Reviews Written by dudymas
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I have mixxed feelings...., November 23, 2012
I have mixxed feelings. I've spent a long time with this lead holder to make sure I could write a review with confidence, and after about 6 months with the Rotring 800, the pros have been obvious:
1) I absolutely love the weight
2) the action is perfect
3) the look is great
but the cons are what bring this back to a mediocre score...
The holder has so much mass that it takes very little for it to start unscrewing. This means:
1) I'm overgripping the holder when I want to keep the edge of my lead against the paper
2) The feel of the holder suffers because I get feedback from the swivel of the barrel trying to loosen
Please, someone tell me if there is a way to get this thing to stop being so loose... I've tried a few things, but I almost feel like maybe I got a lemon. For $80, I'd expect this would be easily caught by a quality department.
This is a great alternative..., April 17, 2012
This is a great alternative to the 2mm turquoise leads, as these are more erasable and have a greater range of contrast. The prismacolor turquoise 2mm are pretty much what you'd expect of color pencils, and if that's your aim, don't use this lead. But if you want to use blue 2mm as a sketch medium, these darker blue Mars Lumochrom leads rock.
While they don't erase completely, you usually don't care because you just sketch lightly and/or scan the finished linework into a computer and if you ink over the blue lines, most software make it effortless to filter out the blue.
I've tried a few erasers, and kneaded works best, and you can only go about 1/2 way to the darkest value with these leads before erasing becomes a problem. That said, I've put down a medium turquoise line next to a slightly darker (not quite 1/2 way) blue Lumochrom line, and the lumichrom easily erases away faster and more completely than the turquoise. On post-it notes, they perform smoothly, while on medium/normal paper they will need a couple more swipes before a nice clean line is laid down (the lighter I press, the more grainy the line gets). However, if you use these on well sized watercolor or... let me try out a maruman soho here... Yeah... rougher and thicker paper or paper with sizing will handle the lead and erasing much better, at a cost of eating the Lumochrom a bit faster.
The darker pigment has it's disadvantages (i.e. smudginess is higher), but you won't burn through a lead very fast if you have a light hand and a plan your shading/layers carefully. If your hand is heavy, just get heavier paper or size the paper (if you play with stuff like that). For the price, they more than make up for being 3 times the cost of prismacolor's 2mm turquoise, as I could see one of these leads lasting longer and working better than 3 turquoise leads.
As a final word, if you need to choose, and don't erase much, you can still consider the prismacolor turquoise for pure inking. They otherwise are smoother, less smudgy, and accept greater ranges of paper. If you like to experiment, however, or improv a ton on your lines, or you're just a doodler in general, these lumochroms are great and can even leave marks strong enough to add character if you like sketchwork to show in your proofs and scans.
Hope this review helps, and understand I can't replace the prismacolor turquoise... these just fit a separate, equally important niche.
I may update this later after I get a good sharpener, as I haven't really got something that works well with the prismas or my Lumochrom's (most cheap or built-in sharpeners clog and waste), so for now, best to get a sandpaper sharpener or keep the linework loose.