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Ink Review #3: Diamine Oxford Blue

Diamine Oxford Blue - Ink Review

Greetings! ๐Ÿ˜€ I have another ink review ready and this time my choice fell upon Diamine Oxford Blue! This ink has of course been reviewed by a lot of people already but I thought I would share my thoughts on this one because it was the second ink I bought from Diamine back when I was getting into the hobby. ๐Ÿ™‚ (The first was Diamine Sapphire Blue which I’ll definitely cover in a couple of weeks).

Before we continue I just want to give a shout out to the Fountain Pen Companion! Thanks to this nifty website it’s really easy to track your inks, participate in leaderboards and share your collection with others! ๐Ÿ˜€ If anyone wants to have a look at mine, you can see check it out here.

If you would like me to do a review of one of the inks from my collection let me know in the comments below, on the PenAddict Slack on reddit or through e-mail. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re interested in the review process please check out this blog post. I’ve written it down in detail. Reviews in the future might have updated methodology but I’ll let anyone know if anything changes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Introduction and personal thoughts

Diamine is a UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง based company which creates all kinds of inks for different purposes. They have been around since 1864 and thanks to this heritage I think we can safely deduce that they know a thing or two about how to make inks. They offer a large assortment of colors (over 100 actually) so it’s more than likely that they have a color you’ll like. They are also fairly inexpensive thus they are easily accessible to anyone, especially if you’re from Europe.

The ink is available in 30 ml plastic/glass bottles and 80 ml glass bottles. I myself have got one in the 30 ml bottle as anything bigger than 50 ml is a huge commitment (especially since I have enough ink already to last me a lifetime). Before moving onto the ink itself I would just like to praise how neat their 30 ml plastic bottles are since look great and can be placed nicely next to each other. The downside is that the mouth of the 30 ml plastic bottle is really small and a lot of pens might not fit through it. This won’t be so bad if you use converters or refill with a syringe but a piston filler will be impossible to fill with these bottles.

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Ink Review #2: Rohrer & Klingner Morinda

Rohrer and Klingner Morinda - Ink Review

Hello again everyone! ๐Ÿ˜€ I have another ink review ready and this time my choice fell upon Rohrer & Klingner Morinda! I’m a teacher so I have to use red a lot during my work and this ink has been my go to red ink for grading in the last couple of months. I’ve written with it on really terrible copy paper to some really nice paper as well like Rhodia, Leuchtturm1917, Piccolo Press.

If you’re interested in the review process please check out this blog post. I’ve written it down in detail.

1. Introduction and personal thoughts

Rohrer & Klingner is a German company and has been in the ink game for a century now. Their fountain pen inks are fairly well known in the fountain pen community so I’m sure most of you have already heard about them. They are of course also famous for their calligraphy and drawing inks however those are not suitable for fountain pen use and you should only ever use them with dip pens. Their standard line-up consists of 18 fountain pen inks, their Dokumentus permant ink line-up has 6 and their sketchINK has 10 nano-pigment fountain pen inks.

Before I start talking about Morinda I just want to mention my general experience with Rohrer & Klingner inks. The gist of it is that I find all of them to be really high quality…they’re also really wet inks. It’s up to you to decide whether that trait bothers you or not but for me it’s usually not a problem as it means I won’t have flow issues and I rarely write on paper that allows feathering. I honestly believe they make really good inks as I have never been disappointed by the color (looking at Diamine “Scarlet”) nor the way the inks write. Granted I have only tried out 11 out of the 18 so I might have a fluke when I get around to the last 7 but I doubt it.

Sorry for dragging this on, I’ll talk about the ink now! ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, Rohrer & Klingner Morinda. The ink comes in a 50 ml glass bottle with a really nice looking label and a tin cap to keep the ink from spilling (although I have seen their standard line-up with plastic caps). It doesn’t have a funky smell like some Diamine and Sailor inks do. What I find really nice and interesting is the color of this ink and how it looks under different lighting. I had a bad start with this ink when I first got it a couple years ago because when I inked my pen with it, it was after a long day’s work and it was already dark. So naturally I was in my room with my weak and warmed toned lights and when I wrote my first line I was really disappointed. ๐Ÿ™ The ink appeared a brownish red to me and I remember saying out loud “This sucks!”. I wrote a couple of more lines, then put everything away and didn’t use it for the rest of the day. As I’m writing this review with the writing sample in front of me (it’s 6 PM at the moment) it looks exactly the same as I first saw it back then. However…

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Ink Review #1: Pelikan 4001 Dark Green

Pelikan 4001 Dark Green - Ink Review

Hi and welcome to another ink review at Pennonia! Before we delve into it I just want to talk a little bit about the review process. On upcoming reviews I won’t post this info but I want take a little time and talk about how I’m doing the reviews and what I came up with. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay so I only did two “proper” reviews on the site but as part of the 2019 refocus of Pennonia I decided to take things more seriously and come up with my own standardized process because I’m sure everyone values consistency and it’s basically needed to somewhat compare inks between themselves. So actually this first post will feature the “prototype” page I have created and the actual standard post will come after the next review (although only the presentation is slightly different).

Here’s how I’m going to do my ink reviews and what elements it includes:

1. Brief presentation and personal opinion about the ink
2. Scanned writing sample + water test scan
3. Ink swatch and similar inks (naturally only those which I own)
4. Optional: Some product/studio shots if I have the time to set up the lights, camera etc.

My monitors are color calibrated so I’ll try to match the inks as closely to what I can see in real life, but it’s really hard to get them to look like as they do and not to mention that everyone’s monitor displays color slightly differently.

The scanned writing sample includes the following information:

1. Paper: For my paper I chose Rhodia 80g/m2 (DOTPAD No 16) because I think it’s a fairly accessible paper and it seems highly regarded in the eyes of most people. I’m sure it won’t satisfy everybody’s needs but I don’t want to complicate things for myself by using different brands as there are simply way too many of them.

2. Writing test: This will be done using capital and cursive handwriting. I think both are necessary because capital letters show shading more easily due to the fact you have to raise the nib a lot more than using cursive (where you can write down whole words without lifting the pen). I chose to write down one of my favorite childhood ballads: “Toldi” by Jรกnos Arany. Each review will feature one stanza. I will choose a random pen from my collection to write it and I won’t do different nib sizes.

3. Very rudimentary doodles: Literally a square drawn with lines and a square drawn with circles/loops.

4. Ink swab: Ink swabs are an integral part of most reviews and I wanted to include them in mine as well. Over at the Pen Addict slack user @Inkantadora suggested that I should turn the pen over and just drag the nib across the page instead of using a cotton swab and I have to say it’s a great idea because it’s super fast, doesn’t waste ink, no risk of contaminating your bottle and personally I think it spreads the ink more thinly so it’s not that unrealistically saturated.

5. Star rating system: Okay so the star rating system goes from 1 to 5, I don’t think I need to explain how numbered ratings work. Categories include flow, lubrication (yeah I know it can be considered the same as flow but to me lubrication means smoothness when writing, while flow refers to how much ink goes onto the paper), shade, sheen and water resistance. The only thing I want to talk about here is water resistance and how I’m doing my test. I write one line on a mini Rhodia Dotpad No 12, tear out the paper, put it into the sink and pour on it one mug of water (300 ml, simulates a spill on your desk)

Okay! So now that this is out of the way here’s the actual review

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