Question about Nikon COOLSCAN IV ED LS40

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Nikon Coolscan LS40

My 3 year old Nikon LS-40 slide scanner has for some time been producing soft, kinda fizzy scans with washed out colours. Local Nikon Service says the CCD (they call it the Mechanical Block Unit) is dirty and can't be cleaned, so they want to replace it - total cost = 50% of scanner cost! Question 1. Is the CCD or mechanical Block Unit assy cleanable? Question 2. Surely the CCD (Mechanical Block Unit) is a sealed unit? If it isn't, surely its just going to get dirty again and consequently need replacing again? Help please - I feel like I being sold a pup here. cheers Dave

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  • Dave North Jul 11, 2007

    Thanks very much for your thoughts and advice



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If, by SOFT images you are referring to a scan that has the look of the soft-focus lenses they use for aging actresses, and the darks are over-run with a glow from the the lights, it's probably as simple as a dirty reflecting mirror.

If when facing the front of the machine there is a lens/scanner pointing directly at you, inside the machine, below the Magazine insertion hole.

Between you and that lens is a little 45° mirror that bounces the film's image to the lens.

That mirror, which faces away form you in a vertical orientation, will 'fog' over time from smoke and grime -- microscopic particles of dust -- settling on the mirror surface. It makes the light beams scatter, making pictures look like this:

<img src="">

But with the instructions (for a similar model) found here, you can easily clean the mirror (I used windex and a cotton ball after removing the mirror.

Now I get scans that look like this:

<img src="">

Posted on Feb 06, 2010

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Well it is not a self servicable item. So you have a decision. If the cost is 50% of a new one- why not have a go. I personally do not think it is dirty This is a firm ware malfunction and will as they say mean a replacement of the item. Get the next one - Not a Nikon IMHO these dedicated film scanners are now a bit old hat- a high end flatbed will do as good a job for most general purpose work. After all digitising means -setting a resolution suitable for a screen and or printing- neither exactly demanding for quality.

Posted on Jul 10, 2007


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