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Private Reserve Ebony Blue


This is an ink that I can't quite figure out. When I wrote the review, I was thinking it was a straight-up blue/black. As I look at it now, though, it's definitely got a lot of green in it. You can see this in the swatch at the bottom of the written bit. Aw, heck. I'll just post it right here.

Ebony Blue is a dark ink, whether it's really a green or really a blue. The Lamy fine nib that I was using it in is a little on the dry side, so you see more of the green than you would if you had a wet nib. I'd recommend a wet nib for this ink. It's a little thick (as PR inks tend to be) and it's a liable to get a bit dry in your feed if you don't use your pen for a while.

Taken in sunlight, pre-water-test.

Here's the water-drop test video. It's a little shorter than the others have been recently. My wife came home with a bunch of Girl Scout cookies and the cat was prowling around trying to jump on my desk the whole time. He actually wrecked two video-attempts with his jumping today. Dude just doesn't want to stay on the floor today.

This one isn't all that water-resistant, but it will leave some ink on the page. Looking at it now, it left a lot of green on the page where the water was.

Namiki Blue

I wasn't sure what to expect from this ink. I don't get many of the "stock" inks from the big manufacturers. My impression of them is that they're usually pretty bland. If Namiki Blue is any indication, then I might be wrong about that.

I feel like they could have been a little more creative in their naming, but I suppose they used up their creativity on the Iroshizuku line.

I really didn't like this ink all that much when I first started writing with it. It's nice and smooth, but it looked a little too dark for me. The color changes as it dries, though, and the resulting color is much more interesting than I thought it would be.

Here's the water test video.

Noodler's Luxury Blue


This is an ink that I was really expecting to like. It's a relatively expensive ink. At $13.50 for a 1oz bottle, it's a little over three times as expensive as most of the other Noodler's inks. I didn't get a bottle, though. As with most of the inks I review, I only have a sample of this ink. 

There are lots of good blue inks by Noodler's, and this one has the word "luxury" right there in the name. I remember that Brian Goulet had said (back when Liberty's Elysium was coming out) that the only blue ink that was more waterproof was Luxury Blue, and I'd wanted to check that out ever since. In the end, though, its performance was just kind of average. 

As I say above, the saturation wasn't as strong as I was expecting and it was a little dry for my tastes. If you have a really wet nib, this might work out much better for you. At the very top of this post you can see that the ink skipped a bit when I was drawing the swooshy underline. Sometimes I'll correct that sort of thing a little bit, but it was pretty common with this ink, so I left it unaltered. You can also see a few other skips in the text, if you're looking for them. The nib I have on my TWSBI isn't the standard one, and this Knox nib is decently wet, so I have to say that the trouble is with the ink. 

One good thing about this ink is that it doesn't really bleed or feather on most papers. I saw some occasional mild bleeding on office copy papers, but that's about it. Most everything else could handle it just fine. That might be due to the anemic flow, but I'll chalk it up as an advantage anyway. The other is that it's one of the Eternal inks from Noodler's. They're supposed to resist all sorts of things including chemicals and light. (Here's a link to a post where a guy tries all sorts of things to remove different inks, and Luxury Blue sticks around. He doesn't include pictures, but it's still a good post.)

It's an interesting blue. I think it's somewhere in between the darker blue of Liberty's Elysium and the lighter (almost denim) of Upper Ganges Blue. There's that hint of duskiness to the color that adds some interest, but it could really use something more, in my opinion.

Water-Test Video:
Nothing super-surprising in this video. Still, I made it, and you should watch it if you like videos that star inks. 

A Survey of Browns

So, I've just noticed that I have been using mostly brown inks. I'm not sure why I'm on this streak, but I totally am. This isn't an ink review, and a couple of these aren't even fountain pen inks, but you're going to see examples of several different browns in this post.

Here's the whole set of pens and inks. Most of them are fountain pens, but the last two are a pair of Uniball pens that I've been using a lot. 

From left to right: Monteverde Artista Crystal, TWSBI 700, TWSBI 540, Sheaffer VFM, a nameless Colibri fountain pen, and the Uniball Jetstream and Signo from the BL

This one looks black in this nib, but if you write quickly it will show a lighter brown shade.

I don't really know what color this is, but I decided to include it in the brown inks. It's really sort of like a grey-brown, I think. I'm surprised how much I like it. 

Terra de Feu is a red-brown, but it belongs in this post for sure. 

A lull in the action.

Hey folks,
It's been quiet on Inkdependence for the last week or so. I spent most of the weekend following my last post with a pretty bad toothache, had a wisdom tooth pulled, did some recovering, and then started the hectic dash to get my syllabi and classes in order just before class started at my university. This week is the first week back in class, and I'll have a little breather at the end of the week. Expect new content in the very near future.

Ultramarine Sheaffer Intensity Fountain Pen

This is a pen that we have been thinking of getting for over a year. They're regularly-priced at the high-end of our price-range. Audrey has been admiring this pen in it's cornflower blue form, but the price on this one was too good to pass up, so we got it in Ultramarine. I wish we'd bought two of them. Fortunately, Audrey let me use this one for a while so that I could write up a review of it. 

The Look

Sheaffer Intensity
 These pens come in several different color patterns, but most of them have these chrome-plate stripes. This ultramarine is a really nice dark blue. It's a nice finish on both the blue and the chrome, though it does tend to pick up fingerprints.
Sheaffer Intensity
 The section is quite a lot narrower than body, and it's plated all in chrome. The cap will post securely on the body, but it makes the pen back-heavy, and that causes the section to slip out of your fingers a little more than I'd prefer. Ordinarily, the grip isn't very slippery. There may be a very slight concavity to the section, but I might be imagining it. The chrome is so reflective and shiny that it is very difficult to see clearly. The step between the body and section doesn't bother me due to the length of the section, so I don't think the threads are an issue.
Sheaffer Intensity
 The cap has that iconic white Sheaffer dot. You shouldn't have any issue with the clip. It's stiff but springy. I've not seen any issues with jagged edges on the clip, either.
Sheaffer Intensity

The Stats

Capped length: 5 3/8"
Uncapped length: 4 3/4"
Posted length: 6 1/2"
Nib: Steel. 
Filling Mechanism: cartridge or converter
Cost: $90

Sheaffer Intensity

Sheaffer Intensity
 This pen is solid. This is even reflected in the threads on the section. They engage with the cap with a fairly brief twist, and the connection is solid. It's actually really satisfying to screw on the cap. The brief twist that is required is short enough that it's not bothersome if you're a serial un-capper.
Sheaffer Intensity
 The Intensity is almost exactly the same length as the Lamy Al-Star that I've used for comparison in these photos. The Intensity is a bit narrower, and quite a bit heavier than the Lamy.
Sheaffer Intensity

The Nib

The nib is my favorite thing about this pen. It's small and unadorned, but the simple nib is pretty appealing. It also writes really well. The medium nib is actually fairly fine. It starts up immediately every time, and it doesn't skip at all. It's one of the smoothest nibs I've used, and the feed is perfectly able to keep up with the nib. 

Sheaffer Intensity

The Final Word

As I said above, I really like this pen. It's classy, and it writes super well. It is going to be heavy for some people, but it's well-balanced when it's uncapped. On the other hand, it's fairly pricey at $90 so you're probably going to want to find one in the wild before you drop the cash on one. It's high-end for sure. Probably one of the better pens in that price-range.

Sheaffer Intensity