The Ryan Krusac Legend with its extra fine nib was another DC Pen Show purchase from August. I was surprised to see it had been unused for just over two months. This time I picked Diamine Ancient Copper as it’s ink when I inked it up back on November 7th. It was just over a month when I wrote it dry on December 12th.
Diamine Ancient Copper is a reddish brown I like a lot, but this this extra fine nib doesn’t allow the ink to shine. There’s no shading or line variation. But still, it’s a nice color and I enjoyed the ink.
Being a clip-less pen does limit my use of the Legend. It won’t stay in a shirt pocket and I’m not sure the relatively soft wood would do well in pants pockets. So it took just over a month to write the pen dry.
The Krusac Legend and Diamine Ancient Copper combined to provide a pleasant, if uninspiring, writing experience. I don’t have any complaints but I wasn’t left wanting to immediately re-ink it. In fact, the Legend is back in storage.
I just reviewed the Sheaffer VFM so this is going to be short. I inked the Sheaffer VFM up back on February 26th. I didn’t write it dry. Instead I pulled the cartridge once the review was done. It wasn’t a bad pen & ink combination, but I was always reaching past it to pick up another pen. As I mention in the review, the nib is wider than I want for taking notes and the pen is thinner than I can comfortably use for longer writing sessions.
The Diamine Prussian Blue ink flowed well from the cartridge, I didn’t have any hard starts. There was some minor skipping at times but never enough to be annoying. The nib was ready to use even after being stored nib up for a couple of days.
I never intended for these ink & pen notes to coincide with a review but I’m a completest and I can’t bring myself to skip writing this up. After all, how else will I count how many pens I ink up this year? So these photos are the same ones that appeared in the review. Not much new here.
Diamine Syrah is a favorite color of many, at least based on the reviews I’ve seen. Personally, I like red wine or burgundy colored inks so this seems like a natural for me. Yet, other than a small sample about a year ago, it’s taken me awhile to try this ink. Diamine Syrah is a dark red ink that has some nice line variation and a little shading. It’s a darker red than my favorite Montblanc Bordeaux but I still like it. The ink is wet and flows easily from the nib. This contributes to the line variation as the amount of ink put on the paper varies by the speed and pressure of my writing. The ink also darkens as it dries. I used my Sheaffer Balance Aspen and Franklin-Christoph Model 02 as daily writers for a few days. The Aspen had the only problem – one morning I picked up the pen, wrote a few words and then the nib went dry. A little strange that the nib had ink but the feed was so dry after only one night. The pen had been stored nib up and a couple minutes with the nib down resolved the problem. The flow was good after that. I did get some feathering on cheap copy paper. Not bad, but noticeable. It’s a dark ink so there was some show through. Even on a Doane Paper Jotter which is my favorite pad for note taking because I can write on both sides. I could still write on both sides, but show through was noticeable. Despite the fairly heavy show through there wasn’t any bleed through. The ink isn’t completely washed away in the water test but I wouldn’t consider it water proof. It’s a saturated red ink so it takes a little longer to clean from my pens, but I haven’t encountered any staining. Although, the longest it’s been in a pen is three weeks.
My Franklin-Christoph Model 02 with a extra fine nib had the ink for about two weeks. The flow was consistent and there weren’t any problems. The pen is a eye drop filler so my biggest concern was staining since this is a fairly well saturated ink. Yes, it took some time to clean and a little more than plain water. I had to include a mild pen flush soak and time in the ultrasonic cleaner.along with a little scrubbing. The hardest parts to clean were the “ice” effects since the acrylic is rough at those spots. After about 45 minutes it looked like new. The Sheaffer Balance Aspen with a medium nib was also used for several days. The wider medium nib contributed to more line variation. As previously mentioned, this is the only pen that had any flow issues. Except for that one issue the performance was good. The Gate City Pen The Belmont with a fine but wet nib and the Franklin-Christoph Model 19 with a broad stub were also problem free. While The Belmont is a fine nib it’s one of my wetter nibs so there was a lot of variation in the amount of ink put down giving some line variation. As for the broad stub, that’s always a lot of ink which resulted in some shading. There are several nice burgundy and dark reds. The relatively fast dry time of Diamine Syrah on my most commonly used papers puts it above the others except Montblanc Bordeaux.
Diamine Registrar’s turns my current iron gall ink obsession into a hat trick. According to the internet the ink’s name comes from it’s formula being mandated for use at Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages in the UK. I assume the permanence provided by the iron gall is the reason for the mandate. Iron gall inks bond to the paper as they dry giving them an archival quality. At least until the iron gall eats away the paper in a few centuries. Like other modern iron gall inks I don’t consider these inks dangerous for my pens. My rule of thumb is that I keep the ink in the pen as long as it’s used regularly or to flush the pen after two weeks if it’s not used regularly. The ink comes in two bottle sizes, a 30 ml bottle and a 100 ml bottle. The 30 ml bottle puts the ink at a rather expensive $0.52/ml. The 100 ml bottle is a more reasonable $0.30/ml but it’s still more expensive than the R & K iron gall inks which are $0.24/ml. The 100 ml bottle is plastic and intended as a refill. Filling directly from it would be a huge pain and probably result in spilled ink. I poured mine into a TWSBI bottle as shown in the photos. While I like the R & K Scabiosa color more, the Diamine Registrar’s has a certain charm to it and the ink is extremely well behaved. It goes onto the paper with a true blue color (although that depends a bit on the paper) which I’m not particularly fond of. But as it dries it darkens to a nice blue-black, or a greyish-black with some nibs and paper. The ink goes onto the paper with a true blue color which has some nice shading if wider nibs are used. Wide nib or thin nib the ink quickly darkens as it dries and the shading is less pronounced or vanishes completely. The change is quick which is some of the attraction. When I start writing a new line I like the pronounced color difference from the line above. If I write quickly I can see color differences between each of the last three or for lines. Very cool. Additional time results in even more darkening. The ink seems to darken completely overnight, at least as far as my eye can detect. To be honest, changes aren’t noticeable to my eye after about an hour unless I do side by side comparisons. The dry time with my preferred thin nibs is very good and much better than the R&K iron gall inks. Accidental smudges were non-existent. The ink does dry slower on smoother papers such as Rhodia but the dry time is still acceptable. The dry time does increase significantly with any nib above a medium. I like my nibs and inks on the dry side and Diamine Registrar’s fits that bill. I didn’t have any flow problems, skipping or hard starts. This ink is very well behaved. Feathering was non-existent on any paper I used and there wasn’t any bleed-through. There was some show through with nibs and paper prone to such things. But my typical pads and papers didn’t have any problems. Notebooks and paper with which I routinely write on both sides were just fine with this ink. There wasn’t any show-through to bother me on that second side. The ink is very water poof. I let the ink dry 24 hours and there was even a trace of the ink dye in the water when I poured water on the paper and wiped it off. Cleaning this ink was easily accomplished by just flushing water through the pen. To be fair, none on my pens had the ink more than a week which isn’t long enough to dry out or stain.
My TWSBI Vac 700 was the test pen for this ink. Fine, extra fine, medium, broad, and 1.1 mm stub italic nibs were used. There’s not much to say here. All wrote well and cleaned easily. The extra fine nib was the one used as my daily writer for a couple of days.
There’s something about Diamine Registrar’s that makes attracts me to it more so than the R & K inks. By drying faster it’s more suitable for note taking and I like the color it has when it dries (the original color – not so much). I’m also intrigued by the final color being different depending on the paper. I’ll use this ink more than R & K Salix. Diamine Registrar’s tops my list of iron gall inks and takes the slot as my permanent/waterproof ink of choice.
Diamine Salamander is the newest ink from Diamine. It’s a dark green so it immediately reminded me of Montblanc Racing Green. The gallery includes a swab comparison between Diamine Salamander, MB Racing Green, and the only other Diamine green that I have – Diamine Evergreen.
In the bottle, and in the Vac 700 the ink looks downright black. The ink also looks black when first swabbed or when using a wet nib and then turns greener as it dries. The color also varies a bit depending on the ink quantity, light and paper used. There’s a sheen to the ink, even after it dries that gives some depth to the ink where it’s heavy that doesn’t show up in the pictures. On most of the papers I used the ink dries to a dark green with some line variation from how much ink the nib puts down. Where there’s more ink it’s darker, almost black when the ink is heavy to hints of yellow or brown in the lighter areas. The paper color has more effect where the ink is lighter.
I used my Sailor 1911 Sterling with a factory medium nib that been stubbed by Richard Binder. It’s a thin stub but provides some nice variation with the right ink. I was pleased with the way Salamander performed with the pen, it gave the writing just a bit of variation. It did have some flow issues on my Staples Sustainable Earth Notebook (sugar cane) paper. That nib has written OK on the paper with other inks. Post-It note paper also caused problems although I can’t say I remember if I used that nib for Post-It notes in the past.
The ink also seemed to struggle to keep up with wider or wetter nibs when fast writing. It never really got to skipping, but the line was getting drier and drier. Overall, this wasn’t one of the freer flowing inks I’ve used. Especially when compared to other Diamine inks I’ve used which tend to be much freer flowing.
I didn’t experience any noticeable feathering with any of the papers I used. I also didn’t experience any bleed-through, even with 3 passes of the Pilot Parallel 6mm nib. (Blatantly lifted from Stephen Brown ink reviews.)
The ink flushed easily from the TWSBI nibs and the Vac 700, although it was only in them briefly. It also flushed easily from the Sailor 1911, where it spent a week.
While the spill test didn’t actually wipe away all the ink, I wouldn’t want to count on being able to read what was written if the paper gets drenched.
My TWSBI Vac 700 with extra fine, fine, medium, broad and 1.1mm nib was used for the writing samples..These nibs tend write a bit dry and the ink had the most problems with the medium nib. it would skip at times with fast writing and I’d have to prime the feed. The 1.1mm nib also had a bit of trouble keeping up but didn’t actually skip.
My Sailor 1911 Sterling with a factory medium nib stubbed by Richard Binder was used as my daily writer for a couple days and on-and-off for about a week. Performance was good except for the previously mentioned sugarcane paper and Post-It notes.
I rather link the ink color. There’s some variation in the color, depending upon the paper and nib. Montblanc Racing Green is still my first choice for a dark green so that remains a clear first choice. I also find the flow to be a bit finicky. The borderline flow problems are also a concern but that could be my choice of pens. Still, I think this will find its way into my pens from time to time.