A few weeks ago I upgraded my printer from the Epson R800 model to the Epson R3000. This was primarily so that I could print at A3 size but also so I could take advantage of the excellent Epson ABW (Advanced Black & White) feature. I’m delighted with the printer and the black and white output is excellent. In the Epson model range it sits between the R2880 and the 3880. It’s larger than the 2880 but you don’t have to manually change between matt and gloss black inks (just press a button) and it has larger ink cartridges. Probably cost per ml of ink is better value with the 3880 but if you don’t need to print A2 then you would need to print a lot to justify this even larger printer. The R3000 seems an ideal choice if you want top class prints in colour and black and white up to A3 size.
However if you don’t have an Epson printer with ABW don’t despair. For many years I followed the advice of two remarkable men from the U.S. who pioneered using alternative methods of printing black and white rather than using standard printer inks which often gave a colour cast. Check out Clayton Jones and Paul Roark. Paul in particular has done amazing work developing new inks in conjunction with MIS inks. I should also give a mention to Roy Harrington’s Quadtone RIP package and to Jon Cone another black and white printing pioneer whose Piezography method produces great results.
So good luck with your printing and remember that printing black and white is on a different level now to what could be achieved even a relatively short time ago. As a former darkroom worker I can say the results are just as good and it is so much easier to achieve that final beautiful black and white print print.