue-Black Ink on Ampad Gold Fibre

Confused? This group of inks took some sorting to figure out how to use them. The short version:

  • 54th Mass – Bulletproof, non-green blue-black. Most versatile of the blue-blacks tested.
  • Q’E-ternity – Water resistant, fast drying, greenish blue-black that may work better on cheap paper than Rhodia.
  • Air-Corp Blue-Black – Water resistant, greenish black that can be diluted to produce shading.
  • Turquoise – Somewhat water resistant, dark turquoise that pairs best with good quality paper. Great for flex nibs. Shades well.
  • Ottoman Azure – Water resistant, well-rounded ink but can very mildly feather on cheap paper.

At $12.50 MSRP for 3 oz, Noodler’s is a good value for fountain pen ink. Most Noodler’s take well to dilution with distilled water which makes the value for money even greater. But do take care when opening the bottle. It’s generously filled to the brim and could splash that waterproof ink all over your tidy desk or clothes. Trust me on this one.

More reviews of these inks at Fountain Pen Network:

The grid paper is from a Rhodia Bloc No. 14 pad and the lined paper is from an Ampad Gold Fibre 5″x 8″ pad.

Update: 54th Massachusetts Ink Meets Its Mate and water tests on FPN.

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