The question is simple: How can one make decent black and white prints today, specially in large formats? But then answering it takes ridiculous dimensions each time I want to print a B&W photo. It seems nobody around me knows how to print B&W anymore. Where do all these art galleries print their black and whites then?
1) The enlargers I have access to are not able to make large (1m+ wide) prints, and even if they can, I don't have the equipment to properly develop and dry such prints.
2) Inkjet prints I have made are rather limited in their black and white tones. I have not used the all-black carbon ink sets as my local labs (in Montreal) do not have them, but if you have used any I would like to know about your experience. The typical pro ink sets (like Epson K3 system) don't seem to be able to produce rich B&Ws, despite having several black levels in the set.
3) Durst/C4 prints also produce very mild blacks and very thin mid-tones. After all, they use color photosensitive paper by default. I have heard that some Durst Thetas do take real B&W paper, but I have never seen the result, and none of my local labs seem to be aware of such a thing. Again, if you have had an experience with that, please let me know.