What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

New to the NIB, new to fountains, and need help!

Hey all. This is my first time posting in the NIB. Found this forum getting started with wet shaving. For whatever reason or another, I decided to get myself a fountain pen. I did a little reading and found myself a Pelikan m215 off ebay. Should be here in a week or two.

I bought the Pelikan because I have a couple Pelikan ball points that I enjoy (I don't know the model, I got them from my dad who is a pretty big collector of ball points). I've never used a fountain pen, and this one is coming with a fine nib on it.

Looking for a couple suggestions on ink and paper to get. Ideally would like a darker blue ink and a nice black ink. I don't mind spending a few extra dollars for a nicer ink (please explain why it's a nicer ink if it is one). One that caught my eye on ebay was the J Herbin 1670 ocean blue.

What are some other inks and ink brands that you prefer?

Lastly, what should I be getting for paper? I would like even just some blank cards etc. to use as thank you notes/ writing to grandparents etc. What do I look for? Thanks in advance for any help!
 
Welcome! You've picked a good fountain pen to start with.

Lots of good brands of paper. Clairefontaine hits a sweet spot for price and quality in my opinion, although I actually use more Japanese paper these days. You can get Clairefontaine notebooks and stationery from Goulet's among other sellers, although I'm not sure about blank post cards. But heavier papers that are reasonably smooth are usually fine for fountain pens. I've had no troubles with regular 4 x 6 index cards and 22 lb or heavier printer paper.

I like Pilot and Sailor inks. Pilot Blue and Blue Black are my go to everyday inks, while from their more expensive Iroshizuku line, Asa Gao is a nice dark slightly purplish blue, while Kon Peki is a much lighter shade. I have no strong preference on black ink, other than using it rarely, so I'll let others suggest specific ones.

Be aware that water resistance is not to be taken for granted with fountain pen inks. Of the ones I mention above, the first two are water resistant enough for my purposes, the other two are not. This may be totally unimportant to you, but is always worth mentioning if you're new to this and hadn't thought of it.
 
Congratulations! That's a nice new pen you have coming.

Paper: I like Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Quo Vadis. All are readily available from Goulet and other retailers.

Inks: Be careful with the J. Herbin 1670 line. It's really nice ink, but some of it has particulate matter that adds a special effect but which must be cleaned out of pens before it has a chance to clog it. I have some Rouge Hematite with gold particles, but I only use it from dip pens. I'm not familiar with the Ocean Blue, so I'm not sure about its qualities. I'll second the vote for Pilot Iroshizuku Asa-gao as a blue. It's my favorite blue. You might also look at Pelikan's high end Edelstein ("Gemstone") line of ink, since you have a Pelikan pen. Their Onyx is a really good black. Tanzanite is a good blue-black. And Sapphire is a nice rich blue. Topaz is a nice blue too, but it's a bit lighter and more toward the turquoise than you might want.
 
Welcome to the asylum bgusty!
I'd agree with the paper recommendations already mentioned.
Regarding inks, as with shaving, YMMV. I'd suggest picking up a few (or a lot) of samples from Goulet. Let's face it, one person's blue may not be suitable for another. Some like dark blue, some lighter, some more turquoise....you get the idea. I think the important thing is to find a blue that speaks to you. You can also try different colors that may be of interest to you without much of a financial commitment.

Best of luck on your quest!

PS - Try a few different black inks too....you'd think black ink is just black ink....but there are subtle differences between them.
PS2 - You may want to consider picking up a glass dip pen. I just got one yesterday and it sure makes trying inks a lot easier!
 

Doc4

I'm calling the U.N.
Moderator Emeritus
Lastly, what should I be getting for paper? I would like even just some blank cards etc. to use as thank you notes/ writing to grandparents etc. What do I look for? Thanks in advance for any help!
Original Crown Mill offers some nice card and envelope options. Get them at Goulet Pens, or elsewhere.
 
Welcome to the asylum bgusty!
I'd agree with the paper recommendations already mentioned.
Regarding inks, as with shaving, YMMV. I'd suggest picking up a few (or a lot) of samples from Goulet. Let's face it, one person's blue may not be suitable for another. Some like dark blue, some lighter, some more turquoise....you get the idea. I think the important thing is to find a blue that speaks to you. You can also try different colors that may be of interest to you without much of a financial commitment.

Best of luck on your quest!

PS - Try a few different black inks too....you'd think black ink is just black ink....but there are subtle differences between them.
PS2 - You may want to consider picking up a glass dip pen. I just got one yesterday and it sure makes trying inks a lot easier!
Great advice, [MENTION=55501]DukeNDuke[/MENTION]. Dip pens, samples, blacks. Yep.
 
Paper: I've never gone wrong with Rhodia or Clairefontaine. I am currently using one of the Goulet house brand notebooks for a journal, and the paper is Tomoe River. It is doing nicely.

Inks: Buys samples at first, not bottles. It's a lot easier to try a $2 sample, not like it, and toss it than it is a $12-15 bottle. I've tried many inks that seemed nice on the screen but didn't wow me on actual paper or didn't play well with a particular pen. Go to Goulet's swab shop and compare.
 
Paper: I've never gone wrong with Rhodia or Clairefontaine. I am currently using one of the Goulet house brand notebooks for a journal, and the paper is Tomoe River. It is doing nicely.

Inks: Buys samples at first, not bottles. It's a lot easier to try a $2 sample, not like it, and toss it than it is a $12-15 bottle. I've tried many inks that seemed nice on the screen but didn't wow me on actual paper or didn't play well with a particular pen. Go to Goulet's swab shop and compare.
Are there generally some inks that work better than others in general? As in are there some that are just notorious for not flowing well, stopping up pens etc?
 
This is a question that if you ask 10 different people, you would get 11 different answers.

In my opinion, it's a matter of pen and ink combination, and it might even come down to ink batch. I've encountered certain inks that work well in Pen A but not Pen B. I've had pens that worked like a charm no matter what you put in it; I've had pens that were hard starters no matter what ink you used. Nib size matters in terms of how an ink feathers because of how much ink is being put down on the paper.

It's really trial and error. I love Noodler's inks. Other people wouldn't take a bottle if you gave it to them. I've always had good luck with DeAtramentis. Some people swear by Diamine. I've never found any to my liking except Autumn Oak.

This is why I suggest going to Goulet's swab shop (many online retailers have some sort of comparison feature; I personally prefer Goulet), and pick out some inks you'd like to try, and order the samples. For the price of a bottle of ink, you can get several. If something strikes your fancy and works well, you might want to consider a bottle. If something doesn't work, you really aren't out anything.
 
Nice pen - all my usual pens are Pelikans.

I generally use Clairefontaine paper. I've had good luck with Quo Vadis and C.D. Notebooks.

Pelikan 4001 is the only black I've used, but it's a good one.

All my other inks are Diamine or Pilot Iroshizuku as I never read warnings about using these brands and they have, indeed, been trouble free.

I used samples from Goulet before purchasing some ink. They have nice filters on their site that allow you to select desired color and maker. Good pictures of the colors.
 
Papers: Some good ones - different price points: cheapest - Made In Brazil Composition books, Red N Black notebooks @big box office stores. As already mentioned, Clarefontaine, Rhodia (same company and very similar - Clarefontaine is a bit more upmarket), Tomoe River a thin (52 gsm) but very fountain pen friendly paper. HP LASER Jet papers 24 or 32 lb. (24=90 gsm) is pretty inexpensive per ream. Maybe $15 or less. I pad $14.95 from Goulet for 100 sheets of Tomoe River. But difference in performance is pretty big.

Inks - lots of good blues. Waterman Serenity Blue is a good "wet" ink. Many people use it as a baseline ink. Pelikan inks (4001 line) are formulated to be drier to work well with Pelikan's pens which run pretty wet. Pelikan 4001 Black is supposed to be very good. (I only have used 4001 Blue Black which is hard to get in the US anymore, as Pelikan isn't importing it.

The M215 is a good pen. I have two M200's and have had a couple of M205's in the past. The big difference between the M215 and the other M2xx pens is it is heavier with a brass barrel. The others weigh about 15 grams, the M215 would be in the 20's I believe. The nomenclature is as follows: M200 - gold trim; M205/15 - silver trim. This runs throughout the Pelikan line. From the M150 to the M1000.

There are a number of great blues. Go luck at the blues Goulet (or Anderson, or Vanness) has. Right now I have no less than four pens with blue - Waterman Serenity Blue, Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue, Blackstone Sydney Harbour Blue, Noodler's Blue Eel, Pelikan 4001 Blue Black, a couple of greens and a red.
 
Great stuff here! I don't have near the experience as the other guys here, but from what I've experienced, I agree with everything above. I too recommend a blue. I have always liked black pens, but when writing with an FP, I love color. Also, there are so many options - a professional/fun blue is a real possibility (not stuck with regular pen blue...). I love Waterman Inspired Blue, and my dad is loving his Waterman Mysterious Blue
 
Top Bottom