"arcascomp" <cic@...> wrote:
> New to this BW printing lark but wanting to try it out preferably without spending loads of money!
Cost plays a significant roll in most of what I do and recommend.
> I have picked up an Epson 1270 very cheaply originally with the idea of running it purely for BW, but now I am enjoying being able to print colour stuff off in A3 and A3+ ...
The 1270, 80, and 90 were good for their day, but not good for B&W compared to more modern printers.
> I am basically wondering what the best route would be to allow reasonable colour printing combined with good BW printing. This is just for me and the odd print to show in the house, not for resale or anything!
The modern "k3" printers -- from the 2400 through the R300 -- do good color and B&W. They are not cheap, and purists might prefer dedicated B&W inksets. The use of 3 gray/black inks is often considered the minimum needed for good B&W. Some like a single black only approach, but too often printers will band if only a single ink channel is used.
> I have an empty CIS system for the 1270 and I wondered if it would be possible to fill the CMY tanks as 'normal' and then use photo grey HP #100 ink to fill the LC/LM/K tanks to effectively give tritone printing.
I do not recommend this approach. For color you're better off using the Epson (or other OEM) driver. I don't know of any inexpensive, cheap driver that will print color with a non-standard ink arrangement.
> Colour could be printed using CMYK (could light grey be mixed with cyan and magenta to create light versions?) and BW by the three shades of grey.
Most of your image with standard drivers would be the gray inks in the LC and LM positions. Then they'd cross over to high gamut color for the darker shades. I don't think it'd be very appealing.
> ... fiscal restrictions mean I am using one 1270 to print and I can't fit two 1270's to easily solve the problem. (main printing is handled by an A4 Canon MG6150, so this is just for playing/larger format)
There are some B&W inksets for the 1270. See http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/Inkset-list.html
for the MIS inksets I've been involved with.