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Cleaning a Nikon Coolscan V

Renny Thoms , Mar 19, 2006; 09:56 p.m.

Well, my efforts to seal my Coolscan V from dust/fibers have evidently failed. There's not much you can do while you're actually using it. Anyway, I tried following some online advice for cleaning an LS-5000, but the instructions failed me once I got to the mirror and clip. I just can't tell from the pictures how the clip is removed and the mirror taken out.

First of all, I think the problem is the mirror, but I am going to post a picture of the artifact which now appears in all scans--let me know if you agree that the problem is on the mirror.

If anyone has better instructions for getting the mirror out, let me know. Anybody else have luck cleaning their Coolscan?

The defect is in the far left of the frame, roughly centered vertically.


Crop of Defect

Responses

Ronald Smith , Mar 20, 2006; 04:07 a.m.

What does Nikon charge to clean the scanner? I have one, no issues. (so far)

Sean Depuydt , Mar 20, 2006; 06:31 a.m.

Renny, I'm not sure what that is. So you got your scanner apart? It should be pretty straight forward. I think they just pop out, but, keep in mind that I followed those same instructions and quickly broke my 4000 scanner. You might want to consider giving the guy that put those instructions together a call. If it's the same person, he's pretty helpful.

Renny Thoms , Mar 20, 2006; 06:46 a.m.

I figured it out. You see, the defect was ALWAYS on the left side of the frame, even for the first frame which I inserted backwards to avoid the leader (and then rotated in software.) When I woke up this morning I was thinking about it and came to the conclusion that the defect had to be on the film. Which seemed silly--it couldn't be in the same place on the film every time. Unless of course it was on the mirror of my camera 5 years ago when I shot this roll . . . duh.

I looked at the negative, but the problem is the Coolscan V can resolve a lot more detail than my eye--I can't see the problem there. I looked back at the prints and you can only see the defect on a couple of them--since it is off to far left it is cropped out in most of the prints.

Anyway, the moral of the story is to make sure you try another roll of film before assuming there is a problem with your scanner.

Edward Ingold , Mar 20, 2006; 10:24 a.m.

The defect you show must be somewhere in the film plane, not on the mirrors, lens or detector. If not on the film, it may be lodged in the film holder.

Dust inside the scanner shows up as diffuse streaks along the length of the image, since the sensor is a linear array.

Cleaning the scanner requires MAJOR disassembly, and possibly requires special tools or fixtures to maintain alignment. If you need it cleaned, have Nikon do it. ("You gotta' know when to hold, and know when to fold..." - the other Kenny)

J. Harrington USA (Massachusetts) , Mar 20, 2006; 01:20 p.m.

Cleaning a film scanner

Although this is not the same model, it might help

http://www.pearsonimaging.com/articles/howto/ls5000cleaning.html

Carter Hopkins , Mar 21, 2006; 08:38 p.m.

Just asked Nikon last week about a cleaning and adjustment for my Super CoolScan 4000. They said a couple of weeks and $275 USD would do it. Parts would be extra if the scanner needed parts replacement. They ask for just the scanner, no film holders, and place it in a plastic bag (for moisture & packing material protection)and preferably place in a box with packaging material, then put that box in a larger box with packaging material.

If you have any questions, their tech dept. was quick to answer email.

Carter

www.monicahopkinsphotography.com

Peter Burke , Apr 09, 2009; 03:35 p.m.

A friend let me use his 4000 ED last week, and I hoped to get better results than with my old Polaroid Sprintscan 35 plus, but at first I had those pesky flare/halo effects all over the Nikon scans.
Did some searching online and figured I'd better take a look at that mirror. Well, to make a long story short, smoking and a Coolscan don't mix and my friend left a nice grime diffusion layer on that mirror.
Took 30 minutes and one small philips screw driver to clean out and put back together. The scans are tack sharp now. Below are 4000dpi 1:1 test scan crops done with Vuescan, no processing.
before cleaning mirror:

after cleaning the mirror:

and once that was established I finally had a reason to buy Vuescan as well. Vuescan crashes with my Sprintscan, so I used the trial in these tests.
Ony thing that bugs me now is the glacial speed of he 4000 ED. There are probably a few more tweaks I'll try, such as upgrading the power supply with some better filter caps, vibration damping the chassis, and if I get all adventurous, I'll see what removing the glass from the CCD does, but that's a "if it fails we need a new scanner" mod...

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