Black and white printing on professional series inkjet printers is one of the areas that I specialize in, but I have some questions. First of all, what printer and inkset are you using. When you print, are you using photoshop or a standalone RIP. If in Photoshop, are you using the black only (ick) option or the full color inkset? All of these are important and I give some information on my web page in the equipment and colophon sections at:
Some of the considerations that you must keep in mind are:
1. ALWAYS convert your image to grayscale to be sent to the printer.
2. There are some really GREAT photoshop filters out there that will enable
you to select software based filters that mimic color filters normally
used on the camera in black and white photography.
3. Once you do your conversion to grayscale you will need to re-adjust your
levels for the image again.
4. Working in the 16 bit mode will enable you to obtain more detail in the
dark areas of your image. This of course is only valid if you shoot in the
RAW or NEF modes on your camera if using a digital.
If using photoshop, insure that you are not using the black only image option as the printer will overlay a VERY noticable dither pattern in order to create your grays. On the other hand, using the full color mode will mix the inks to create your grayscale and the end result will be blacks that are muddy rather than true black. Now, a way around this is to print in a color tint mode like a blue based selinium look alike or the brown tinted prints of the past. These can be VERY striking and usually sell quite well. If you are on the hunt for true grayscale images, then invest in a RIP (raster image processor). This software www.colorbytesoftware.com
can be quite expensive but for midsize epson printers such as the 2200 and so on it is affordable. Most importantly, they give black and white prints that will stun you with their beauty and your days of sending out to a lab will be over! Now, there is a low cost way to get stunning black and white prints. Myself, I perfere to use professional epson based ultrachrome printers like the 4000. BUT, HP makes several printers like the 7960 that when matched with the optional multi-black cartridge and the SWELLABLE HP PREMIUM GLOSSY paper will deliver beautiful prints. The key to choosing on of the HP printers is that it MUST use as an option the multi-black cartridge.