Monitor Calibration - beginner question.

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Michael Floyd Contributing Member • Posts: 736
Monitor Calibration - beginner question.
1

I am absolutely loving the output from my Canon Pro-300. I'm all of a dozen prints into it, so definitely very very early days still.

I have a couple of questions that I've not been able to find clear answers to, hoping to lean on the collective experience and wisdom here.

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Background for anyone that didn't follow my previous thread about choosing a printer...

I'm all about the monochrome prints on matte paper. I'm aiming to print just 3 or 4 A4 sized prints each week, occasionally I'll do a larger A3+ print. I will do colour very rarely, and even when I do the colours will be quite desaturated and subtle. This is my first serious home printer. The prints are for my own enjoyment and as a path to improving my photography.

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First question: If I use my printer exclusively for monochrome prints, for let's say a month or maybe three, do I risk the colour ink channels/jets clogging up due to lack of use? Would it be recommended in this case to print a small colour print (or an alignment run or whatever) each week just as a maintenance task?

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Second question: Monitor calibration.

Ok, this feels like getting serious and is a world of unknowns to me.

Firstly, I edit and print from my laptop. I know, I know, this is not ideal. I just can't shoot out and buy every last thing I need all at once so this is what I'm working with for now.

This is the model: https://www.neowin.net/news/dell-inspiron-15-7591-review-a-lot-of-power-for-a-little-money/

Here are the screen specs:

Firstly, can I even properly calibrate the screen on this laptop? (I don't mean the inbuilt Windows calibration obviously) It seems like such a simple question, however I just can't find an answer to this. In the event that I can, would doing so be worthwhile?

I understand that this laptop should have no problems running an external screen, so that is obviously an option. The main reason why I would try to do without this for now is because my living arrangement is pretty alternative at the moment. 240v power is a sometimes thing and involves running an extension lead across the paddock. Ok to do once a week to run the printer, pretty boring to do every time I want to edit a photo.

I'm pretty sure I can work my way through the calibration process when the time comes, there are plenty of "how to's" on line, just figuring out if my laptop screen will bend to my wishes is eluding me.

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Third question: Calibration as it relates to monochrome printing.

How much does monitor calibration affect my monochrome printing? It does not feel very difficult so far to get the print how I would like it to be, and matching well to the screen, as much as the two different mediums seem to allow. I can adjust my screen brightness and it's gamma nicely by eye using a reference image in the hand. If I felt the need I can easily apply a curve to the image as I send it out to the printer. (I haven't felt the need yet).

I know that there is a lot more to it that this, so I guess my question is what am I missing here? It doesn't seem too difficult. (for mono)

Cheers and thanks, Michael.

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