Ink Review #790: Robert Oster Black is Black


I am always on the lookout for good black inks. Robert Oster recently released his first black ink, Black is Black so I had to give it a try. I purchased my bottle of ink from Pen Chalet.


The color:

Black is Black is not a dark black, it’s more of an unsaturated black that leans almost brownish-grey in large swabs.



In large swabs the ink has a little bit of brownish-black sheen.


Writing samples:

Let's take a look at how the ink behaves on fountain pen friendly papers: Rhodia, Tomoe River, and Leuchtturm.

Dry time: 20 seconds

Water resistance: Low

Feathering: Low-it had a bit more feathering on Rhodia that other Robert Oster inks I’ve tried.

Show through: Medium

Bleeding: Low-there was a little bit of bleeding in the larger nib sizes on Rhodia paper.

Other properties: low shading, tiny sheen, and no shimmer. The sheen was only visible in large swabs on Tomoe River paper.

On Staples 24 lb copy paper the ink feathered in all nib sizes and had a little bit of bleeding.

Comparison Swabs:


Black is Black leans more brown than any of the other black inks I compared it to. Click here to see the Robert Oster inks together, and click here to see the black inks together.

Longer Writing:


I used a Visconti Homo Sapiens Bronze Age with a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. The ink had an average flow.

Overall, this ink is not a true black to me, it’s almost a dark greyish-brown. It’s rare that I don’t like a Robert Oster ink, but I’ve become rather picky about my black inks, and I’m not sold on this one. I just feel like it’s not as good as a lot of the black inks I already have, and it had more feathering than most of the Robert Oster inks I’ve tried.

Disclaimer: I purchased this ink myself and all photos and opinions are my own. This page does contain affiliate links, but this post is not sponsored in any way.