Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED

Scanning Long Strips of 35mm Negatives

Overview Generally with the Nikon film scanner and the SA-21 film adaptor you can only scan 2 to 6 negative strips.  The SA-30 is a bulk film holder that can handle strips of up to 40 negatives.  The SA-21 can be "modified" to flake a SA-30.


This is taken from a blog:!topic/comp.periphs.scanners/-LdJf3r23h4  by Kennedy McEwan Apr 25, 2005:

Incidentally, for those who do not want to take the risk of opening their SA-21 up and making a permanent solder link modification, there is an alternative temporary fix, albeit a little less reliable.

The two contacts of the link in question connect directly to pins 16 and 17 of the blue rear connector on the SA-21. Looking into the rear of the SA-21 with the adapter the correct way up, pin 13 is on the middle row on the left of the connector, so just count 4 and 5 pins across and you get to the two pins in question. These can be shorted together using some very fine wire (I/John used a strand of copper wire from speaker wire ....length of about 14 mm) - thin enough so that the operation of the connector contact is not interfered with. Then hold the link wire in place with some adhesive tape - Scotch Magic tape works quite well for this.

Before pushing the SA-21 back into the scanner, make sure that you pierce the adhesive tape over each contact in the connector block with a pin. This will prevent the corresponding pins in the scanner being subjected to additional pressure as the adapter is pushed home in the scanner.


I took a black sharpie and highlighted the area around pins 16 and 17.

Scanning Damaged or Single Negatives with Nikon Coolscan

Overview If the strip of negatives is badly damaged or the negatives are strips of 2 or 1, then you must use the FH-3 film strip holder and the standard adaptor.


Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED, FH-3 film strip holder, standard slide adaptor MA-21.

Set up - Nikon Scan:

  • If the negative is B&W, make sure to set the film type to "Neg (Mono)" and to turn off "Digital ICE".
  • If the negative is colour, set the film type to "Neg (color)", and Digital ICE is on.

Set up - FH-3 Film Strip Holder

  • Open FH-3 by unclipping the middle clip and the two end clips
  • lay the film in the holder with emulsion (dull) side down and images lined up to the frames (you can close the holder mostly and then adjust the film to the frames
  • Place slide adaptor MA-21 into scanner
  • stick FH-3 into slot
  • you can scan three images by manually scanning an image and then moving the black plastic tray to the next image
  • once three have been scanned, stick the other end of the FH-3 into the slot and proceed to scan the other three images one at a time

Installing Nikon Scan 4 Software in Win7 64bit

Nikon does not support their Scan 4 software for 64bit Win7.  Here's an article that explains how to overcomer this:

There is also a copy of the article stored at:

U:\User Data\LHF\12-09-03 Nikon Scan 4 install instructions

Scanning APX/IX240 Film

What is This Stuff APX or IX240 or Advantix film is basically a film developed to make managing of films and negatives easier.  I've seen Kodak and Fuji products.  The film came in cartridges similar to most 35mm film except the negatives stayed in the special cartridges even after processing.  The customer typically gets the cartridge and a proof sheet of all the photos.  This cartridges may be stored in a special case that can handle many cartridges and their proof sheets.  The negatives are not 35mm and in fact are smaller than 35mm in size.  The smaller negative size also impacts the not as good as 35mm.  In order to get prints or digital copies of the film you have either send it to a lab or we handle scanning these using the special Nikon adapter.

Scanning APX or IX240 or Advantix Film Using the Nikon Super Coolscan and the IA-20 adaptor:

  1. Push power button to turn unit on
  2. Unit is connected to Xavier.
  3. Make sure the IA-20 adapter is installed into the Nikon scanner.
  4. Open Nikon Scan 4 software.
  5. When the light on the scanner is solid green, load film cartridge and close door.
  6. Nikon Scan 4's scanner preview window.... a) setting should be set to "APX film" - go to "setting" - saved setting, "APX film" will be at the bottom of on this b) Make sure the next setting is "Neg (Color)" and NOT "Positive".
  7. Click on the thumbnail tab.
  8. Select all thumbnails (click on 1st thumbnail, then shift+click last thumbnail)
  9. Make sure that "Neg (color)" is still selected.
  10. Go to "settings" and click "APX film" profile to apply to current selection
  11. Then hit the green scan button and all the negatives will be scanned and saved.
  12. The batch scan window will appear....check the setting and scan.
  13. After the first negative has scanned, confirm scan looks good (ie. go to folder and open tif or jpg)

Time Statistics

  • 35 minutes to scan 25 negatives (typical cartridge size)
  • 1.4 minutes per negative

Scanning Slides (positive film)

Purpose: This article describes how to scan slides properly.  We use the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED for scanning 35mm slides, 35mm negative strips, APS / IX240 film cartridges.  The Epson Perfection 4870 Photo flatbed scanner is used for scanning odd slides (larger or smaller than 35mm ones, negatives that do not fit the Nikon scanner, etc.

We have a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000ED with a SF-210 bulk slide feeder.  This is a slide/film scanner.  The scanner uses 4 different software algorithms that perfect the quality of the scanned item.  The scanner operates at up to 4000 dpi.

About slides:

Slides are 35mm positive film mounted in cardboard (typically) or plastic frames.  The actual exposed (not covered by the frame) film measures 36X24 mm.  Slides have two surfaces, an emulsion and base surface.  The emulsion surface is often slightly textured.  On some of the larger slides, the texture is almost unnoticable.  The base side of the slide is the smooth plastic slide.

The emulsion side:

  • When a slide is projected on a screen, the emulsion side is the side that faces the screen.
  • The manufactures name is often, but not guaranteed, on the emulsion side.  Kodak often does this.
  • sometimes this side of the slide says "this side toward screen". Black's often does this.
  • Printing such as "project from this side" or "view from this side" is printed on the non-emulsion side
  • This is the textured surface of the slide.
  • The base of the film is the shiny side and the emulsion side is the dull side.

The base side:

  • This is the smooth side of the slide.
  • Looking from this side, you will see the image correctly.  ie. Any words will be readable and not backward.

What size to scan:

Scanning at 4000 dpi produces the following :

  • A 12 X 8 inch print at 472 dpi (240 to 300 dpi is reasonable for a quality photo)
  • A 24.00 x 16.00 inches (609.6 x 406.4 mm) at 236 dpi (93 pixels/cm)
  • 5669 X 3779 pixel image is 21.43 million pixels

Using the Nikon scanner here's some file format and size information at 4000 dpi and createing a photo quality print at 250 to 300 dpi:

  • tif, 16 bit depth - 131MB, 285 dpi, 14 X 20 inch print
  • tif, 8 bit depth -  65MB, 285 dpi, 14 X 20 inch print
  • jpg, Excellent quality -  23MB
  • jpg, High Quality - 3.7MB
  • jpg, Balance (between quality and compression) - 1.2MB
  • jpg, Good compression - 0.85MB
  • jpg, High compression - 0.35MB

Tif is a lossless compression whereas jpg is lossy compression, which basically means that when the image is compressed in jpg, part of the image is forever lost.  Each time a jpg is saved again more is lost.

Warning Using the Nikon Scanner (i.e. do not....)

Before using the scanner, read the documentation in the downloads\nikon folder for the SF-210 usage.

DO NOT.....

  • use slides with heavily warped mounts
  • mounts that are peeling or burred edges
  • mounts with labels or uneven surfaces
  • insert slides with the long side of the image standing up

Tips using the Nikon Scan 4.0 software

  1. Turn on scanner first, then open the software (the other way works but an error pops up, etc.)
  2. Frozen windows!  There are 3 windows in the scan software: main, progress window, tool palette.  Sometimes accessing the tool palette or the main window cannot be selected.  This can be resolved by selecting or closing the progress window.  Then any of the other windows can be selected.
  3. Scanned files can be saved in tiff, jpeg, or bmp (or neg...Nikon's format).  I had trouble trying to save the file in other than tif until I found that jpeg can only be saved if the "bit depth" is 8 and not 16.  If the bit depth is 16, the program overrides your jpeg choice and saves it in tif.  "bit depth" can be changed in the tool palette, under scanner extras, under pixel data size (or scanner/bit depth).
  4. Batch scanning:  Under the tool palette, under scanner extras, is slide feeder scan which allows changing of number of slides scanned in a batch.  If this is changed to more than one, extra batch scanning windows pop up when the green scan button is hit.  One CRITICAL window is the "File Saving Options" window that I can only find under the batch process.  This window has file name prefix, the directory path to save the batch in, and the file format and compression settings.  This window only seems to appear during the batch operation.  Single slide operation seems to save to a different directory that is defined under preferences.

Scanning the Slide in Batch mode (using the Nikon Super Coolscan and the SF-210 adaptor):

  1. Push power button to turn unit on
  2. Unit is connected to Apollo.
  3. Open Nikon Scan 4 software.
  4. Place slides in hopper with the long side of image horizontal, and the emulsion side facing the push plate, and the image right side up.
  5. Batch scanning (using the SF-210) can be done up to 50 (or more...arrow in the base of the hopper indicates when full) slides at a time.
  6. Under edit/preferences save files, one can set the file type to save as; either tif, jpeg, bmp, or Nikon's own neg (this option is for single scans only...with or without the SF210).
  7. If selecting jpeg make sure the bit depth is 8 instead of 16.
  8. Then under the tool palette set the number of slides to scan.
  9. Set the number of slides to be scanned near the bottom of the "Tool Palette 1" window...set to 99 for many.
  10. Check the framing of the slide by clicking the Preview button.
  11. After the preview appears in the preview window, adjust the crop lines...these will stay the same for the whole batch
  12. Then hit the green scan button and all the slides will be scanned and saved. a) When scanning more than one, the batch scan window will pop up b) Set the prefix or suffix of the name, the start count, the save directory, and the save file type for the batch.

Scanning the Slide in NON-Batch mode (using the Nikon Super Coolscan):

  1. Push power button to turn unit on
  2. Unit is connected to Apollo.
  3. Open Nikon Scan 4 software.
  4. Place the slide in scanner's slot with the long side of image parallel to the sides of the scanner , and the emulsion side facing down, and the top of the image on the right-hand side.
  5. Under edit/preferences save files, one can set the file type to save as; either tif, jpeg, bmp, or Nikon's own neg (this option is for single scans only).
  6. If selecting jpeg make sure the bit depth is 8 instead of 16.
  7. Check the framing of the slide by clicking the Preview button.
  8. After the preview appears in the preview window, adjust the crop lines...these will stay the same for any subsequent scans until the crop lines are adjusted manually again.
  9. Then hit the green scan button and the slide will be scanned and displayed in the window.
  10. You can save the current scanned slide by selecting the image and going to File and Save As.  Saving can be done after each slide is scanned or after multiple slides have been scanned...if multiple scans have been done, and none saved, you have to select and save each image individually.

Further references for operating the Coolscan:

Check out:

Scanning the Slide (using the Epson 4870 flatbed scanner):

  1. Remove the cover on the bottom side of the lid.
  2. Make sure the scanning software is set to the positive film mode and document mode.
  3. Also, make sure the DPI is set for 1200 or 2400 or ???
  4. Find the appropriate black frame for the slide size and place correctly on the scanner bed.  If the slide is a large format, use the frame that is too big and just place the slide(s) within the frame.
  5. Place the slides with emulsion side up (or base side down).

Time Estimates for Scanning Slides Using the Nikon Scanner

  • 1.5 minutes per slide at 4000 dpi
  • High quality jpg: 4.9MB per slide
  • 35 minutes to process a sheet of slides (20) (these are the plastic 8.5 X 11 loose leaf binder sheets)

Time Estimates for Scanning Slides Using the Epson Scanner

  • Mini slides: 4 minutes per slide at 3200 dpi, plus setup, plus preview, plus cropping previews (very difficult due to size of image)

Further resources

  • Check out a website url: for lots of information.
  • The above noted website has a handy calculator for calculating print size, scan size, etc:
  • Lots of information about scanning.  Info about Kodachrome scanning.
  • Amazingly detailed review of the Nikon scanner:
  • Colour depth is a topic that keeps coming up.  Our Nikon scanner scans in 8 or 16 bits....this translates to a colour depth of 24 or 48bits (RGB....8 or 16 bot for each colour).  Here's an article (in German) that does a great job of discussing colour depth (the Nikon scanner scans at 48bit depth only for 16bit TIF's):