Service and Repair of Nikon Coolscan Scanners
These pages are dedicated to use, service and repair of Nikon Coolsan scanners, in particular the IV, 4000, V, 5000, 8000 and 9000 models.
There are also some useful sites I had found over time:
They have tons of useful stuff there thanks to dedicated enthusiasts.
There is also a fairly active (as of 2019) Nikon Coolscan group on Facebook, if you have more questions, you may consider posting there.
Here I will place some of the compilations of modifications, service and repair procedures I found there and some other places as well as those I developed myself. You are welcome to use them, but with following disclaimers:
After I created these pages, I had many requests of service/repair. (In May of 2016 Nikon stopped servicing any Nikon Coolscan scanners).
1. I do perform repairs on Nikon Coolscan scanners.
2. I have taken accurate measurements of most plastic parts that are prone to breaking in Nikon Coolscan scanners and had them 3D-printed.
3. I have taken accurate measurements of the masks for FH-869G and FH-869GR glass film holders and have cut the replicas from 0.01" black styrene sheets on high precision cutter.
If you are interested in either of these, write to me .
A bit of history
Some years ago I decided to digitize my fairly extensive film collection. I only shoot 35mm, but have some medium format shot by others. I had spent some time researching the film scanners, and found Ken Rockwell's site particularly informative.
Over years I had tried Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400, Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 II, Nikon Super Coolscan 4000, 5000, 8000, and 9000.
Some people say that Minolta scanners produce marginally better images. I am not convinced in this, I do not think the 5400dpi is needed, and that is the only advantage of Minolta scanners over Nikon Coolscan line.
All above models have been discontinued, both Minolta and Nikon exited the scanner market. The only manufacturer that makes reasonably performing film scanners nowadays is Plustek, and I had heard a lot of complaints about Plustek scanners. Of course there is Hasselblad Flextight line, but those are very expensive.
I think that if you want to get a good film scanner, getting a used Nikon Coolscan is a very good choice. Serious advantages of Nikon scanners (relative to Minoltas) are:
- There are lot more of Nikon Coolscans then Minoltas, so in the future it will still be easier to repair/replace broken parts.
- In my experience, Nikon scanners are more reliable and much easier to repair.
- Another great advantage of Nikon 4000 and 5000 over Minoltas is a wide range of adapters, including a full roll adapters and mounted bulk adapter. I would say that if you have a large collection of 35 mm negatives/slides, and you want to digitize them fast, then Nikon 5000 is by far the best choice. If you are really on a budget, Nikon 4000 will do, but will take substantially longer.
I would recommend getting Nikon 5000 (or 4000) if you have only 35 mm or Nikon 9000 (or 8000) if you want to do 35 mm AND/OR medium format. The older models (Nikon 4000 and 8000) are cheaper, but noticeably slower than the newer ones (5000 and 9000). The older models also have 14-bits of ADC vs. 16-bits in newer models, hence maximum Dmax is also lower, but I have never seen an image where it did really matter.
Good luck and happy scanning!
This is a re-write of the procedure I had found here. I run all my Nikon Coolscan scanners using Windows 7 (x64) computers. The software (Nikon Scan) was released to work under XP but a simple modification will make it work under Windows 7. It also works for Windows 8 and 10, but you would need to do another trick to install "unsigned driver". See more details here. If all fails, as well as for Mac users, I would recommend using VueScan.
Last updated 2019 © G.Shtengel