>Apologies for the somewhat pedestrian question, but having searched the web
>for 'noise' I came up with very little other than the usual CCD-related
>I have a new Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED scanner. When scanning slides
>(using the MS-20 adaptor) the machine is incredibly noisy (audible noise,
>that is). There is an overall 'whirring' sound accompanied by a rhythmic
>'clunk' with an occasional, apparently random, intercession of 'bangs'as the
>slide is scanned.
>'Preview' is somewhat less audible. And similar noises are also apparent,
>briefly, when inserting and removing slides.
>Is this usual, or do I have a scanner which is not functioning correctly?
>Any feedback from existing owners would be much appreciated.
For obvious reasons it is difficult to quantify levels of mechanical
noise for comparison but the LS-4000 is generally quite a noisy scanner.
In fact, there were so many reports about this issue when the scanner
was released that when I finally bought mine some 14 months later I was
surprised at how quiet it was compared to my expectations and they
always sound louder at home than they do in the shop. :-)
However, the real issue is whether you see any effect of this mechanical
noise on the scan itself. I am a little worried about your report of
random bangs during the scan process (as opposed to the noise made when
moving the scanner head to the start of the scan or when moving the film
through the SA-21 strip holder). The scanner should make a relatively
repetitive "buzz" during the actual scan itself. Other noises during
the scan itself would indicate some sudden mechanical knocking which
would likely cause inconsistent movement of the scan head even if not
derived directly from it.
To test for consistent scan steps, take some aluminium foil and fold it
in half to get a clean, knife sharp edge. Then place this into a slide
holder or the FH-3 film strip holder (NOT the SA-21 motorised strip
adapter!) so that the knife edge runs diagonally across the frame from
one corner to the other. Scan that at 4000ppi (counting the number of
"bangs" during the scan) and then view the result in an imaging package
at around 2-400% magnification. Search along the diagonal looking for
any sharp discontinuities in the knife edge. You can expect the edge to
be slightly uneven due to the way you made it, but it should not have
discontinuities of 1/4000 inch. If you find any, and you think they
correspond to the mechanical knocks either in number or in relative
position along the scan, then it indicates a problem and should be
returned to Nikon for repair or replacement. If not, then the scanner
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Python Philosophers (replace 'nospam' with 'kennedym' when replying)