View Full Version : My Microtek F1 seems to be KO ...

Matus Kalisky
18-Jan-2012, 02:36

many of you ha indeed noticed my never ending posts with different color/calibration problems I experienced with my Microtek F1 (some of which can be traced back to the owner)

Anyhow - I have recently noticed that my scans look soft beyond normal, so I decided to contact Microtek support in Germany and for that I did some test scans of the calibration slide (as I do not have resolution target and the slide has writing on in which is plenty sharp for this purpose)

Anyhow - here are the results.I am only showing the 100% crops with no post processing than cropping. Please ignore the color shift - not relevant here.

Please not that the full 100% crops are 800x800 and to get them just click on the images

1) 2400 spi scan (this one with manual selection of the focus point, but changing the AF setting had NO effect - which was a first sign of the problem)
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7158/6719233641_a1bbfe1937.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6719233641/in/photostream)

2) 1200 spi scan scan scaled up to 2400 spi in CS3
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7171/6719233823_9afdfeda56.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6719233823/in/photostream)

3) 600 spi scan scaled up to 2400 spi in CS3
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7152/6719234003_946ed700d8.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6719234003/in/photostream)

4) 300 spi scan scaled up to 2400 spi
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7150/6719234127_d642acd3f6.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6719234127/in/photostream)

continued ...

Matus Kalisky
18-Jan-2012, 02:37
... continued

5) 1 Year old 2400 spi scan (which was made to check the color issued then) for comparison with the scans above.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7022/6719234255_28436acbe9.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/31007239@N06/6719234255/in/photostream)

Now comes the bad part - answer from Microtek support in Germany to who I have sent all the details with description (translated): "Thank you for the detailed description. According to our experience it is not the AF system that is broken, but the sensor unit and the carrying system needs to be replaced. The estimated cost is 450 - 550 Euro."

So it seems that I have a 10kg paperweight :( I had the scanner for about 3 years and I am not sure it actually "payed for itself" when I would compare to cheaper scanning service. I will think twice before I will buy a scanner again. One needs to learn the skill to get decent results out and one needs time to do the scanning.

I can only say that Microtek support in Germany answered very fast and I have also had good experience with them in the past - they really are willing to share quite technical advices per email and try to help.

Gary Nylander
19-Jan-2012, 23:44
Hello Matus,

I own the same scanner but it's called the M1 scanner in Canada here and for the most part North America. I too have had out of focus issues, it got to the point where every picture was out of focus, scan after scan I contacted customer support in the US and got an estimate for repairs, which cost about $225 US plus shipping was around $85 US each way, so I sent it off to get repaired, after it came back it did work much better and focused correctly. I have always had issues with it miss focusing even when it was new. I scan almost all black and white negatives the vast majority 4 x 5. I designed my own film holder. Years ago I had a machine shop cut an exact hole for my 4 x 5 negs in a piece of aluminum, this was originally a negative carrier for my horizontal 8 x 10 enlarger that I made out of an old Century view camera. I adapted this neg carrier to my M1 scanner. I have found that quite often the scanner mis-focuses because there is not enough contrast in the negative, so I drilled a 5/8 inch hole,in the neg carried near where the negative sits, and taped an old piece of over exposed film with cross hatches scratched into it and use that as my manual focus position ( silverfast ), it works well this way, a few times it will still mis-focus, but I guess that is the nature of the beast. I should mention that before I sent my scanner off for repairs, I have scanned close to 2000 negs with it.

Matus Kalisky
20-Jan-2012, 12:40
Hello Gary,

interesting approach of yours. I have bought this scanner as 'refurbished' and indeed even when it worked OK - it did have focus issues and I also realized that with low contrast negs (BW or C41) the AF failed more often.

What really keeps be back from sending the machine for a repair is the cost - it is as much as brand new Epson V700. Righ now I am in a situation that does not leave much time for photography and anyhow I would like to see how the coming Plustek medium format scanner will work and rethink whether I need the 4x5 scanning option or not.

But for now I am stuck with scanner that is not worth the effort and I just wnated to digitize about 20 medium format films ... oh well.

21-Jan-2012, 08:50
Does “the sensor unit” means the CCDs in the scanner? In my mind,CCDs are not easy broken.