This is another blog post that photography doesn't capture what the naked eye can see. Since I compared white inks in my previous post, I thought I'd compare some black inks.
Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star (Matte) is a very dark, rich, black ink and is a good choice if you want a matte finish. However, when using this ink, fine hairlines are lost no matter how light a hand I used. I even tried to use a different nib and that didn't seem to work. I've also noticed that it can sometimes feather depending on the paper used. I'd advise testing this ink on your writing surface before committing to using this ink. The one nice thing is that this ink is waterproof, matte and very opaque.
These are two nice sumi inks that I bought. The one on the left is Moon Palace and the one on the right is Best Bottle Sumi Ink. I purchased the larger size of Moon Palace since I love sumi ink for the opaqueness of the black and they make beautiful hairlines.
John Neal Bookseller sells these inks: the cost for Moon Palace is $15.95 for 450 ml (15 oz); the Best Bottle Sumi Ink is $15.85 for 200 ml (6.75 oz). I found both of these inks easy to use and both make beautiful hairlines and thick downstokes. I'm not sure Best Bottle is worth almost double the price of Moon Palace. I'll need to continue using both inks and comparing to see if the price of Best Bottle is worth it.