Scanning with an antique Nikon LS-1000 SCSI Scanner in Windows 7 64 bit (maybe 10 too). (?)

I recently, well 2 days ago, acquired a Nikon LS-1000 scsi scanner along with a pci scsi card and a monsterous scsi cable, it’s huge 🙂
There are 3 sides to this story the first is getting the scsi card installed and the second the scanner itself and then there is software.
First the easy side, Vuescan has drivers which supports these Nikon Scanners, You can get VueScan for Windows Mac and Linux.Unless you have a mac pro you will need a desktop running windows or linux to get scsi working.
I did it with a dual-booting hackintosh 🙂 not a hope of getting a mac driver for my scsi card.The LS 1000 does around a 10M pixel scan at 12 bits a pixel and around 40 seconds a frame isn’t bad. The negative holder is a bit fiddly. Some of these scanners can have slide feeders and film feeders, the ls1000 has an optional automated slide feeder for mounted slides, good luck finding one.

SCSI Card Driver
I have attached a driver for adaptech cards that works in Windows 7 and 8 and maybe 10 , If you are running some ancient PC just for Scsi support this should interest you. It’s an unsigned driver hacked together from an old vista driver but if it works and you have a pci slot you could be using your scanner on a modernish PC.

That got an ancient adaptech AHA-2940au scsi card working in windows7 64bit ultimate

That card tries to boot the system but if you use ctrl A and go to advanced settings you can disable int 13 and it will go to a regular boot after a bit of a delay if the scanners plugged in and turned on it should be detected on the scsi bus.

I got a Nikon ls 1000 working with vuescan in windows 7 but there was a few issues with the scanner. It was quite noisy and a heard a clunk as something dropped inside and it wasn’t feeding straight. So i had to get inside.

To open the Ls 1000 is easy, once you know how, the front cover clips in on the front. Pressing the bottom panel and wedging something in the gap you can usually get one of the edges to release and then the rest will release and pop off relatively easy. there is a screw for the plastic cover in the middle of the rear side you only need to undo the top screw and everything sits in the bottom.

There are 3 screws holding the mechanism in and 4 cables and a flat ribbon cable which is in a zif socket you need to gently lift the edge there and the cable should release. it needs holding up to get the cable to reinsert too. that cable + the 1 at the back are the first 2 that need reattaching on reassembly even before reattaching the black box (transport/scanning mechanism).

On mine one of the guide rails which takes the head had detached its self (that was the clunk) it was relatively easy to put it back in. underneath side of the box are 4 screws jis type which needs a very fine screw driver (they are not philips). there is a clip on cover on the inside of this which holds leds and mirrors these may need gentle cleaning.

Post or how to know the Scanner works without connecting it to a PC

This scanner like other nikons does a post check when it is turned on the green light flashes for a few seconds before turning solid green. If it flashes rapidly during post it has failed to post successfully.

In Post it first tests the focus motor this raises and lowers the platform on a cam it is noisy but you should see this go up and down mine was stuck/sticking and needed a relube. it will also then move the tray back and forward and index itself. also if you look from the slot end you should see the flash of the scan leds.

The focus motor drive was too tight on mine before i lubed it but once it was done. I put it back together without the top cover in place and had it post this time the focus motor moved the platform up and down the tray drove back and forth and the leds flashed and no rapid flashing of the green light! I put the top cover back on attached the screw which holds it in place and snapped the front cover on.

It scanned first time in vuescan 🙂 but be aware of how it works, first the focus motor runs, it sounds like its slipping and grinding teeth, It’s actually ok. It then takes the carrier in a bit and then out and in and out in vue scan you will see progress 5% 10%… don’t panic it is normal around 98% it will slowly feed the negative in and your scan should appear on screen. It shouldn’t need help to pull the negative holder through and scan straight. With the guide rail being out on mine it was twisting on its run (before i fixed it).

The scan should be clean, if its foggy or flaring you probably need the mirrors cleaned its recommended to run it horizontal which keeps the mirrors vertical. I think this will apply in parts at least to other nikon scanners.

If your buying one get it plugged in and watch the post if you get a rapid flashing lamp (fraction of a second intervals) on the front it has a fault. You should see the focus platform go up and down then the platform move back and the leds flash through the slot. If this isn’t happening then know it needs a repair that you might not be able to do, but it probably just needs a little lubrication and a clean. Price accordingly 🙂

The Nikon software runs on 95, 98, ME and NT (no compatibility setting I tried got the nikon software 1.63 working on Windows 7 64bit). Later scanner software may work for the ls 2000 , 4000 , 5000 ect. But vuescan is good anyway.

There are 3 versions on the cd. E, F, G thats English French and German language not revisions!

In theory the adaptec scsi card can work with the linked driver in Windows 10. These machines are very old but still work with a little TLC. Scan is around 40 seconds a frame for 10 real Megapixels. The 4000 i think has twice the resolution of the 1000 and i think the ls-2000 has ‘ICE’

The Ls 1000 and i think ls-2000 has a Maximum pixel count of 2,592 x 3,888 and high resolution of 2,700dpi. At 300 Dpi thats enough for 12 by 8 the later machines have higher dpi and more sophisticated options.

Going from the LS-1000 (1994) to the LS-2000 (1998) , Nikon added ICE, better A/D converters and 16-bit/ch. ICE removes dust and scratches, but doesn’t work for most B/W negatives. A better A/D converter and 16-bit/ch is an improvement but nothing major. From the LS-2000 to the LS-4000 (2001), the resolution went up (from 2700 to 4000 dpi, less than a factor two) and the A/D converter was improved. The LS-5000 was released in 2004.
Nikon dropped support for all their scanners last year

If I want bigger then I will switch to a macro lens and my DSLR, you can also stitch with the dslr.

It pretty much goes without saying but with the top cover off, there is a distinct possibility of getting a severe belt from mains electricity, do not poke around in there with power connected. you should only handle the case and operate the switch taking extreme care not to let your fingers touch the mainboard or the power board. The rear power board has large electrolytic capacitors that may still hold a charge even unplugged. So keep clear of them too!