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Staedtler Royal Blue

Thanks go to Corey at Staedtler for sending this ink out for review. All opinions (as usual) are mine.

 This is an ink that I didn't know existed until the DC Pen Show. In talking to Corey about their fountain pens (which look really cool to me), he said that he could send out some ink for me to try out. This blue is the first of those. I was sent both bottles and cartridges, and I tried out both of them.

As expected, they were the same. Shocker, right?

Royal Blue is actually a really good ink. It's a little under-saturated, so it looks pale in the nibs that I used it in. The stub nib on the Conklin is a little on the wet side, but this ink is pretty controlled. I wouldn't call it dry, though. It always starts and never had any flow issues. The fake Montblanc has a nib that's marked "F", but it's more like a medium stub. It's also sort of wet, and the smaller nib concentrates the ink a bit more, so Royal Blue looks darker from that nib.

This ink is also a little on the purple side. It looks more purple when it's fresh on the page, but it dries to something more like a cobalt color. It's pretty cool. A little more saturation would be fine with me, though.

The best thing about this ink, though, is that it behaves itself really well on low-end copy paper. Almost no bleed, feather, or spread on my test paper. Pretty impressive!

Written Review!


Above: SHEEN! You'd have to put it down pretty thick to get this sheen, but it does look rad.

Color Comparisons!

Shocking blue is pretty hot. It's coming up soon.

The Bottle
This is a pretty nice bottle. It's a bit shallow, but it's deep enough to accommodate a large nib.

Is this picture necessary? Nope. It looks cool, though, so it got included.

Copy Paper Test!

Look at that! Hooray for good behavior on copy paper!

A whole bunch of ink swatches!

I went through my ink swatches and found some that are close to this Royal Blue. Kaweco Blue is fairly close, but it lacks the sheen that Staedtler exhibits.

I'd say that Royal Blue is somewhere in the middle of Ajisai and Visconti Blue.

Bungbox Sapphire isn't that close, but it's pretty so I included it.


Not much to this one. It's blue.

Water Drop Test and Video Review!

So, I really like this one. It's going to make it into the rotation, I think. We'll have to see how the black ink shows up. They only make a blue and a black right now. I hope they expand that line soon.

A poll for upcoming ink reviews


Platinum Carbon Black


Thanks for sending this ink our for review, Luxury Brands

The Platinum Carbon Black ink is a pigmented ink, and not a dye-based ink. It's got a matte sheen to it, and it will smear a bit if you lay it down heavily enough, but it's got some really strong water-proof qualities. On good paper (like the coated Rhodia that I use for reviews) this ink is super dark and it behaves itself very well. On copy paper, well, that's a different story. It has a tendency to spread, feather, and bleed.

Not the best behavior, but I'm thinking that this ink is meant to be used in specific circumstances where a person needs a line to be water-fast. Perhaps for art projects where the paper is thick and water might be involved? It's not really my bag, but I've seen people who use all sorts of ink-washing on their journals and planners. I bet this ink would be stellar for that sort of thing. Do you writing, do your ink-wash, keep organized? I bet it works.

Written Review


Copy-Paper Tests!

 This is where the ink disappoints. I love how deep the black is, but that bleed-through...

 I don't usually show the back of the Rhodia page in these reviews. Almost nothing will show through that paper, so there's usually no point. This time, though, there's some bleed through on the back where I smeared the ink. It's not much, but it's not absent, either. Put enough of this on the page and it'll bleed through.

Color Comparisons!

It turns out that I had several black inks available, and that's really convenient. Carbon might be the blackest black of them all, but Kiwa-Guro seems to have more shine to it. 


Two pigmented blacks side-by-side.

Water Drop Test!  Review Video!

Here's the spoiler for that video, with a bonus comparison to Sailor's Kiwa-Guro.

Left: Platinum Carbon
Right: Sailor Kiwa-Guro

I received this ink from Luxury Brands for review, and they don't sell directly. You can find this one at your favorite Platinum dealer. I suggest Anderson Pens , where you can get it in bottles, samples, or cartridges. Probably a sample or a set of cartridges would be the best with this ink.

Raffle Winner!

Hi folks,

Firstly, thanks very much for entering my raffle! There were 1,523 entries, and there are 116 comments on that blog post and it was viewed 2012 times. That's pretty amazing.

Secondly, thanks goes out to Anderson Pens for providing the pen for me to give away through my little blog. That was super nice of them!

 And third....The winner is....

mjh215! Congrats, Matthew! (Look for my email in your in-box and I'll talk to you soon.)

To all of my new visitors, I hope you enjoy the blog, and I hope you'll stick around to see what I've got coming up soon around here.

Franklin-Christoph Black Cherry


 It's the last of the new Franklin-Christoph inks, and it's a really good one. Looking like a dark maroon in the right light/nib, but almost like a black in most other nibs or lights, this ink is very cool.

Thanks goes to Franklin-Christoph for allowing me to review these inks for them. (All opinions are mine, however.)
Who doesn't like a dark, not-black ink that flows really well and behaves itself on weak office paper?

Written Review


 As I said above, I really like the color of this ink, so I kept taking pictures of it. These are all taken in indirect sunlight. My favorite source of light.
 Below you'll see some shading in the first couple of pens, but it's almost completely missing in the Panther 40's big, wet nib. I can't for the life of me remember whether this is a broad stub or a broad italic. Stub, I think?

Color comparisons

 Three of the Franklin-Christoph inks represented above, and all excellent inks. The blue and black are just there to round out the set.

Copy Paper Test
 There's a touch of bleed on this paper, but it's fairly inconsistent paper. Good for lazer printing, but not for inks, I think. That's why I use it as an almost worst case paper. I think the ink performed pretty well.

More Color Comparisons!

This is a thing I've been meaning to do more of, so I'll start here. I have been in the process of cataloging my inks on these word cards for a while, and that'll let me do some more focused comparisons in the future. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Video Review and Water Test

This is an ink that I really like. It's interesting, and I don't think that I have anything like it in my collection. It performs well in all of the pens that I've had it in, and it is formal enough to use in most any situation, I'd think. Now that the review is done, I'll have to clean out most of those pens so that I can use other inks, but this is going to be one that stays in the rotation for a long while.

Check it out at Franklin-Christoph's site where it goes for $12.50 in a 2oz bottle.

Limited Edition Retro 51 for Anderson Pens!

Hey folks,

I just got an email, and saw on Periscope, that the Andersons have a very cool Retro 51 LE coming to them in December (hopefully in time for xmas).

It's called the Terabyte Tornado, and it's limited to 500 numbered pieces. Cool, right?

Head over to their site, check it out, and preorder to make sure you snag one of these bad boys. 


Franklin-Christoph Loden


A super-dark green? Yes. Please.

In most lights, this ink looks pretty near to black. If you're using a wet nib, it's going to look very dark. A slightly drier nib will show off some green in the middle of a line. You can see the variation in the lettering below, and in the video at the bottom of the page.

There's no sheen on this ink, and there's very little shading on normal papers. You will see some shading on better papers, though.

I've heard that the Franklin-Christoph inks are a little dry, but I don't think that's the case. They're not super-wet or anything, but they're certainly not dry. I'd call them controlled. They've worked in several of my pens, from generally-dry nibs to generally-wet nibs.

The only problem is that Loden is just a little bit bleedy on office paper. It's not a serious problem, and I've certainly seen worse. It was just fine in a drier nib, like the Lamy, and not a huge problem in the  wetter nibs (like the Wahl-Eversharp and the Delta).

 Check out the review below!

Written Review


These next two pictures are of this ink on a little Maruman pad that I carry around in my pocket. I wish I'd kept track of the pens I was writing these with, but I didn't. Anyway, they show the variation between wet and dry nibs. I'm pretty certain that the center line was written with the Delta Unica and the other two were the Sailor and the Lamy. 

Color Comparisons

I had a bevy of green inks in pens, and none of them are much like Loden. You'll find (below) several inks that are kinda close, but this one is unique in my experience.

Copy Paper Test

 Neat, huh? It's mostly a grayish green, but there are some really nice blues in there at the top edges.

 Anything Close?

I went through my stacks of ink swatches, and these were the only ones that I could find that were at all close. They're only a little bit close, though. Maybe Zhivago is sorta close, but it's not nearly a match. So, if you want this color then you'll need to buy this ink. No close matches, I don't think.

Here's that word card all by itself. 

Video Review and Water Drop Test

I'm a big fan of this ink, despite its slight flaws. It bleeds a little with a wet nib, and it isn't water resistant at all. On the other hand, the color is unique, the flow is nice, and the price is certainly right.

Right now, the only place to find this ink is at Franklin-Christoph's web site. It's $12.50 for 2oz bottles. You might be able to find it at Anderson Pens occasionally, but it's not a regular offering.

***This ink was provided by Franklin-Christoph for review purposes. The review, however, is all mine. ***