Sunday, December 1, 2013

New Ink Maker: Octopus from Germany

It's a great thing having all this variety of ink colors to choose from. Wet ones, dry ones, shading ones and others, colorful ones and subtle ones - the range is large already. Is there anything we could want from a new ink maker?

Yes, I think so! Especially this really great caramel brown, fittingly called "Karamell" from Octopus here in Germany. They have a huge web shop selling printer ink and toner and apparently one of their chemists thought he'd like to make some nice fountain pen inks too. They're offering a small range of colors at good prices, packed in the no nonsense Pelikan ink bottles.

Nakaya Piccolo with Octopus Karamell ink

Volker from Pen Paradise sent me a bottle each of their Karamell and Pinie (pine brown) when he heard I was interested in them - thanks so much, Volker!
I've also got Red and Burgundy. So far I've tried red, which is a pretty bright and not very interesting color and didn't flow too well in my Lamy 2000. The Karamell, however, is a different story. I love this shade of brown, it's quite light but easily readable, a little reddish but not too much and offers great shading. I compared it to Diamine Ochre, Ancient Copper and Montblanc Collodi and it's very different from all of them.
At first flow was very generous in my Nakaya Piccolo, then it dried up somewhat but still flows OK without any skipping.

I'll try it in some more pens as this is definitely a keeper ink! Will show the other colors as I test them.

The pen I'm using it in is a Nakaya Piccolo in yellow tame-nuri but fitted with a Platinum music nib as I no longer liked the soft fine nib the Nakaya came with and had the music nib around. As nibs and feeds were identical except for the imprints the exchange went fairly smoothly. (I've heard there's been a change of feed generations lately so this might not work if you have an old and a new model. Also music nibs have their own special feeds to supply both slits)
I have to say the Platinum nib looks great - I might even prefer it over the Nakaya ones looks wise.

The pen appears pretty dark in this picture so if you'd like to see some more of it look here: Nakaya Rainbow. It's the rightmost pen in the pictures. The color looks similar to shiro tame nuri but when held next to each other you can see that the base color is indeed yellow instead of white.


  1. Oooh new inks... must check this out! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. It looks great, is there any photo of the bottle? I like ink bottles, I love them all :)

    1. I will make sure to make a photo of the bottles when I review the next color! I actually have two different designs, the ones from their webshop which are exactly like Pelikan 4001 bottles with a different label, and the two I received from Pen Paradise (maybe early models?) which look quite nice, like pharmacy bottles.

      Just received a new ink bottle today: Levenger Cobalt Blue. That's a really nice one!

  3. Barbara,

    The webpage small bottles do look exactly like the Pelikan 4001 bottles.

    The question that comes to mind is this ink manufactured by Octopus or is it Pelikan ink bottled with different label?

    Have you noticed any difference's?




    1. Hi Rahul,

      I'm pretty sure it's not Pelikan ink, for one thing Pelikan doesn't offer two shades of brown or a burgundy. The bottle shape doesn't seem to be exclusive to Pelikan. Other brands use these bottles as well, for example Standardgraph (another German brand).

  4. Please tell me where I can buy Octopus brand ink in the color Karamell in the United States.

    1. Hi Lynnzilla, sorry for my rather late reply but I don't think I can be of much help here! Maybe you could order it via the Octopus web site and get them to ship it to you? (Their shop is also available in English)