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Thread: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

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    Default PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNAH, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    PAPER COMPARISON

    “Ahhh!!! What am I going to do without having a steady supply of Tomoe River 52gsm paper?” Like many of you, I asked myself this question a couple of years ago when I heard the rumor that Tomoegawa was going to discontinue production of TR paper. Someone once said “all good things come to an end”, but not TR52! For many reasons, Tomoegawa decided to discontinue production. Oh, they tried making the same TR paper on another press (“New TR”), but it wasn’t the same. Then along came Sanzen who purchased the old TR press. And they started making Sanzen TR paper. (And all of this is hearsay.) In the meantime, I had tried so many others. Some made ink look wonderful but were not pleasant to write on, some were very pleasant to writing on, but feathered, bled, or just didn’t make the ink look like it should. I had to make a decision.

    A kindly gentleman did a YouTube video on William Hannah notebooks and the paper that is in them. I was intrigued and did some further research. Other reviewers have done wonderful reviews on the notebooks and gave good reviews of the paper. After some time of contemplation, I decided to order a notebook and some additional paper. I figured that if I didn’t like the paper, I could substitute something else in the notebook. Yes, I was initially pleasantly surprised by the paper. It seemed to handle fountain pen ink well – even in my large, wet nibs – and was very pleasant to write on. I took me a little while to get used to the much thicker paper – 115 gsm. But I soon adjusted and am enjoying it.

    But, how does it compare with the other papers that I am using?

    Finally, after a few weeks of being super busy with work, I took a few hours and did a “side by side” comparison of all the papers that I am currently using – all six of them. My comparison included 3 Japanese papers and 3 European papers:

    “New” Tomoe River paper – 52 gsm in ivory
    Sanzen Tomoe River paper – 52 gsm in off white
    Kokuyo Campus notebook paper - ? gsm
    Rhodia Dot pad – 80 gsm
    Fabriano Ecoqua notepad paper – probably around 80 gsm
    William Hannah notebook paper – 115 gsm

    Since I only have one Seven Seas notebook left with old TR52 in it, which I am saving for other purposes, this was not included. Also, I did not include any kind of copy paper or common notebook papers (except Kokoyo Campus) since I don’t use them for writing. If I have to mark up a document, etc., I print the document on quality copy paper. I also didn’t include other good, fountain pen friendly papers like Cosmo Air Light/Snow, Mitsubishi Bank paper, Fritz Schimpf Feinpost, Clairefontaine Triomphe, Black & Red, Midori, etc. While I have tried all of these, I don’t use them regularly.

    My method was simple. I swabbed and wrote on each one – one after the other – using the exact same inks, cotton swabs and pens. My photography was also simple, using a mirrorless camera in natural light with exactly the same settings. Postproduction included only cropping but no other adjustment.

    I compared each paper against the other 5 papers and ranked them from best (1) to worst (6) for sheen, shading, smoothness, feathering, spread, showthrough and bleeding.

    Sheen and Shading:

    Swabs:

    Slide1.JPG


    Using the same ink and the same pens, I then compared each of the papers for sheen and shading in writing, also feathering, spread, showthrough, bleeding and the smoothness of the paper.

    Slide2.JPG
    Slide3.JPG

    Each of the papers were nicely smooth and pleasant to write on. The Fabriano has is the least smoothness of the six papers, but is still very nice. The New TR paper has a bit more "tooth" than old TR52, and more tooth than Sanzen. And surprisingly the Kokuyo Campus paper was very smooth and pleasant to write on. But my personal favorite has turned out to be the William Hannah paper.

    In terms of sheen, the New Tomoe River and the William Hannah papers showed the most sheen in the Sailor Yama Dori and the Troublemaker ink swatches. In terms of the writing sample, these two together with the Sanzen TR paper really showed the sheen of the Monteverde Horizon Blue ink. The Sanzen TR paper and New TR paper showed wonderful shading, as did the William Hannah paper. The Fabriano paper did show some shading, but not nearly as much as the other papers. As I have found with other inks, the New TR paper does allow many inks to feather. Feathering was more apparent on the New TR paper:

    NEW PENS INK feather close up.jpg

    One of the issues some reviewers have noted with many papers is how the ink spreads. This is apparently because these are coated papers. I saw a similar issue with both the New TR paper and lesser so with the Sanzen paper. The William Hannah paper showed the least amount of spread, followed by the Kokuyo Campus paper. Here is a comparison of William Hanna paper on the left and Sanzen on the far right ("Delta SIG").

    WH v Sanzen spread comp.JPG

    Ghosting or showthrough is very apparent with the New TR and Sanzen papers, as expected, while slightly less apparent with the Kokuyo and less with Fabriano. It was not an issue for either the Rhodia or William Hannah papers. Bleedthrough, however, was an issue for heavy ink application with the Kokuyo and New TR paper. But even in some of the writing, ink bled through on Kokuyo and New TR papers.

    Here is the summary of my rankings:

    2022-08-25_16-23-12.jpg

    Overall, each of the six papers are excellent. They all showed the ink colors very well and consistently. So, ranking them was not an easy task. Perhaps the most pleasant surprise is that the Kokuyo Campus paper is the least expensive paper of the six and holds up well against them. I was also pleasantly surprised to see how well the William Hannah paper performs against the New TR and Sanzen papers. In my humble opinion, it is far superior to the "New TR" paper and is performs well against the Sanzen paper, even without taking into consideration showthrough.

    I hope this was helpful for you. The process of evaluating these papers simultaneously with the same criteria has been helpful for me.

    **Please note that this is my personal opinion based upon the results shown above and my personal experience of working with each of these papers on a daily basis. Your results may vary.


    ****** Correction: The correct spelling is William Hannah

    Last edited by DrPenfection; August 30th, 2022 at 11:57 AM.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Very helpful, indeed. Thanks for your efforts.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Thank you so much for doing such a detailed paper review, @Dr. P, I'm a paper junkie too
    Of the 6, I've only used TR, Rhodia and Fabiano, which I don't use anymore. Fabiano notebooks often fall apart and I've never been a fan of Rhodia, and TR is not practical for the type of permeant inks I use
    My go to papers are Japanese, TR 68 gr, though dry times are often long.
    Midori is another favorite, and I am starting to like Apica. I have yet to try their premium brand yet. I wasn't enamoured by Stalogy or Maruman.

    Anyway, thanks again, such detailed work, much appreciated
    Last edited by Yazeh; August 26th, 2022 at 07:36 AM.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Great post - thank you so much.

    Of course I now want to get some of the William Hanna - and will do so forthwith!

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    . Fabiano notebooks often fall apart and I've never been a fan of Rhodia, and TR is not practical for the type of permeant inks I use
    My go to papers are Japanese, TR 68 gr, though dry times are often long.
    Midori is another favorite, and I am starting to like Apica. I have yet to try their premium brand yet. I wasn't enamoured by Stalogy or Maruman. :
    Thank you, Yazeh.

    I also use Midori for one of my journals and considered adding it to my list. While I like Midori, it isn't nearly as smooth as some of the others and doesn't seem to show off the shading inks as well (and you know how much I like shading inks). Also, regardless of the paper, I am not a big fan of ivory or ecru papers. They generally don't show blues off to their best (and you know how much I like blue inks). Apica paper is nice. I actually like it better than Midori. And I agree with you about Stalogy or Maruman. You may want to consider Cosmo Air Light, Graphilo or Mitsubishi Bank Paper. The Bank Paper isn't as smooth, but it has some good qualities. Cosmo Air Light shows ink qualities well, but to me it feels as though I am slogging through the mud, or skiing on slush - not as enjoyable.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Thank you, mizgeorge. I was surprised how much I like the William Hanna paper. I decided to take one of my notebooks out into the field with me, and was very surprised how well the paper took the abuse (as well as the notebook itself). But I really like the way the ink looks on the paper. No, it isn't the same as original TR52 - but a very satisfactory replacement.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Well I've ordered some. The weight appeals to me a lot - I suspect that cut down, these could make very nice swatch books - they're even pre-punched for discs, which makes it very easy.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Thank you for this great comparison, and the time you took out of a busy schedule to do it.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Quote Originally Posted by DrPenfection View Post

    “Ahhh!!! What am I going to do without having a steady supply of Tomoe River 52gsm paper?” Like many of you, I asked myself this question a couple of years ago when I heard the rumor that Tomoegawa was going to discontinue production of TR paper. Someone once said “all good things come to an end”, but not TR52! For many reasons, Tomoegawa decided to discontinue production. Oh, they tried making the same TR paper on another press (“New TR”), but it wasn’t the same. Then along came Sanzen who purchased the old TR press. And they started making Sanzen TR paper. (And all of this is hearsay.) In the meantime, I had tried so many others. Some made ink look wonderful but were not pleasant to write on, some were very pleasant to writing on, but feathered, bled, or just didn’t make the ink look like it should. I had to make a decision.

    A kindly gentleman did a YouTube video on William Hanna notebooks and the paper that is in them. I was intrigued and did some further research. Other reviewers have done wonderful reviews on the notebooks and gave good reviews of the paper. After some time of contemplation, I decided to order a notebook and some additional paper. I figured that if I didn’t like the paper, I could substitute something else in the notebook. Yes, I was initially pleasantly surprised by the paper. It seemed to handle fountain pen ink well – even in my large, wet nibs – and was very pleasant to write on. I took me a little while to get used to the much thicker paper – 115 gsm. But I soon adjusted and am enjoying it.

    But, how does it compare with the other papers that I am using?

    Finally, after a few weeks of being super busy with work, I took a few hours and did a “side by side” comparison of all the papers that I am currently using – all six of them. My comparison included 3 Japanese papers and 3 European papers:

    “New” Tomoe River paper – 52 gsm in ivory
    Sanzen Tomoe River paper – 52 gsm in off white
    Kokuyo Campus notebook paper - ? gsm
    Rhodia Dot pad – 80 gsm
    Fabriano Ecoqua notepad paper – probably around 80 gsm
    William Hanna notebook paper – 115 gsm

    Since I only have one Seven Seas notebook left with old TR52 in it, which I am saving for other purposes, this was not included. Also, I did not include any kind of copy paper or common notebook papers (except Kokoyo Campus) since I don’t use them for writing. If I have to mark up a document, etc., I print the document on quality copy paper. I also didn’t include other good, fountain pen friendly papers like Cosmo Air Light/Snow, Mitsubishi Bank paper, Fritz Schimpf Feinpost, Clairefontaine Triomphe, Black & Red, Midori, etc. While I have tried all of these, I don’t use them regularly.

    My method was simple. I swabbed and wrote on each one – one after the other – using the exact same inks, cotton swabs and pens. My photography was also simple, using a mirrorless camera in natural light with exactly the same settings. Postproduction included only cropping but no other adjustment.
    Excellent work. Thank you.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Review Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Wonderful review! Thank you very much!

    I'm now severely tempted to order William Hannah paper (even though I have a practically limitless supply of dirt-cheap Kokuyo Campus from a local thrift shop along with a good bit of other good Japanese paper).

    But, that said, I have been keeping a spreadsheet of paper cost, which includes cost per square meter, and it's definitely on the expensive side. A 100 sheet pack of A5 dot grid, shipped locally within the UK, comes out to £0.18 ($0.21) per sheet - that's £5.78 ($6.89) per square meter. That's more than three times the cost per square meter that I was paying for the old TR52 A4 when it commonly available - over two times the cost of old TR52 A5 similarly. (I haven't kept up with the newer TR versions.)
    _____
    My pens for sale: https://facebook.com/jaiyen.pens

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    @DrPefection. Musubi has orginal TR 58gsm A5 notebooks
    Add Lightness and Simplicate

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Quote Originally Posted by karmachanic View Post
    @DrPefection. Musubi has orginal TR 58gsm A5 notebooks
    Thank you so much. I ordered a few more.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Quote Originally Posted by Yazeh View Post
    ...Fabiano notebooks often fall apart...
    I have hesitated to reply to this, but I still have my Fabriano Ecoqua A5 ruled notebook intact after carrying it around the last year. It is red, two staples in the back that keep it all together and the outer cover is still in pretty good shape. I have had an A4 notebook with spiral back, and the current line of notebooks seem to hold up for me. I have had a few of these now. It is the only notebook I can go and buy in a store here and they always have it. These have all been from the basic (original) line, and there is a newer Ecoqua Plus line made to be more durable, with stitched backs and they look very nice. The paper holds up to wet pens and dip nibs.
    Last edited by arrow; March 24th, 2023 at 09:03 AM.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    I'm in the process of writing an outline for a paper and I have two types of paper available. One is a yellow tear-off pad and the other is a cheap spiral notebook. I first tried using a recent acquisition--the Wing Sung 601. It does a great job with a fine line on the yellow pad but bleeds and feathers with a thick line on the cheap spiral notebook. This was disappointing, so I tried to same thing with two of the finest nibs I have. One is a Cross XF (extra fine) gold plated nib on a 1984 original Cross Century and the other is a G (Gregg) nib on a Sheaffer Cadet. Both of the latter did well on both types of paper, the better quality and the cheap notebook. The ink in all cases was the same--a bottle of Russian Raduga blue. So, with the ink and paper held constant, all three did well on the good quality paper, but the Wing Sung bled and feathered on the cheap paper, while the Cross and Sheaffer did OK. As far as I've heard, the Cross XF nib was not made by Cross, but by Pilot.



    So, if I want to use the Wing Sung, I'd either need a finer or better nib or I'd have to use better paper. The other two do OK on any paper I use.

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    Default Re: PAPER COMPARISON - SANZEN, NEW TR, WILLIAM HANNA, FABRIANO, KOKUYO, RHODIA

    Quote Originally Posted by rff000 View Post
    I'm in the process of writing an outline for a paper and I have two types of paper available. One is a yellow tear-off pad and the other is a cheap spiral notebook. I first tried using a recent acquisition--the Wing Sung 601. It does a great job with a fine line on the yellow pad but bleeds and feathers with a thick line on the cheap spiral notebook. This was disappointing, so I tried to same thing with two of the finest nibs I have. One is a Cross XF (extra fine) gold plated nib on a 1984 original Cross Century and the other is a G (Gregg) nib on a Sheaffer Cadet. Both of the latter did well on both types of paper, the better quality and the cheap notebook. The ink in all cases was the same--a bottle of Russian Raduga blue. So, with the ink and paper held constant, all three did well on the good quality paper, but the Wing Sung bled and feathered on the cheap paper, while the Cross and Sheaffer did OK. As far as I've heard, the Cross XF nib was not made by Cross, but by Pilot.



    So, if I want to use the Wing Sung, I'd either need a finer or better nib or I'd have to use better paper. The other two do OK on any paper I use.
    In fairness to the Wing Sung 601, I was too hasty to reach the conclusion above. Some paper fibers must have gotten in between the tines to cause the appearance of bleeding and feathering. After making sure that the nib was clear of extraneous fiber, it acted OK on the cheap spiral notebook paper.

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