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Microtek ArtixScan 1800f Artix Scanner Test Review
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I have one of these. I have not had as much time as I'd like to play with it as thoroughly as I ought to, but since everyone wants to know what I think, here goes.

For $1,400 this big and heavy beast improves on the Microtek 1100 which was used to scan half the images you see on my site. The 1800f is most likely the best way to scan your 4 x 5" transparencies short of a real drum scanner.

The Epson 3200 is also worth a look, however I'd test it first (I have not) to see if it's shadow (Dmax) abilities are OK for you. Personally I prefer 1,800 DPI and good Dmax to more DPI (which I don't need at 4 x 5") and a weak Dmax. Also this Microtek has a real film drawer and great film holders; the EPSON still has hokey film holders and expects you to scan through the same glass on which you've been placing your flat art.

The 1800f has great color and most importantly has a special film drawer making it great for scanning 4 x 5" and even 120 film. If you really want to go gonzo it comes standard with a glass holder that swallows up to 8 x 10" film, although I've never figured out how to use this glass holder without Newton rings. (4 x 5" is no problem with the glassless holder.) It scans flat art up to 8 x 14." With some plastic-working skills you ought to be able to hack out the 6 x 9 cm holders to hold 6 x 17 cm panoramic film. (I intend to try this.) You can load about a dozen 35mm slides into it at a time, too. This is a great way to go at a low price for the bigger film formats, and of course for 35mm you are better off with a dedicated 35mm scanner as suggested here.


4.8 DMax, 1800 DPI.

24" deep, 15.25" wide and 6.25" tall (BIG!)

28.2 lbs! (HEAVY!)

Scan areas:

8 x10" film and smaller

8 x 14" flat art WARNING: I said 8," not 8 1/2." This means I often run out of room scanning printed flat documents. I got this as a photo scanner; any $50 flatbed usually can scan the full 8.5" which the Artix 1800f cannot.


Big and heavy, scans 14" flat originals!

It comes with reflected and transparent color targets and calibration software. The colors are good enough right out of the box with Scan Wizard that I have not taken the time to try to figure out how to get the calibrations to work in Silverfast.

It comes with TWO completely different software packages for scanning: Silverfast AI AND Microtek's own Scan Wizard. It comes with Genuine Fractals for rescaling images.

It has great glassless film holders!


With Scan Wizard, dual 450MHz G4, firewire, Mac OS 10.2:

6 x 7 cm, 1,800 DPI: 3.5 mins Mid quality setting (gave slightly posterised results, use HIGH setting for better quality at lower speed)

4 x 5" 1,800DPI: 20 minutes at HIGH quality setting

I see little speed difference with the USB connection. Scanners are primarily limited by needing a long enough scan time to allow enough light to hit the CCDs moreso than data communication with the computer.


I was not able to figure out how to get the color calibration to work and the default gave bad color. It is easier to use than:


Oddly, even used as a plug-in within Photoshop the scan does not open in Photoshop until you open it manually after the scan.

Good color from Velvia 50.

Oddly, the shadows are posterized from transparencies in medium quality mode. (See the photo looking out my hotel window on my Hawaii page; scanned from 6x7 cm Velvia.) Use the HIGH quality setting which takes longer but eliminates this problem.


I usually can't see the three front lights (power, film or flatbed) from the side.

I wish it scanned flat art 8 - 1/2" wide as opposed to only 8" wide.


By all means, get one here and try it for yourself for scanning 4 x 5. I don't think there's anything better out there except for a real drum scanner.

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