> I'm looking though a book I just purchased ("Sharp" by Nigel Parry) and I was
> thinking how amazing the B&W pictures look. So I was wondering what type of
> printing do high quality book makers use to make their books and why hasn't
> that technology trickled down to an Epson printer price range (5k to $700
> depending on size). The pictures in the books look better than any B&W
> darkroom print I've ever done.
It's called offset lithography. Plates are made from the original
blacks/greys) images (in color there are plates for cyan, yellow, magenta
and black; in b&w printing there can be from 1 to 6 , which are attached to
rollers on a large press. The plates are inked as they turn by rollers that
pass through an ink tray, and the plates then offset their image onto paper
which is passed through the press. It's completely unrelated to inkjet
printing, and is most useful for printing large runs. The amount of ink put
down on the paper in offset printing is typically small, and the inks are
not necessarily archival. Ever seen a poster that has hung in a sunny spot
for a while?