Robert Oster has been making a name for himself in the world of fountain pen inks over the past few years. His inks are well known for their vibrant colors and fantastic sheening almost giving the inks a color changing effect. The only experience I have with Robert Oster inks prior to this review is a bottle of Black Violet that I won in a contest. I love that ink as it looks black with a fine line but shows off its purple side in wider nibs. My primary ink color of choice is blue and when Frank from Federalist Pens and Paper asked if I wanted to review some blue Robert Oster inks I couldn’t say no. He kindly sent me two bottles, one is Soda Pop Blue, and the other is Frankly Blue. Frankly Blue is a Federalist Pens and Paper exclusive and was made to commemorate their 1st anniversary as the first U.S. vendor to carry Robert Oster inks. I decided to do an old fashioned “Shoot out” of the two inks since there are some similarities to see which one is the best (in my humble opinion). Some samples of these inks have been given away and future samples may make their way into other giveaways I run. But if you would like these inks for your very own, you can get them in 50ml plastic bottles from Federalist Pens and Paper for $18 USD, the colors are nature friendly and even better, the bottles are recyclable.
I tested the Soda Pop Blue and Frankly Blue on a Rhodia Dot Grid notepad. I used a 1.1 Stub Conklin Word Gauge for the Soda Pop Blue and a 1.1 Stub Twiss pen for the Frankly Blue.
- The Soda Pop Blue color gradient ranged from a royal blue to teal on the Rhodia paper. I did see a small amount of red sheen on this paper.
- The Frankly Blue color gradient ranged from a deep blue/black to a light teal depending on pressure and line thickness. A vibrant red sheen was visible when this ink was laid down heavily and added an interesting optical effect when you tilt the page.
- The Soda Pop Blue had a dry time of well over 20 seconds with a small amount of smearing at that time.
- The Frankly Blue had a dry time of about 20 seconds with a small amount of smearing still possible.
- After a 5-minute dry time the Soda Pop Blue showed little to no water resistance.
- After a 5-minute dry time the Frankly Blue showed little to no water resistance.
(The photo in the middle shows the sheen from the Frankly Blue)
Final thoughts: So the important question… which color won the shoot out? Which color reigned supreme? Which blue is the best… blue? While both have awesome color gradients and properties, I must give the win to Frankly Blue. This is due to the wider color spread, the heavier and more visible sheen, and the slightly faster dry time. What are your experiences? Do you agree or disagree? What blue do you think is the best among all brands of fountain pen inks? Leave your feedback in the comments below.