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Thread: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

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    Default Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    I'm new to all of this, please be gentle!

    I've lived happily - or so I thought - with one good fountain pen and all of a sudden bought two on eBay and then four more arrived from my mother (she thinks she has some more hiding somewhere...). I splashed some cash on some Montblanc ink (Petrol Blue, Manganese Orange and Mystery Black) and have that in six of my seven pens.

    The Mystery Black works perfectly with my Waterman Carene 750 nib but comes out weaker/paler with my Parker 75 with F nib.

    My question is do I need to find an ink that comes out darker with the Parker 75 F nib or is it the nib by nature of being thinner putting down less ink, so if I want it darker I need to find an M nib for the 75? Is there any reference guide here with inks ideal for different nibs/pens or is it a case of trial and error? I'm not averse to finding a broader nib for the 75, it really is my favourite pen (so far).

    I'm kind of answering my own question to a certain extent, this is a fountain pen forum and in a relatively short period of time I have seven good fountain pens, so different pens for different jobs. I wouldn't mind, though, having a really nice dark ink coming out of that 75...

    All help gratefully received. Thank you!

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    You will find that multiple items affect the end result, which is How does this ink look like on paper?

    The paper, the ink, the size nib (tip) and the degree of flow (is the nib/feed setup for a wet or dry delivery of ink. It is very difficult to give concrete advice unless one has the items in hand. The generalities that one can give would be things such as:

    • a fine (narrow) tip on a nib will produce less variation in color of an ink, less shading, and possibly lighter if the flow is low (dry)
    • a wide and/or wet nib will put down a lot of ink, hence both darker lines but also things like more shading, sheen (irridescence) or shimmer (glitter inks)
    • papers that absorb ink may dilute it's look, while paper that keep the ink on the surface may cause the ink to be a darker line (and take a long time to dry)

    Those are just a few of the elements. After a while, and with a few inks on the shelf, you start to get a handle on how to pair the inks with the pens and for what uses, as well as types of paper to use. For now, I would suggest - assuming you'd like to try a few different inks - that you order some ink samples (to avoid buying entire bottles you don't like) and see how they work in your various pens. I always make certain people have at least one bottle of a very standard, very well-behaved ink (such as Waterman, probably their Serenity Blue) that will work well in any pen. Put that in first and see what it writes like and then you have a benchmark to use other inks.

    It may seem a bit bewildering at first but... hey, it's a feature, not a bug: lots and lots to choose from! I am approaching 150 bottles of ink and damnit if I didn't end up buying four more at the pen show this weekend!

    Welcome to the fun.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    Thank you for taking the time to reply! It's interesting about the wet or dry delivery, I had no idea there was such a thing. I'll have to investigate more, and I'll try practising on different types of paper.

    I already have three more types of ink en route, it's a slippery slope.

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    Senior Member azkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    Montblanc Mystery Black seems to flow less freely than some inks I have. For the Parker you should try Quink Black and see how that works. You might want to do samples instead of bottles. Also try Iroshizuku Take-sumi which may flow a bit too much, and J Herbin Perle Noire. I would think one of those surely would work nicely in the Parker.

    I don't have it all figured out but some inks flow better in some pens than others, some other inks seem to work in a wider range of pens than others.

    Likewise, some pens tend to be really picky about ink and some work well enough with a range of inks.

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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    I am a rank novice when it comes to ink. That said, when I bought a Lamy Al Star I got a bottle of Pelikan ink. Later I read an online resource of how Waterman inks were wetter than other inks. I decide to give it a try in my vintage Esterbrook collection. What I noticed is a smoother writing experience in every nib.

    Recently I changed from a black Waterman ink to Tender Purple Waterman ink. Perhaps it's all in my mind, but the purple seems wetter than the black.

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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    The one ink I have that works well in every pen is Diamine Midnight. It's a very dark blue with great flow.

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    Default Re: Newbie question about different inks working differently in different nibs!

    I definitely find Waterman Serenity Blue to be an ink that makes every pen I've tried it in work better and smoother. I wished I liked plain blue inks and then I would only need this one ink forever.

    I've only tried Waterman Black in cartridge form limiting me to a few pens but it works fairly well in one of my peersnickety pens, works great in my Waterman Hemisphere and also great in a cheap (but good) Marquis. But yeah, Intense Black seems drier than S. Blue. And less smooth. But still a nice ink.

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