View Full Version : microtek 1800f
Hi. Got an 8x10 a few days ago...now wondering why I shoot 35 and 6x6. Anywho, was wondering
if there are any "professional fine art large format photographers" scanning with the Microtek 1800f. Thinking
about selling off my Nikon 9000 and buying this, as it will be useful for 8x10 (hopefully) as well as MF (although
likely not as good as the Nikon). Will likely part with my Contax gear as well. 8x10 is quite the seductress. Can't
afford to shoot with all this stuff consistently.
I hate 8x10.
Check some of the older threads and you will see that I scan with the 1800f, in fact am somewhat prejudiced toward it in terms of 'bang for the buck' in new scanners priced in the thousand dollar and under range. I use it primarily for 5x7 and 4x5 but do a little 8x10 as well. It works fine for 8x10. Not as good as a real high end flatbed such as any of the Creo's or as a drum scanner but way less money and will do great for most sizes that you would want to print. I seldom print larger than 16x20 from my 1800f scans but have tested it at 20x24 and the results were fine; larger than that and I still go to a drum scan. See the articles in "View Camera Magazine" that Michael Mutmansky and I have been writing for details, especially the first in the series which was in the July-August 2005 issue.
Michael and I are also running a workshop on scanning large format film in November in conjunction with Midwest Photo at their gallery. We will be concentrating heavily on the 1800f and will have two there for use by participants. You can get the details from any of our websites (www.fourpointlanding.com, www.mutmansky.com or www.mpex.com).
Lots of folks have had good luck with the 1800F. I would recommend trying a scan with a top of the line Epson or the Canon 9950 using Vuescan. I have been having good luck with 4x5 and 8x10 is easier to scan because you have much more to work with. That said, you did not mention what you are shooting - I am using b&w. If you were willing go shoot a few test shots, you could probably persuade some of us with different scanners to do a trial for you and see how well it works. I would be willing since I would like to see what an 8x10 scan looks like. A drum scan would be a lot better, of course, but you might have to make a really large print to notice, and at $200-$250 a pop they add up fast, as does the computer hardware to edit them.
I have used the 1800f for almost a year and I find it does an excellent job for the larger format negatives and transparencies. My target results are used primarily for web presentation and ink jet printing up to 11x14". One item I do recommend if you have not already considered is to upgrade to the SilverFast AI Studio edition. The Studio edition in my opinion does a better job overall.
I use the ArtixScan 120tf for medium and 35mm slides and found the 1800f does not perform as well for the smaller formats. I did read some technical data supporting the reason why and if I remember correctly it may have to do with the higher dpi resolution and the 10,000 element Kodak sensor the 120tf employs.
Enjoy your scanner, it is a nice one for larger formats.
Thanks for your input, gentlemen.
That's what I was worried about. Looks like I might have to keep my Nikon for medium format (and 35). This is going to be sickeningly expensive...
Keep your Nikon for the smaller formats, unless you only intend to make 3x5 prints from them.
Ed when are we going to get the 1800f in the scanner comparison? Based on your recommendation i am leaning towards repalcing my 4990 with one but I would really like to see the test results first. Please.....
As soon as the transparancy gets to me I will turn it around with results for Leigh. Last i heard it was finihsing up in Europe and on its wayu back to the US. I can tell you that my overall impression of the 1800 is that it outperforms the 2500 (not the 2500f) that is already in the database. If you want to get a feel for its performance contactme offlist and I can send you the hi rez scan (figure around 1 GB) of the image that was scanned with the 1800f in the July-August View Camera article. Offer holds for anybody as long as you have the speed to handle the download from my website where I will place it.
I have an 1800f. It's awful compared to my new epson 4990. I have examples posted at www.kenrockwell.com/tech/filmdig.htm#future
My 4990 thoughts are at www.kenrockwell.com/epson/4990.htm
I still need to do more exact testing, but from my experiance you can't go wrong wiht the 4990. At $400 there is no question, heck, I order from Amazon and send them back if I hate them
What size film did you scan in your example? I have been using the 1800f for over a year and my results DO NOT look that!! I would have sent it back if they did. I use the scanner for large format only and the 120tf for medium and 35mm formats. Perhaps the scanner you used got mis-aligned in shipping, etc.?
I am VERRRRRRY suspicious of any claim that Epson scanners are so good. I had a 3200, and it was good--until I saw what the Nikon 9000 could do. They are clearly not in the same league when it comes to scanning MF film, let alone 35mm. When I say great, I mean professional level, i.e. would a professional photographic artist use such a thing to scan and print images for exhibit and display. I don't think I'd do that with a 3200, though many people rave about it. In short, I'm not convinced, Ken.
I'm hesitant to agree with Ken Rockwell that an Epson 4990 for $400 performs at the same level as a $1000 scanner. While I'm not familiar with the 4990 if it doesn't have a separate glassless scanning bed along with the other features that the 1800f does then I would go for the 1800f. You get what you pay for up to a point when it comes to optics. It would be like comparing a Canon 5D to a Nikon D50 and saying that they are essentially the same thing even though one costs 4X as much. The 1800f is targeted towards those who want a professional scan in both reflective and negative/transparent. The 4990 based on its price point has to be targeted towards a more novice user.
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