Category: Ink Review

Ink Review: Noodler’s Berning Red

Noodler's Berning Red

I’ve always wanted to try one of Noodler’s quick drying inks but I could never decide which color to try. Then along came the new Noodler’s Berning Red ($12.50), and my decision became a little easier. “Let’s try the new one!”

Noodler's Berning Red ink writing sample

I don’t usually go for red inks but I thought it would be nice to have one and one that dried quickly is definitely a perk. I was surprised when I started my painted lettering how much it bled. I don’t think I’ve ever had an ink do that on Rhodia before. I was getting a little nervous that the ink was going to misbehave. Once loaded into my Esterbrook with the 2442 falcon stub nib, the ink was much better behaved but the unusual behavior in the painted lettering made me want to test the ink on some other paper stocks to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke. I pulled out a piece of Moleskine Volant paper and a piece from my Filofax notebook (also available from Pen Boutique) to see how the ink behaved. Berning Red was amazingly well-behaved on the Moleskine paper and only a little soft on the Filofax paper, even with the stub nib. Phew.

Now to talk about the shading… not much to speak of. Mostly the color shifted because I dipped the Esterbrook rather than filling it.

Also, while the ink is quick drying, it is not permanent so it will clean up easily and the ink will run if wet so plan accordingly.

Noodler's Berning Red ink comparison

Colorwise, its just a little lighter than Noodler’s Rattler Red Eel, slightly warmer in color than Diamine Red Dragon and slightly cooler than Waterman Red. It’s very much a true bright red though I did find it a bit darker in the larger swashes of the painted lettering, not as vivid. I find it looks brighter in the writing sample.

If you’ve been waiting for a quick drying red ink, you can’t go wrong with Noodler’s. The Bernake line of blues and blacks have been quite popular and I’m sure the same will be said for Berning Red. Noodler’s bottles are full-to-overflowing so you get your money’s worth too.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Pen Boutique for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Akkerman Treves-Turquoise

Akkerman Treves Turquoise header

I must be on a blinded-myself-with-turquoise kick this month because Akkerman Treves-Turquoise is a kissing cousin to Private Reserve Daphne Blue which I recently reviewed. I guess I’m just ready for blue skies, turquoise swimming pools and burn-your-retinas summer colors. Akkerman Treves-Turquoise is definitely on the vivid end of the ink spectrum but its not quite as bright as Daphne Blue.

Akkerman Treves Turquoise

Treves-Turquoise does have a much more distinct red halo though, especially in wider nibs, in swatches, and in my painted lettering.

I started out testing this ink in my Pilot Retro Pop with medium nib but the ink seemed a little light. I switched to my Esterbrook 2442 stub italic and both the color and the red halo became much more evident. This ink is definitely at its best advantage in wider nibs.

It shades with a great ranges of blues from a light sky blue to a deep turquoise. When wet, the ink completely puddles so it would be fun to play with for some light watercolor washes but do not dip your carefully crafted manuscript or latest letter into the tub or it will be lost forever.

Akkerman Treves Turquoise Ink comparison

When comparing swatches, you can see how similar Treves-Turquoise is to Daphne Blue. If you’re on a budget, Daphne Blue is a perfectly fine substitute for Treves-Turquoise which is pretty pricey to acquire in the States. Treves-Turquoise is a richer color than Iroshizuku Ama-Iro so if you’re looking for something more retina searing, Daphne Blue or Treves-Turquoise would definitely be more saturated than Ama-Iro.


Special thanks to Junee Lim at Alt.Haven for sending me a sample of this ink to try out. I’ve had it for absolutely ages and FINALLY got around to trying it out. Luckily, Vanness Pens will be in Atlanta for the pen show and they stock Akkerman inks so I might be able to score a bottle of this ink of my very own in a couple weeks.

Ink Review: Diamine Teal

Diamine Teal header

Can there ever be too many deep teal blue-green inks? Not in my world. Diamine Teal ($14.94 for 80ml bottle) is a deep ocean blue-green color. Its got a bit of shading in a finer nib pen but is more evident in wider strokes and in my painted title. The color is muted enough and dark enough to work-appropriate but interesting enough to keep the most discerning pen geek engaged.

Diamine Teal

When I loaded Diamine Teal into my TWSBI 580 Christmas Green I was immediately reminded of another favorite, DeAtramentis Petrol. However, DeAtramentis inks are a little more watery than Diamine and the Petrol color is a bit more vibrant than the Teal. So, clearly, I have reasons to need both.

Diamine Teal Swab comparison

Akkerman #24 Zuiderpark Blauw-Groen is also very similar but is a little darker and has a visible sheen. Akkerman inks are also a bit more expensive and harder to acquire in the States so if you’re looking for a good alternative to #24, I think Diamine Teal is a very close alternative.

 

Ink Review: Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo

Akkerman #9 header

Akkerman #9 Laan Van Nieuw Oost-Indigo ($28 for a 60ml bottle) appears to translate to “New Eastern Indigo Avenue” which is not at all what I expected when I looked at the color. I thought it was like “new moon night sky” indigo or something like that since its such a deep blue color and has a fascinating reddish halo in the swatch.

Akkerman #9

I paired it with my Lamy Scala in blue black which seemed like a fitting match and the 14K gold nib let the ink color and shade beautifully. Yesterday in the comments, someone mentioned how Lamy pens tended to lighten inks overall which was such a wake up call for me. And I think it probably holds true for this Akkerman #9 too. The ink looks darker in the painted title and I suspect in a wetter pen, the ink would be darker overall. But I think the color is legible and shades nicely in the Lamy so its completely useable even in a drier pen.

Akkerman #9 swab comparison

Compared with several of my other deep blue black inks, its clear that the Akkerman #9 is bluer and more “denim-y” than most. Noodler’s Bad Blue Heron is probably the only one that’s more blue while maintaining the deep tone of a blue-black. Akkerman #9 seems quite similar in color to the Caran D’ache Magnetic Blue which is not quite as vivid and actually a bit more expensive, if you can believe it.

Are you a fan of blue-black inks? Do you like them more vivid or more subdued? I waffle between wanting a deeper blue-black and preferring a bluer blue-black. Either way, I love blue blacks and Akkerman #9 is no exception.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Vanness Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Private Reserve Daphne Blue

Private Reserve Daphne Blue header

Private Reserve Daphne Blue ($11 for 66ml bottle or $1.25 for 2ml sample vial) is the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea blue. At first, I was worried that the color would be too light to work in a fine nib fountain pen but the color is deep and vivid enough that its actually extremely legible, even in a fine nib. And it shades beautifully too. I actually think this is a great color for fine nib pens if you’re looking for a color that is readable and you enjoy shading in your ink colors.

Private Reserve Daphne Blue

I test a lot of ink colors and many of them I enjoy using but, by the time I use up a pen’s worth, I’ve had my fill of that color. However, before I even finished writing my review, I was already placing an order for a full bottle of Daphne Blue. I seldom do that so that must be the highest sort of praise. I’m looking forward to putting this into Franklin-Christoph Pocket 66 eye dropper. Won’t that look stunning?

Private Reserve Daphne Blue Comparison

I pulled some swatches to compare to Daphne Blue. Lamy Turquoise and Noodler’s Turquoise Eel were both lighter turquoise while Diamine Aqua Lagoon, Kaweco Paradise Blue and Pilot Iroshizuku Ku-Jaku were progressively greener and darker than Daphne Blue. Clearly, I do love those turquoise blues and teals.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Diamine Meadow

Diamine Meadow Ink

I was recently reminded about Diamine Meadow (available in 2ml samples for $1.25 and 80ml bottles for $14.95) 30ml bottles for $7.50 and from my Secret Society of Enablers (you know who you are!). I’m lucky I know so many people who share my love of green. I had a sample of it in my stash from a Goulet Pens Ink Drop so I finally pulled it out to give it a good going over to determine if this was an ink worthy of a full bottle purchase, seeing as I already own many bottles of yellow-green ink. I have to be choosy about how many more lime green inks enter my house for fear of mojito overload.

I filled my Lamy Safari with 1.1mm stub/calligraphy nib and set forth to give this ink a thorough testing.

First, I did my watercolor brush painted lettering, to see the range of color and was pleased with the range of color. Meadow varies from a deep almost kelly green to a light lime depending on how much ink is applied.

Then I started my writing tests. It seemed like the color was coming out much darker than most people had described it. I kept thinking that maybe I had some fugitive color from poor cleaning and the more I wrote the lighter the color became. Yep. Fugitive color.

Diamine Meadow Ink close-up

By the time I was halfway down the page, I am pretty confident I was getting the true color, consistent with both the color in the painted lettering and the swab. Its a bright, happy grassy green with lots of shading and it looks great in the wide 1.1mm nib. It does seem to dry a bit darker than when its wet … almost a little olive-y which is actually quite legible.

I was concerned about overall legibility so I switched out the 1.1mm nib to a F nib just to see for myself and the ink maintained both shading and legibility, at least with the European F nib. A Japanese F nib might lose some of the shading because it would be much finer but I think the color would stay dark enough to be usable unlike Pilot Iroshizuku Chiku-Rin which I sometimes find too light in very fine nibs to be useful.

Diamine Meadow Ink comparison

Overall, I think Diamine Meadow strikes a nice balance between being a bright green and being a usable color. I love the hue of Chiku-Rin but there are instances where its just too light. Caran D’ache Delicate Green is kind of ridiculously expensive for how kelly green it is and Monblanc Daniel DeFoe is a little subdued, not to mention limited edition. So if you’re in the market for a good green ink, Diamine Meadow is a good candidate and a favorite among the green beans. I think its a keeper.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.

Ink Review: Waterman Tender Purple

Waterman Tender Purple Ink

Well, hello Royal Purple! Waterman Tender Purple is a very regal violet purple indeed. Its bright, vivid and a perfect remedy for the bleak January days we’ve been facing here in the Midwest recently. I  tested this ink out in my Karas Kustom INK with a fine nib and was able to get some shading and color variation even in this thin line so the color is deep enough for your finest nibs and the color is rich enough to be legible as well. It dried quickly with the fine nib, even on the Rhodia stock so I was able to write with a good clip. Even the painted lettering in the header didn’t take too long to dry and that was applied with a watercolor brush.

Waterman Tender Purple Ink comparison

I included a few other purple/violet inks samples for color comparison but you can see that Waterman Tender Purple definitely has a unique hue. Pilot Iroshizuku Murasaki-Shikibu is a warmer purple, J. Herbin Violette Pensee is much lighter and  Noodler’s Purple Martin is much, much darker. These were the inks that were closest in my stash too. Everything else was either much redder, much darker or just not in the same family at all.

So, if you’re looking for a regal, bright, clean violet purple, Waterman Tender Purple is definitely a good candidate. I received this sample as part of the Goulet Pens Ink Drop subscription series some time ago but you can purchase a sample individually for $1.25 or a full 50ml bottle for $12.


DISCLAIMER: This item was sent to me free of charge by Goulet Pens for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.