Ink Review: Diamine Registrar's Blue Black (Iron Gall)


Diamine Registrar's Blue Black (Iron Gall)
Pen: Lamy Al-Star EF
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: high
Flow: medium to wet
Dry Time: 20 seconds

After trying out my two favorite iron gall inks, Rohrer & Klingner Scabiosa and Salix, I figured it was time to try out Diamine Registrar's.  I'd heard that Diamine Registrar's was a lot more harsh than either of the Rohrer & Klingner inks, so I decided I'd put it to the test.

Registrar's is a deep blue black color once it dries.  One of the coolest things about iron gall inks is their tendency to change color slightly, usually darkening, once it oxidizes on the paper for a few days.  This is a property of iron gall inks, and is what also gives them their permanent characteristics.  Registrar's is no exception, however since the ink is already fairly dark, there wasn't a drastic change, though it was evident.

1. Registrar's after 5 days; 2. Registrar's fresh & dry; 3. Registrar's wet

1. Registrar's after 5 days; 2. Registrar's fresh & dry; 3. Registrar's wet

You can also see the change in the ink splatter. 

Wet ink splatter

Ink splatter after 5 days

The general consensus with Diamine Registrar's ink is that it can be hard to clean, so I figured I would test that theory.  After writing up my review, I left the ink in my pen and converter for about a month without touching it.  I picked up the pen and was able to write with it, so it hadn't dried up; though the big test would be trying to clean it out.  I emptied the ink out of the converter and immediately noticed that it had stained it (I couldn't capture a picture that showed it well unfortunately).  I went ahead with my normal routine and cleaned it with water, and it didn't budge.  So I grabbed my Goulet pen flush, filled the converter and let it sit overnight.  The next day the staining was gone, to my surprise.  I was impressed with how easily it came out, despite how long I'd left it sitting in there.  Not sure if that's a bigger testament to the ink or the pen flush, but I'm inclined to say a little of both.

All in all, I really enjoyed using Diamine Registrar's.  It behaves really well on most of my papers, even the cheaper stuff.  No feather or bleedthrough was apparent, but dry time was a bit on the long side at 20 seconds.  Like some iron gall inks, it does have a distinct smell that's quite a bit stronger than the Rohrer & Klingner inks.  I didn't find it overwhelming with normal use.  I don't know that I would pick up a bottle of Registrar's just because of it's tendency to stain converters, and lackluster color.  I definitely prefer the R&K inks to this one, and I think Salix is close enough in color to be a suitable replacement.  Nonetheless, it's still a good ink; so if you'd like to pick up a bottle, you can get 30mL for $16.95 or 100mL for $33.95.

Ink Review: Sheaffer Blue-Black


Sheaffer Blue-Black (Ink Drop - April 2015)
Pen: Lamy Safari EF
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm
Shading: low to moderate
Saturation: low to medium
Flow: medium wet
Dry Time: 8 seconds

The fourth ink in this month's Ink Drop is Sheaffer Blue-Black.  Sheaffer is brand that is fairly easy to run across; you can find their writing instruments and refills in most of your local office supply stores.  Aside from their fountain pens and inks, they have rollerballs, ballpoints and calligraphy products.

This is my first experience with a Sheaffer ink and to be honest I wasn't overly impressed.  Maybe I was expecting a more saturated ink as this one is fairly subdued in my experience.  I've found that inks from pen manufacturers tend to be a bit on the unsaturated side and this is no exception.  It's not a bad color at all, I do love the shade blue-black, but if I were to use a blue-black I'd definitely go with Iroshizuku Shin-Kai, Noodler's 54th Massachusets or Rohrer & Klingner Salix.

On the positive side, the ink is very well behaved.  No feather was present on my Rhodia pad and bleedthrough or ghosting were not an issue.  Dry time was average, at around 8 seconds.  All in all, not a bad ink; it's just not my preference.  Of course that doesn't mean that it isn't your preference, so if you're looking for a nice well behaved, no fuss blue-black, pick up a bottle at Goulet or a similar retailer for $9.25 for 50mL.

Ink Review: Caran d'Ache Magnetic Blue


Caran d'Ache Magnetic Blue (Ink Drop - April 2015)
Pen: Lamy Safari EF
Paper: Rhodia 80gsm

April 2015 Ink Drop is here!  The theme is Rain Rain Go Away - quite fitting for this month.  First color in the drop is Caran d'Ache Magnetic Blue.

Magnetic Blue is part of the Caran d'Ache Chromatics line.  You'll recognize the Chromatics by their cool tilted bottles.  This ink is a nice greyish blue with nice flow and not too overly saturated.  Despite the medium saturation, the shading is still fairly low.  No feathering on my Rhodia pad and ghosting/bleedthrough is non-existent.  Dry time was around 7 seconds with my Lamy EF nib with a light hand.

One downside to the Caran d'Ache Chromatics inks is their price.  From what I can tell, it is the highest priced ink per mL of all the major brands that I've been exposed to.  A 50mL bottle will set you back $33.20 at Goulet or a similar retailer.  The bottles are really nice looking and I'm sure that's part of what you're paying for, however I don't think it is enough to justify the price.

I do like Magnetic Blue, though I think that I'd be able to find a comparable color that wouldn't set me back so much.  Of course if it's your absolute favorite ink ever, it's certainly going to be worth the price to you.

Ink Review: Rohrer & Klingner Salix


Rohrer & Klingner Salix (Iron Gall)
Pen: Lamy Safari EF
Paper: Rhodia Dotpad 80gsm

Salix is another amazing iron gall ink from the German based ink company Rohrer & Klingner.  It is part 2 of 2 in the "Scabix" mixture that I reviewed recently.  Salix is a muted grey-blue ink after it has hit the air and began to oxidize like all iron gall inks do.  Though, when it first comes out of the pen, it is a more traditional royal blue color.  I am typically not a huge fan of blue inks, however I am a big fan of Salix after it has dried. I love inks that almost look as if they're faded out a bit - this one definitely fits that bill.

Like the other R&K iron gall ink, Scabiosa, Salix is a pretty well behaved ink.  I got a tiny bit more feathering with Salix on cheaper papers than I did with Scabiosa, however on a Rhodia pad there is none.  Dry time is about a second longer than Scabiosa, though the difference is subtle enough to call it the same.  Shading is fairly moderate which was a plus.  

If you're a fan of blue inks and want something permanent with lots of character, go try out Rohrer & Klingner Salix.  You'll thank me later!  You can pick up a bottle from Goulet or a similar retailer for $12.00.