I use a 4870 Epson scanner. I have printed many 8+10 prints from my scans. Now I am stepping up to 16+20 prints. Scanning 645 format at 3200dpi should give me enough to print that size. I scan in greyscale and end up with a file of 27 meg for that size. I am trying this as a cheaper alterative to my darkroom prints I make. I will be printing from a Canon W640 printer. I have printed one 24+36 as a test and it was okay. My darkroom prints had more contrast. Having a printer right in my town is the attraction to this method plus he wants the work so I can get a good price on prints. I am an Epson fan,but this printer is an easy solution for me. I think certain ones I will still have printed in the darkroom,but for many I have the ability to work on them with the computer before printing which will work better. My fear when I printed the 24+36 print was I would get a color cast when printed, but the Canon profiles seemed to work pretty good.A local photographer printed a 24+36 poster from a Canon 10D color conversion to BW and his print had a slight purple cast to it. Scanning in Greyscale as opposed to RGB seemed to work for me. What moved me toward this direction is many people I know would like some prints. This is a cheaper alternative to offer them. Anyway if anyone has thoughts here feel free to share them. Monte Johnson.
Monte, I think you're headed in the right direction. I guess it's possible to use both a printer and a darkroom. I haven't tried this, but one photographer I know makes a digital print, then takes it and the negative to a lab and says "make it look like this".
I've converted my Epson SP 1280 printer to BW only, using MIS inks. So far it's working very well for me - no color cast, no metamerism, and the print looks like the monitor image. If I'm doing a BW conversion from color, I try it three ways in PS before printing. First, a direct coversion to grayscale (Image>Mode>Grayscale), then desaturation (Image>Adjustment>Desaturate), then monochrome (Image>Adjustment>Channel Mixer>Monochrome). I pick the method that give me the best image, then do a final Image>Mode>Grayscale conversion before printing.
I will experment with your method. I am pretty picky about prints so I will see how well I do here. If it works then I will be able to get prints for peoply quickly if they want them. I get more enjoyment out of giving my prints to people who like them,but that is not very profitable. I would love to print my own 16+20 prints, but the Epson 4800 is out of my reach. I have tried several sizes of prints for display,but 16+20 prints seem to work real well. Anyway thanks for the input Bill. Monte Johnson.