Ohto Fude Ball 1.5

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I really wanted to try a more unique pen as I was getting bored with the standard 0.4mm and 0.7mm rollerballs that I have reviewed in the past. I saw the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5 in my recommended list of products when I was purchasing some notebooks and pens to review on JetPens. It struck me as slightly odd due to how big the line width was. Usually, the size of 1.5mm is something I’ve only experienced on my Lamy Safari with the 1.5 calligraphy nib. Having that same size in rollerball was something that sounded really odd and not my taste, but sometimes, to find something you like, you need to first get out of your comfort zone.

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I can say with certainty that this was a hit and miss for me. I tend to write a little on the smaller side, which has been a characteristic of my writing since childhood. This pen forced me to write larger than I was comfortable with and hence, my letters were all out of sorts and crooked as can be seen in the written review above. There was no grip on the pen which made it very easily shift around my hand, causing the line width to vary sometimes from letter to letter. It took me a while to get a solid straight grip that didn’t vary in angle, but it was difficult to maintain for a long writing session. The ink was a little finicky and feathered on most of the papers I had which made it difficult to take notes in class.

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Some of the positives that come with the rollerball being this wide is the amount of pressure you have to put when writing is nearly negligible and the pen can easily slide across the page without effort. The problem with this is that it makes it difficult to keep a steady angle of writing. The pen itself is really lightweight and slightly translucent so you can keep track of how much ink is left. With a 1.5mm line width, I’d expect the level will go down quite quickly.

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Overall, I wasn’t very impressed with the Ohto Fude Ball 1.5. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea, but I’m honestly happy I tried something different. The monotony of reviewing pens with the same characteristics can really get to you, so it was nice to switch things up for once. Although it didn’t work out for me, if you’re looking for an extra wide rollerball with a lot of line variation, this is one pen you can definitely give a try.

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J. Herbin Bleu Nuit

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It took some real effort for me to decide to switch up my daily driver ink for another. Usually, I make sure to keep a stable pen that I know I can depend on with an ink that I can trust to not mess up when I’m using an ink I’m going to review in the future. I’ve had bad experiences before with missing an entire class worth of notes because the ink I was testing didn’t properly go with the paper I was using and started to bleed through. After a couple of those experiences, I made sure to always have a backup ready just in case. This semester, I didn’t take as many fountain pens to Indiana, because I wanted to stick to the bare minimum because cleaning can become a hassle. I stuck to my trusty Lamy 2000 and TWSBI ECO. For the entirety of the last semester, I had the Lamy inked up with Iroshizuku Shin-Kai, which quickly became a daily driver of mine and I’m almost finished with the bottle. I needed to review Bleu Nuit, but my TWSBI was already inked up with Bleu Pervenche. So I decided that I needed to switch things up a little bit.

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Bleu Nuit is an interesting ink, because of the way it looks straight out of the bottle. Honestly, I was initially skeptical of the color because I saw both the grip of my pen and my hand being stained with a purplish blue color and thought that maybe this was going to be reminiscent of Diamine Midnight. However, once I actually used it, it turned out to be a true neutral blue-black ink. Directly from the nib, it holds a purplish color, but dries to become blue-black with hints of grey undertones. Unlike Diamine Midnight, which acted the opposite way and caused me to dislike the end result.

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It has all the characteristics that one would expect of a J. Herbin ink. It’s lubricated, well-behaved and there is a decent amount of shading. This was especially accentuated through my use of a slightly wet medium Lamy nib. I’m sure the shading would be turned down if used in a fine or extra-fine, so that’s something to keep in mind if shading is something you look for. As I mentioned above, the color you see in the ink bottle and directly from the nib can confuse you, but be assured that it dries to a neutral blue-black. I honestly enjoyed watching it drying as it looks similar to how Shin-Kai looks when it has dried.

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One thing that might be a bit of a drawback with this ink is, as always with J. Herbin, a little bit on the expensive side. The 10mL can be bought for $5.50 on JetPens (not sponsored) and the 30mL can be bought for $12.00 from all your favorite pen shops. On the other hand, Diamine Blue-Black, another great blue-black ink, is priced at $7.50 for 30mL. My advice would be to get the 10mL to test it out and decide if you like it before purchasing any larger sizes.