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Thread: Microtek M1 user experiences

  1. #1

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    Microtek M1 user experiences

    Since there isn't much in the way of information on the M1, I thought I'd share my initial experiences. I've had the scanner for about two weeks and at this point I'm very close to returning it and getting an Epson. I purchased the M1 with the Silverfast AI software and am experiencing some major problems. Microtek's Scanwizard Pro software has been difficult to get up and running and after a week of uninstalling/reinstalling, tweaking, testing--it's still very unstable and crashes fairly often. Running Silverfast AI, I've had no problems with stability, but at many resolutions the 16 bit grayscale scans are unacceptable due to prominent horizontal lines hat run across the scan. I'm a very experienced PC user, but the Microtek software is reminds me of the kludgy unstable applications available 15 years ago. Is it the hardware, the software? Who knows, and Microtek isn't providing much in the way of support.

    When I am able to get a good scan, the quality is very good for a prosumer flatbed, but the scans don't seem significantly better than the ones I've seen from the V700/750.

    Microtek technical support is very poor. The documentation is bad and the knowledge base is riddled with mistakes and incorrect information. I have been forced to use excruciatingly long mail exchanges to troubleshoot and the responses are slow, and incomplete. There is no technical support phone number, but maybe they'll give me one before I return this thing.

    Overall, this has been an extremely disappointing experience and I recommend purchasing another scanner with an established track record and better customer support. I haven't completely given up and I'll continue to post my experiences, but Microtek is making it hard to resolve my problems.

  2. #2

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    Without seeing a sample, I would have to say that the "line" you are experiencing could be a tiny speck of dirt on the scanning light source for your negative/transparency scans, which resides inside the scanner, below the film drawer. (I have a 2500f which is similar). I have had this problem before, and since the scanner shell or case cannot be dustproof, due to the sliding drawer design where you put your film, it is just practical that you would have to dust off this light once in a while.

    Here is what I do on my 2500f, and your scanner will probably fall into the same category. Slide the drawer out, and remove all negative carriers. With the scanner on (that is with the light on, so you can see it), I partially slide the film drawer back in, and thru the opening I use a can of dust-off type air, and I bend the plastic hose/nozzel on the can downward (it usually retains the shape), and gently blow out the whole strip light. There is a depression in the light, a groove, and dust can collect in this groove, and this creates a "line" or "streak" on the negative at this point when scanning. I hope this helps.

    I have never been able to get the current version of the Microtek scanner software to work on my G5 Macintosh, however Silverfast works just fine.

    You can also use one of those mirrors on a bent stick as used by dentists to inspect teeth, as an inspection tool to view your light. A dust speck too small for you to see will create a line on the scan, though.

  3. #3

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    I had similar experiences with a Microtek 2500f, on both Mac and PC. The best software I found, was VueScan, and even with that, the scanner software just hangs after a few scans. In addition, the scanner itself works very slowly.

    I replaced mine with a much cheaper Epson 4990, and aside from a small loss in resolution, I haven't looked back. It is smaller, lighter, faster, quieter, and the Epson software is fine.

    I don't want to be judgmental. Perhaps only the very biggest companies have the deep pockets to follow through with all aspects of development, when it comes to products like this.

  4. #4

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    @ Gene-- Thanks, but I don't think the problem is dust on the sensor. The lines move around and the number of them varies. They're also parallel to the scanning edge and when I've had dust issues before, the lines were perpendicular to the scanning edge because a pixel or two on the array gets blocked. I have a feeling it's an issue with the stepper motor or control of the stepper motor. I will try some canned air to see if that helps.

    @Ken-- I forgot to mention the M1 is dog slow and sounds like it's going to grind its plastic gears to pieces. I could live with those issues if the everything was working properly. The lack of support is really maddening. At this point, I can't get any response and I'm trying everything I can think of before sending a query.

  5. #5

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    I remember that sound: Clicking, snapping, and clanking. It makes you wonder if they ever asked any consumers for their opinions or input. I wish them all good fortune and prosperity.

  6. #6
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    The clicking, snapping, clanking and whirring noises that are, when first heard, very frightening, are the autofocus at work.

    Barry -- post an image with the lines and maybe we can help troubleshoot the problem.

  7. #7

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    Sure. Here are a few scans. The first at 2200 ppi and the second at 2400 ppi.




  8. #8

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    I am not too sure an Epson is always the answer, either. I have had a 4870 die in two years and my 4990 only lasted 1-1/2 years. And I do very, very little scanning. I was hoping to have a better experience with a Microtek. It is a crapshoot.

  9. #9
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    If those scans are done with Silverfast Ai Studio and set for multiple scans then that is the problem. There is a bug in the software that causes this sort of issue when you choose multiple sans. Try it with a single pass and as many samples as you want.

  10. #10

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    Re: Microtek M1 user experiences

    Ted-- Thanks, I don't think I've got it set for multiple scans, but I'll double check. If I can get Silverfast working smoothly, I'd just forget about Scanwizard Pro.

    Edit: Just confirmed that AI is not set to multiscan. Rescanned with same problems.

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