Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Review

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Review

(Sarah Read is an author, editor, yarn artist, and pen/paper/ink addict. You can find more about her at her website and on Twitter. And check out her first novel, The Bone Weaver’s Orchard, now available where books are sold!)

Have you ever lost some important writing to a tea spill? Or a water bottle leak? It happens, and it's the worst. I've had a few instances where I needed a truly waterproof ink for a task, but I've always been a bit wary of putting them in my pens. So many carry warnings of stains, clogs, or even pen damage. But I have heard good things about the Platinum Pigment inks, so I gave this lovely Brun Sepia a try.

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink

I filled my Pelikan M205 and started scribbling. I noticed that the ink in the bottle is opaque and doesn't have the transparent quality of non-pigment inks. The bottle is nice. Blown glass in a sturdy shape that's practical for filling pens. It comes with its own internal inkwell that is designed to make the pen easier to fill when the ink level gets low. It's like a wee plastic wine glass that sits in the bottle. When you flip the bottle upside down (with the lid on, of course), then right it, the small cup will fill with ink, and you can fill your pen from the smaller cup. It's a nice feature.

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Dry TIme

The ink flows well when writing, though it is a bit inconsistent. Sometimes it feels like it's dry, with a fainter line, then it gushes a bit and makes darker patches. It looks pretty--like extra shading--but it feels like a behavior issue. And despite the fact that it sometimes feels dry, it's not. In fact, this is one of the longest dry times I've counted out for any ink. It was a full 40 seconds before it was mostly dry, and even then it smudged.

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Waterproof

However, once it is dry, it is completely water resistant. I did a drip test, and you'll just have to take my word for it that I did drip water on the ink grid, because not a bit of it moved. I also couldn't really do any kind of chromatography, because I just got a wet line of ink. If this ink's number one job is to be impervious to water--it wins.

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Samples

The ink's color is also nice, though nothing amazing. It's a cozy brown, simple enough to be professional, but fun enough to not be boring. I love the old-timey feel of brown inks, and this one doesn't disappoint. It also isn't very similar to anything else in my collection of browns. The closest relative is Montblanc Toffee Brown, but while their swabs look similar, they are completely different in writing. This brown is almost rosy. It's actually the exact color of a Chilean Rose Tarantula…which may not be an endearing comparison for most folks, but it helps to highlight my point that it is a subtly interesting color.

Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia Ink Bottle

Overall, I like this ink, and it does its job well. It has a few faults, namely the dry time, but I feel that's a fair trade for the qualities you do get. It's certainly not going to be an everyday ink for me, but it's the perfect tool for when you need it. Going on a writing hike? Camping? On a deadline with your notebook surrounded by half-forgotten cups of coffee perched precariously close to your work? Definitely time for permanent ink.

Also: My pen has not suffered any ill effects at all. I'll update if it does over a longer period of time, but so far I have zero concerns.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


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Platinum Pigment Brun Sepia
Posted on April 25, 2019 and filed under Platinum, Ink Reviews.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Review

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

In my never ending quest to find better rollerball pens, I somehow totally missed the Tombow Zoom 505. I know I've seen this pen on JetPens many times, but it just didn't register in my searches or the aesthetic requirements at the time. Over the past few weeks, I've finally given this pen an honest try, and I can't believe I didn't try it sooner.

The rollerball market has always been a little slim on choices, and that's still largely true today. With the popularity of the Schmidt P8126 and similar refills, the rollerball market has boomed recently. The Tombow Zoom 505 takes a different route, though. The included refill is a 0.5mm replaceable rollerball cartridge. When it runs out, just swap it out for an entirely new cartridge. These cartridges just look like miniature Pilot Precise V5 pens, and that comparison goes a little farther than in looks alone.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen

A common downfall for many rollerball pens is the writing experience. It must be difficult to design and manufacture a reliable rollerball refill that also lays down a crisp line and feels smooth while doing so. I've had my fair share of disappointments over the years, but the Zoom 505 is not one of them.

The Zoom 505 refill is incredibly smooth. It's an absolute pleasure to write with, and it also managed to lay down a stunningly crisp line. There's hardly any bleed or feathering, and I haven't noticed a single skip or stutter while writing. It's an incredibly dependable and smooth writer. I compare it in my mind to the Schmidt P8126, but it has a finer line and feels a bit drier than the former. Still, it's a great performer and I really enjoy using it. The refills aren't terribly expensive either, and that opens your options up to colors (ahem, just blue) and other sizes as well. You can pick 0.5mm, 0.7mm, and 1.0mm tips, but the only color options are black and blue. This is a shame! If only the Pilot Precise pens actually fit inside this Tombow body...

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Barrel

The exterior of the pen is shiny and elegant. It reminds me of the Pilot Metropolitan with a shiny lacquer on top of it. It's a little bland for my tastes, but the writing performance helps me get past that issue very quickly. Despite the bland exterior, it's still classy and well-made. This pen has no problem blending in during an executive meeting, but it also works great for jotting down notes while waiting in line to catch a bus into town.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Grip

The refill is excellent, but the grip section is what really sells me on the overall experience with this pen. It's a delightfully soft and contoured grip that seems to hug my fingers without being so soft that it becomes hard to accurately control the pen as I write. It's a hard line to walk, but the Zoom 505 does it brilliantly. Long writing sessions are not a problem due to the grip, but it also has some help thanks to some small weights in the bottom of the pen that provides the perfect balance while holding the pen in writing position.

The cap is the same metal material as the body, and it fastens to the grip section securely. I've never felt like this will uncap by mistake in my bag. The clip is also strong enough to get the job done without being annoyingly loose or tight. The goal of any clip is that "just right" zone, and this pen falls into that category.

Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Comparison

Overall, the Tombow Zoom 505 is a fantastic rollerball pen that writes a smooth, crisp line and feels great in the hand. It makes a great gift for those who aren't sure about the idea of paying more than $3 for a pen, but it's also a stellar everyday writer. The Zoom 505 is available in black and brown and can be yours for about $20.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

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Tombow Zoom 505 Rollerball Pen Writing
Posted on April 24, 2019 and filed under Tombow, Rollerball, Pen Reviews.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead Review

I’m still working my way through a good backlog of mechanical pencil leads in an attempt to find a favorite. Next on the docket: The Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon Pencil Lead.

To begin this process, I chose many different brands in varying diameters and hardness levels. Even though I have my own tastes, I wanted to cover the spectrum and make sure I didn’t miss anything. 0.5 mm diameter lead in 2B hardness is not a lead I would ever pick for myself, for example, but I wanted to try it to see what if?

I must say, this one is nice.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead

It is dark and soft, and unlike some other leads I have tested, there is feedback! The last thing I want is a fake plastic-y feeling lead, and the Mars Micro Carbon feels like what graphite on the page should feel like. Maybe it’s their formulation?

It is highly flexible and thus break-resistant. The lead is also environmentally friendly, composed of more than 90% natural raw materials. Plus, it is produced using unique ecologically-responsible manufacturing processes without PVC or softening agents.

Those are words. I don’t know what they mean, but if they translate into “Hey, this feels like writing with a pencil!” then I am in. Now, I need to move down the line to a firmer lead for my personal use. If you like a softer lead that performs great, then this is one to check out.

Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B

As a side note, I used some fun new products to test this lead out. I had yet to take my Spoke Model 5 pencil for a spin, and to write on, what better than the Huntington Base Ball Co. Hardcover Score Book and Score Card I picked up as part of the Baseball Lovers boxed set I bought from C.W. Pencil Enterprise? A match made in my nerdy little heaven!

Huntington Baseball Score Card

For Spoke Pencil fans, the Model 5 is the ultralight option when compared to the more stout Model 4. I prefer the feel of the 4, but the 5 is light and airy, and I can see why it has been popular.

The Huntington Score Card is very well designed and comes with a tremendous hardcover to use to bear down on when scoring a game. I scored the early Saturday Atlanta Braves at Cleveland Indians game, and everything I had in use worked wonderfully. Unfortunately, they didn’t work well enough for the Braves to win but impressed nonetheless.

Baseball Scoring Notebook

To put a bow on this review, the Staedtler Mars Micro Carbon 0.5 mm 2B Pencil Lead is a lead I would recommend to others, but not use for myself due to the softness. I’m impressed with the feel and performance of it otherwise, and I already have firmer samples ready to test out.

(JetPens provided the Staedtler lead at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes. I bought and paid full price for the C.W. Pencil Baseball Box. The Spoke Pencil was given to me because I am part-owner of the company.)


Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, for which I am very grateful.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Staedtler Mars Graphite Review
Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Staedtler, Mechanical Pencil Lead.