søndag den 27. maj 2018

De Atramentis Archive vs. De Atramentis Document

This is not a review, just thoughts.

For years I have wondered about the difference between De Atramentis Document black and Archive Black. I have been using the Archive black for years with great pleasure, in fact I strongly believed that  this was the one and only ink for me, well we’re all getting wiser – especially me.

I only use fountain pens for drawing. Slow strokes, fast strokes, with pressure or light strokes for faint shading etc. The most important thing for me is that the ink is waterproof and flows well. I’m not the type of guy, who chase after the blackest of the blackest ink. For me, the Archive black is all that, but the flow in some of my pens is a bit dry.
So finally, after years, I bought the Document Black and made this test drawing. Two scruffy looking cowboys, two inks. I used my Platinum 3776 (EF nib) because it’s one of my favorite pens, but mainly because it’s the most dry pen using the Archive ink (the ink flows very well in this pen, but it’s a bit dry). The paper is Stillman and Birn Gamma sketchbook, which is an ivory colored vellum paper, 150gsm. I have scanned and photographed the drawing and left them both unedited for the most true to life look.

De Atramentis Archive black on the left
De Atramentis Document black on the right
De Atramentis Archive black on the left

De Atramentis Document black on the right

bviously the inks are waterproof, I would say extremely waterproof. I have never had a problem using heavy amount of watercolors on the Archive ink. I don’t have as much experience with the Document ink, but from what I read and some quick tests, I believe it’s just as good.

The Document ink is not as black as Platinum Carbon ink, but blacker than the Rohrer und Klinger Documentus Black. I haven’t used the Noodlers Bulletproof black for ages, I’m not a big fan of this ink, so I can’t really say. But I would say that it’s just as black as the De Atramentis Archive black, to me they look equally black. Any way, the De Atramentis  Document black as a black ink, it’s not grey or brownish, but what you would call 100% black, which doesn’t look as black as a mixed black. But as you can see from the scan and the photo, it’s pretty black.

The viscosity seems to be the only difference, as far as I can tell (if you forget about the chemical as specs of the two inks). The Document ink flows just a tiny bit thinner than the Archive ink. The reason for me getting the Document black was to see, if I could get a wetter, but not too wet stroke from my Platinum pens and I can. The Document inks flows so smooth in the Platinum pens it’s like getting a new and better pen.
I use 5 pens: two Platinum 3776 (EF and SF nib), a Pilot Falcon (SEF nib) and two TWSBIs 580AL (EF nib). Of these the Platinums are my favorite pens, they just fit the way I use a pen. The others (especially the Pilot pen) are very nice pens too. In the future I will load the Platinum pens with the Document ink for a smoother stroke and the rest with the Archive ink (and document brown), because they are a bit wetter than the Platinum pens and I don’t like a pen to be too wet.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between these two inks, chemical aspects set a side, are the viscosity. I can highly recommend both inks.
Sorry for my rambling, I hope you can use it.