B&W Printing on 3880 // Ilford smooth peark
I'm trying to get into fine art B&W printing (hobbyist non-professional) on my 3880.
Paper is Ilford smooth pearl (luster) and Epson enhanced matte 11x16"
Right now I'm Shooting RAW and converting/handling in Lightroom. Could anyone with experience offer me any guidance on workflow to get consistently "excellent" output.
1] Lightroom from beginning to end using Epson drivers
2] Lightroom -> export TIFF, print via Qimage
3] Lightroom -> export TIFF, print via QTR
(Naturally all workflows will include ICC paper profiles for the printer)
I would also like to print toned and split-toned images, hence my second question - would you recommend using:
1] K3 inkset
2] K3 blacks only (ABW mode)
3] Third party inks e.g. Cone K7 SE or UT
This is very much a hobby activity for me... I have a busy career and a family to consider also, thus a workflow that is consistent and reliable is better for me than insanely complex one that is "technically superior" but very difficult to get right. Is there a path I can start on that would work well to begin with but let me grow with experience?
I realize this is covering is a pretty big topic. I'm asking here because I used to print B&W using the 2200 and stock inks via the Epson driver and with QTR. While QTR worked better than the epson driver for me, I still had a very hard time getting good B&W output that matches what I see on screen. My monitor is calibrated, but it always seemed to take me hours and hours and many horrible prints via the 2200 to get one good one. Color casts, metamerism, muddy tones, (you name the flaw, I printed it).
My thinking is sharpen for printed image size, 300ppi, 1440 dpi setting on epson. Goal being rich deep blacks and smooth tonal variations.
Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.