Since Diamine will be releasing their five new colours on June 1st, here is a little teaser to help make up your mind. It was posted on FPN but well, you know..
INK : DIAMINE SARGASSO SEA
PAPER : RHODIA #16 A5 white lined
PEN : Onoto Magna 261 Medium nib tweaked for wet flow by John Sorowka (Oxonian).
Scanner : IT8-calibrated Epson V600 flatbed
Colour Space : Adobe RGB
Matte : 50% grey and 100% white
Post-process : Unsharp Mask
Phil from Diamine kindly provided me with a pre-release sample of this ink which will be available from Diamine and authorised resellers from June 1st 2012.
Here is a close-up of the swab. I noticed a clear metallic sheen on a very wet writing pen which was just visible on the Rhodia but was very clear on G Lalo Vergé Ivory....
And a close-up of the shading. Shading in a wet writer is muted in this ink because it is so saturated. I did not have a fine or dry nib to test it on...
Since this is one of the newer inks from Diamine I wanted to run the usual drip and soak tests on it. While I can understand folks needing to know how an ink will react outdoors in the rain or where at risk of the odd coffee ring, I suspect those of us who machine-wash our journals are pretty rare. As expected, this ink is in NO way water resistant but then Diamine never said it was. Once wet, this ink will let go a TON of dye from the page. Bring extra kitchen paper!
Some folks have asked if inks show a distinct metallic sheen when used in very wet pens or flex nibs and Diamine Sargasso Sea is a winner here. This pic is not Photoshopped, just natural light at the right angle and a macro lens...
DRYING TIMES : The writing tests above were done in a VERY wet medium nib that had just been cleaned. Drying times on Xerox 90gsm were in the order of 10s and on Rhodia were around 30s. Clairefontaine Triomphe took a good 45s to dry as did G Lalo Vergé.
SMEARING : I noticed a very slight tendency to smudge or smear even when dry if the fingertips were not totally dry but only on certain papers. Copy paper seems to keep hold of the ink properly but very smooth papers such as Clairefontaine Triomphe will need handling with care and dry hands if your pen has a fat or wet nib. I do not believe it is as bad as Diamine Majestic Blue but be aware that since this ink is so saturated, there may be excess dye on the surface when dry.
BLEEDTHROUGH : Since the ink is so saturated, some bleed through may be expected on copy papers with wet or fat nibs. I would not expect bleeding on dry or fine nibs or when the ink is used on a good quality paper. Given the wet nib I used above, I recorded the following... Xerox 90gsm had pronounced bleed through and some feathering. Rhodia had minor bleed through and no feathering. Clairefontaine Triomphe had no bleed through or feathering. G Lalo Vergé had no bleed through or feathering.
FLOW AND LUBRICATION : Flow for this ink seems to be good to high. I suspect even a dry fine nib will put down a good line. A fat or wet nib will lay down a line towards the outside of it's natural width. Lubrication was excellent in the pens tested (my medium above and my broad stub). The writing experience was very enjoyable.