Ideas for improving my ink reviews

In the last week, I really pounded out some ink reviews, investing some serious time and effort to cover the inks as thoroughly as I could. However, after getting some feedback (I knew I would) after having posted them, I’ve decided I may want to change or add some things to be a little more thorough.

These are the videos I’ve been doing the last week that I want to use as a format for future reviews:

Diamine Pumpkin
Diamine Syrah
Noodler’s Red
Noodler’s Beaver 
Private Reserve Orange Crush

Things that I feel are very important to keep:

1) Doing both video and the written portion with color-adjusted scans
2) Using multiple types of both white and off-white, consistently made paper
3) Water resistance test

Here are some changes I definitely want to make:

1) Use a fine-nib pen for testing the inks in addition to the 1.5mm italic Pelikan m800 I’ve been using (to get a better range of pen usage)

2) Improve the lighting on my videos (granted, the lighting was bad for the last 4 reviews because I was filming in a different location than normal)

Aside from these changes, what else would you suggest could enhance my reviews? Keep in mind, it’s all about time. For every review I do, it’s several hours of work behind the scenes, mostly spent scanning, color adjusting scans, and editing/processing video. What I don’t want to do is have these reviews become so burdensome that I either don’t have time to do them, or I rush through them and do a sub-par job. I want them to be comprehensive and a good reference ongoing.

Any thoughts?

2017-10-11T14:38:46+00:00 October 22nd, 2010|Ink Reviews|15 Comments
  • Anonymous

    I see no need for change other than a range of nibs – there is nothing I have seen on the web to rival them!!

    Tony

    PS nice to have Rachel's input with you last Tuesday

  • Minor addition please? Using your 1.5mm italic, go over a line two or three times, see how the paper reacts?

    Possibly a test of the paper as much as the ink, but for 'shading' / versals, this is something that happens; may be worth a shot?

    TIA pe2dave

  • I'm definitely going to add a fine nib to the test. I may add an extra fine down the road instead of the fine, but I don't have any extra fine pens at the moment (I'm an italic nib fan, really).

    I can do some lines going over 2 or 3 times, sure! That's easy enough. I'll play around with it and see how it looks.

    Thanks for the great suggestions, keep 'em coming!

  • Brian,

    Not to be so repetitive, but I too am wanting to see what a extra fine and fine and then medium nib is going to do with a particular ink. For example, my Lamy Studio is a fine, but with the Private Reserve Avocado it writes like a medium, no question. So, I *think* different inks have different flows in different pens. Also, I am highly interested in buying an extra-fine pen as my next purchase so I can write better in my Rhodia No. 11. Everybody says I write small, but in a No. 11, my writing is too big lol.

    Thanks for your work!

  • Whew…I'm not sure I'll have the time to be able to test all of those different pen types. I think just going with a F or EF and my italic is as much as I can do. I think just testing the two far ends of the spectrum will give me a pretty good idea of the variation of flow between the two nib styles. In a perfect world, we'd see a full review of every pen on every paper 😛 I will hunt around for an EF, but until I find one that I can learn really comfortably, I'm going to use my Pelikano fine nib, as I have a lot of experience with that and I know its variances. It's important to know the pen you're using before critiquing the ink, too many variables can confuse the results of the review!

  • Anonymous

    I'd like to see you review some more traditional colors. In fact, I would say look at your sales figures to determine the most popular shades, and do some comparison video reviews in those areas. Honestly, I don't care a whole lot about "pumpkin"; maybe that is just me, but I suspect it isn't.

  • Anonymous

    I think your reviews are great. DaveP's suggestion for going over a couple of lines would be really good. It gives an advantage that a photo or scan couldn't possibly demonstrate.
    I'm not too sure about the F nib, though. Since you are already using a wet-writing pen, I think you should use a "drier-writing" pen. To me a wet-writing F pen will show the same shading and bleedthrough (on cheap paper) as a wet-writing M pen, with the only exception of thinner lines. I have tried this before and found that, using the same ink and paper, my XXF pen bleeds through just the same (and sometimes even more) than my F pen. Both pens bleed through more than my drier M pen, which not only bleeds less but writes with a lighter shade making the ink look very different.

    I agree with knowing your pen before making reviews; there are just too many variables. I'm happy with how your reviews are right now and think you don't need to add any other nib sizes as long as the ink looks the same on the paper.

  • These reviews have been extremely informative, excellent really.

    I do most of my writing using a fine nib, so information about writing with such a nib is important. Even using a more typical medium nib would probably be very helpful to a lot of viewers.

    That said, your reviews are really well done.

  • Mike1000

    I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but I'll go ahead and put my 2 cents in. Aside from adding a finer nib to your reviews, I can't really see what adding a lot more bells and whistles to the reviews will really accomplish. Ultimately, for me at any rate, I want to see what the ink looks like flowing from my pens onto my papers, and "in the flesh" so to speak, not on a screen. Your swab shop and the reviews as they are now provide me with enough information to choose which inks to sample for myself. And only after I've written a few pages for myself can I judge whether the ink is what I'm looking for.

  • Psst. Sorry to bother you, Brian, but I think your Private Reserve Orange Crush link is pointing to your Noodler's Red review.

  • Fixed Danny, thanks for the heads up!!

  • Justin

    I was a little suspicious about how interesting a video ink review could be, but you really do a nice job of holding my attention.

  • Mike1000

    I hope I'm not stepping on any toes here, but I'll go ahead and put my 2 cents in. Aside from adding a finer nib to your reviews, I can't really see what adding a lot more bells and whistles to the reviews will really accomplish. Ultimately, for me at any rate, I want to see what the ink looks like flowing from my pens onto my papers, and "in the flesh" so to speak, not on a screen. Your swab shop and the reviews as they are now provide me with enough information to choose which inks to sample for myself. And only after I've written a few pages for myself can I judge whether the ink is what I'm looking for.

  • Fixed Danny, thanks for the heads up!!

  • Whew…I'm not sure I'll have the time to be able to test all of those different pen types. I think just going with a F or EF and my italic is as much as I can do. I think just testing the two far ends of the spectrum will give me a pretty good idea of the variation of flow between the two nib styles. In a perfect world, we'd see a full review of every pen on every paper 😛 I will hunt around for an EF, but until I find one that I can learn really comfortably, I'm going to use my Pelikano fine nib, as I have a lot of experience with that and I know its variances. It's important to know the pen you're using before critiquing the ink, too many variables can confuse the results of the review!