Friday, January 24, 2014

Blue-Black and Metro: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Furthers the Quest

Brand, Color:  Iroshizuku's Tsuki-Yo, compared briefly with Chesterfield Night Sapphire  
Paper:  Clairefontaine grid.
Price:  More or less $28/ in big fancy bottle for the Iro; about $8 for the CNS.
Intensity:  Deep for both
Flow:  CNS was a reluctant starter.  Not so Iro.
Shading:  Good for both
Summary:  Want a bargain?  Try the CNS.  Want trouble-free?  Go Iro.
Pen:  Pilot Metropolitan Silver Dot
Price:  Usually around $15.  I paid too much at $18.
Fill system:  Cartridge/Converter.  We hates Pilot converters for ever, Preciousssss.
Color, trim:  Silver.  And dot.  With a black section.
Size, shape:  Smallish, rounded ends.
Nib:  Smooth, wet M
Heft:  It's metal, so it's got some.

Summary:  People love the Metro.  Dr. Inkenstein is meh.  Cap doesn't post well.  Section is small, with a noticeable step that I did get used to after some time.  It's metal. 
Moar blue-blacks!  That's the cry around Dr. Inkenstein's lair.  Muahahaaaa. 
And while we have managed, with the aid of costly lab equipment known as 'pipettes, eyedroppers, and plastic vials,' to laboriously create some pleasing variations of blue-black with a teal edge, out of completely different inks not at all related to one another, we feel that parading these inks around would make our dear readers insane with jealousy, uhm, we mean, would not well serve our dear readers, who, when they saw the loveliness of the concocted inks, could not, alas, be able to rush out and purchase them.
So here is Iroshizuku's Tsuki-Yo, in a Silver Dot Pilot Metropolitan, with a scribble of Chesterfield Night Sapphire on the side, for comparison's sake.   
The Chesterfield NS is surpisingly close in color to Tsuki-Yo (especially on the page, not in the scan), at a fraction of the price, and especially when the Tsuki-Yo had not been accidentally diluted by water-dips to start at first, because it had been loaded in a cart rather than a con. 
CNS is, however, a reluctant starter.  A bit of dilution or a nib-dip solves that problem, but Dr. Inkenstein urges caution in using CNS in dry writers.
Tsuki-yo did not exhibit such reluctance.   While the ink sample behaved itself, we must note that the only full bottle of Iroshizuku we have purchased is Ku-Jaku.  Which may tell you something.
As for the Pilot itself, the step in the section bugged me but I got somewhat used to it.  The more I used it the better I liked it but Dr. Inkenstein is casting a jaundiced eye on metal-bodied pens these days anyway.  The pen looks 'significant.'  The nib is smooth enough, the pen writes well enough, but I would reach for my Pilot 78G before this.

Dr. Inkenstein apologizes for the unintentionally bolded text but can do nothing to alleviate it.  Stay tuned for further ink-splorations.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Night Sapphire: In Which Dr. Inkenstein Continues the Blue-Black Quest

Continuing with our blue-black mania, Dr. Inkenstein reviews two new blue-black inks, and casually tosses in a third for contrast’s sake.

The Chesterfield Night Sapphire, we are told, is made by Diamine.   There is a rumor going around that every ink on the planet is actually made by Diamine, but we can neither confirm nor deny.   Fountain pen forum consensus says Night Sapphire is really Diamine Blue-Black.  In pursuit of Ink Truthiness, Dr. Inkenstein will one day have to attain a DBB sample, and test them side-by side.  Just not today.

NS shows the teal undertones we are craving, and comes VERY close in color, hue, and intensity to the far-more-expensive Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo (coming up in a casual review of the Pilot Metropolitan).

The Hero ink was a pleasant surprise.  Less ‘green’ than the Night Sapphire, it is still a shade-y, flow-y blue-black that does not cost a fortune.  Six of these carts came packed in with my first Hero Summer Colors.  Unfortunately, I have no idea where to get more.  Probably fleabay.  Ink and pen are made for one another, and I find myself grabbing it all the time to make quick notes or write letters.

Diamine Denim is loaded in one of Dr. I’s pens at all times, in this case, a Platinum Preppy.  There’s little shading, but great flow, and the color is a suave, understated, medium… denim.  It leans more gray than either Night Sapphire or Hero, but if you are obssssessssssed, I mean, INTERESTED, in blue-blacks, you need all sorts of hues.
Forgot to add this photo:

Coming soon:  Pilot Metropolitan teamed with Tsuki-yo; and Fat Nib Shootout.