I haven’t used Montblanc Racing Green ink in years. I have memories of liking it, and the fact that I have two bottles seemed to back that up. But after inking up my fine nib’d Vanishing Point and writing with it I began to wonder why.
It’s a very dark green, more a black-green and a fine nib doesn’t really show it in the best light. It looks almost grey, with no shading. It’s a dry writer with the fine nib but the flow is good and consistent.
After being disappointed with the ink from a fine nib I inked up a broad nib’d Vanishing Point. This was much better. The ink was wetter going onto the paper although not so wet that there would be bleed-through.
With the broad nib it takes about 15 seconds to dry on Rhodia paper and about half that on Doane paper. The fine nibs dries in a couple seconds.
The ink definitely has a black look to it, in most room light it looks more black than green, the green hidden until under direct light. The ink flows well and dries quickly. It’s better with a wider nib. I wouldn’t put this in my top ink list. It’s been discontinued by Montblanc, but my two bottles are probably a lifetime supply for me.
On the plus side it’s a very well behaved ink. It flows well and hasn’t shown any bleed through on the paper I’ve used. There is some show through on Field Notes memo books but it’s less than most inks I use.
Pilot Vanishing Point Fine Nib – I’m not impressed with the color on the thin line this pen lays down. On the other hand it’s a well behaved ink that writes consistently well and dries in about 2 seconds on most paper.
Pilot Vanishing Point Broad Nib – There’s more color with the wider nib. Drying time is about 15 seconds on Rhodia paper and about 8 seconds on Doane paper.
I like brown inks and the first time I saw J. Herbin Lie De The ink I thought it was destined to become my standard brown ink and one of my overall favorites, even though Google translate says the name is “Dregs of Tea” in english. The ink hasn’t met this expectations in my own use.
The ink doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The color varied widely across the two pens I used and different types of paper. Sometimes the ink looks like yellow mud and other times it’s a nice brown. Some uses may benefit from the variation (drawing, calligraphy) but not the standard writing that I do.
With my preference for fine nibs I don’t expect a lot of shading in the line. While I do get variation, it’s not shading. The variation is in the color the ink decides to be at the time. Even though I’ve been disappointed so far I did get a full bottle after using up the sample. Part of me hopes I had a bad sample or matched it with a poor choice of pens. Or screwed up some other way. I will say in the short time I’ve used the ink from the bottle it has been consistent.
So far I used the ink on two pens, both with fine nibs.
Edison Collier w/fine nib: Wrote a thin line that was more yellow that I like. Also frequently wrote a thin line that looked like thin yellow mud, which wasn’t easy or pleasant to read. Other times it was a good looking brown ink. I’m not sure why there was a difference since the paper type was often the same. Maybe room temperature or humidity affected it. This pen used an ink sample which may explain the differences between this pen and the others, which were from a full bottle.
Franklin-Christoph Model 29 w/fine nib: The ink has been consistent within paper brands. Unlike the Edison Collier, this pen was consistent on each type of paper. It did vary across paper. The ink has a very yellow tinge on Rhodia paper and is more brown on Field Notes and Doane paper. Nothing exciting, but no complaints either.
The ink may grow on me if it can avoid the look of mud. I’m looking forward to trying the ink in some wider nibs where the ink may get to show off its shading.
The Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte Limited Edition Blau-Schwarz is a blue-black released, as the name implies, in a limited edition. One thousand numbered bottles were distributed. To be honest, I have no idea if 1,000 bottle is a small, medium or large batch. The numbering of the bottles seems to be unique for inks. I have #132 and #140. While the box is “special” for the ink it’s interesting, but nothing special. I’ve read the the design actually damaged some of the bottle labels during shipping but mine were fine.
So far I’ve only run the ink through three pens, although only two got extensive use. Two Franklin-Christoph pens saw the extensive use – a Model 29 with a fine nib and a Model 66 with an extra fine nib. The third pen is the Bexley 2007 Owner’s Club with a stub nib. Pen specific notes are listed below.
The ink is great and I suspect it will always be available in at least one of my pens until my supply runs out. What I like:
A nice dark blue-back with good saturation, Not too much, what I would consider perfect.
Flow has bee great in the pens. It does not evaporate quickly off the nib. I can lay the uncapped pen by the pad for several minutes and it’s ready to write when I pick it up.
Easy to clean. So far all any pen has needed is a couple flushes with the ear syringe and all traces of the ink are gone. Unlike so other inks which take multiple flushes to remove any trace of the ink.
No feathering or bleed-through on most of the papers I’ve tried (Doane, Rhodia, generic copy paper). A little bleed through using the stub nib on a Field Notes Memo Book.
The ink could be mistaken for a black. Considering I like black inks, but not blues, I consider this a benefit.
What I don’t like:
It’s expensive. I couldn’t say whether the added cost is justified to amortize the cost of making the ink over just 1,000 bottles or if the price is inflated. It cost a 66% premium over the typical R&K ink price ($20 compared to $12). Still, I wouldn’t return it if I could and wouldn’t sell the second bottle for twice the amount. Blue-black inks run the gamut, but for me this would be the perfect blue-black ink.
Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Desk pen w/extra-fine nib: No skipping, no false starts. I left the pen uncapped 5 minutes and it wrote immediately when I picked it up. The ink drys in about 2 seconds.
[Updated: March 1, 2014] I converted the Model 66 to an eyedrop filler in November 2012. The R&K Blau-Schwarz LE has been in the inkl from that time until February 27, 2014 when it went empty and I decided to clean it out rather than refill. The pen was used consistently during that time, maybe sitting unused for two weeks at most, but usually used several times a week. I simply refilled it when needed.
There was never a problem writing, no hard starts or skipping. When it cam time to clean the pen after more than a year of constant inking it cleaned easily, with no signs of staining. (Although I must admit, due to the color any stains deep inside the barrel might be hard to see.)
A very well behaved ink I wish was not a limited edition.
Franklin-Christoph Model 29 w/fine nib: No skipping, no false starts. I left the pen uncapped and it wrote immediately. The ink drys in about 2 seconds.
Bexley 2007 Owner’s Club w/stub nib: Numerous false starts but this may be the pen since the ink flows well with the fine nibs. The ink takes 20 – 25 seconds to dry enough to avoid smudges.
I’m not a fan of blue ink but the De Atrementis Robert Louis Stevenson ink was in a recent Goulet Pens ink drop so I’m giving it a try. I’ve used it exclusively in my Franklin-Christoph Model 66 Desk Pen that has an extra fine nib.
I’ll leave the full ink review to those with more experience at such things. There is a short review written using the ink itself on the Fountain Pen Network.
I was pleasantly surprised by the ink. Even with the EF nib there was some shading. Flow was excellent on all the papers I tried. The ink flowed smoothly and dried quickly. I used it on Doanne Paper primarly, but it also saw use on Fields Notes, Rhodia and Moleskine along with some cheap Staples copy paper. Feathering and bleeding were never an issue, but this was an extra-fine nib.
I won’t be adding a bottle of this to my wish list now that my sample is gone, but mainly because I’m not a fan of blue, even one with a purplish tinge to it. It’s a nice ink, but it’s blue.
This month’s ink drop from Goulet Pens arrived yesterday. Of the five inks I expect to try out three of them soon.
Diamine Apple Glory – I like green inks and this is a vibrant green ink that seems to match the color of my Lamy Safari Apple Green pen. Here’s a review on the Fountain Pen Network (FPN).
Noodler’s Liberty’s Elysium – a vibrant, saturated blue ink. Blue inks don’t excite me very much but this one stood out thanks to the vibrancy in the pictures I’ve seen. Since it’s blue I probably wouldn’t have tried it out, but I’m happy to have a sample. A FPN review is here.
Noodler’s El Lawrence – I’m not sure what color this is, brown or green? or mud? But I like it. It will probably be the first of the batch that I try out. Here’s a FPN review.
The other two inks are scented inks, which doesn’t appeal to me. It depends whether or not I detect the scent when writing. De Atramentis Sandalwood is a green ink and De Atramentis Dianthus is a purple ink. While I oftern use purple ink for margin notations I’m not in the market for a new brand or shade.