Nikon Super Coolscan LS-2000

Nikon Super Coolscan LS-2000

I bought this scanner to scan 5000 old family slides all taken before 1984.

It’s not a bad scanner but there have been a couple of disappointments. On the other hand I was not able to find many other options. This one might work

it does 36 slides ($1925)

and this one

does 24 slides. ($1825)

They probably do them extremely fast since they do them all at once where as the Nikon does them one at a time. They are also about the same price as the Nikon + feeder are around $1800. They are not as high a resolution though and they don’t have Digital ICE (dust and scratch removal) They do make a scanner that is higher resolution than the Nikon but it only does 12 slides at a time. Of course it may still be faster than the Nikon as it’s 12 at once instead of 12 one at a time.

As for the Nikon, since most of my slides are old they have dust on them and it was very surprising just how bad they all looked. The Digital ICE feature of the Nikon that removes the dust has saved my butt. I haven’t tried dusting the slides but I suspect they will still look better with the Digital ICE feature than without.

On the downside the SF-200 jams all the time. Without modification I think it works an average of 15 slides before jamming. The solutions were 3 fold.

1) tape a credit card in the feeder such that there is only room for one slide to be pushed into the scanner. As it is there is room for 2 slides. This was the first cause for problems.

2) Once I did that the problem was that the thing that actually pushes the slides is thicker than 1 slide so it would actually try to push two slides at a time. Since one of those slides is now blocked by my credit card the feeder could often not push the slides in so…………I opened up the feeder and put in two rubber washers so that the slide pusher stuck out half as far and therefore only pushes one slide.

3) A new problem came up though, the slides would actually catch on each other often as the inside edges of the frames passed each other. The problem was the thing that puts pressure on all the slides pushing them toward the feeder mechanism was pushing only on the leading edge. The solution was to take 3 legos, in 4×2 thin, 1 2×2 normal and one underside slanted one and put them between the slides and the pressure thing slightly more on the trailing side.

Since I did these things I’ve had no more jamming problems but there have been a few other problems in general.

1) My slides are organized into boxes, 30-40 slides per box. 2 boxes of the 50 or so boxes of done so far came out very very blue. I don’t know why this is. Nikon says that the scanner does not work well with slides from Kodak Kodachome film. Maybe those two boxes use that film.

2) Sometimes, more often than I would like, the scanner does not seem to focus well. I don’t really understand why it needs to focus since the slides should always be at the exact same place in front of the scanning mechanism. It could be that some of the slides are bent but I don’t think that’s the majority of them.

I will say that the newer slides (slides from the early 1980s) have generally scanned better than older slides so I would assume that new slides, taken in the last few years would be great.

One more thing, it will scan negatives but I have not tried this yet. The bad part about negatives is that it will only do 6 at a time. That means more work for me and so I’ve been putting that off.

Update August 8th, 2000

I finished scanning all 5000 slides.  I did get a chance to try a few other scanners because there was a set of slides that had larger than normal image area and the Nikon therefore could not scan it.

It’s hard to say if that other scanner would be better.  On the one hand, doing 6 to 36 slides at a time would be nice.  On the other hand it would have required much more work on my part.  Instead of just taking 40 slides and sticking them in the scanner, picking "scanner" and coming back in an hour I would have had to place each slide on the scanner, scan, cut each slide out of the scanned image, save each slide by hand and touch up it’s colors and scratches etc.

That means that overall the Nikon was the probably the best solution.  It also worked incredibly well on certain slides.  I’m not sure what made those slides special. 

  • RyansDad
    Nikon SF-200 fix question

    I would like to clarify what exactly needs to be done in step two of the SF-200 fix.  Where exactly do you incert the two washers.  Are you removing the “slide pusher” (secured by 2 machine screws) and incerting the two rubber washers between the “slide pusher” and the metal plate?  Do you recall the thickness of the rubber washers? Currently I have only removed the end cap that says Nikon SF-200 on it.  Did you go about it a different way?

  • greggman
    Rubber Washers

    I don’t remember the specifics but it should be pretty obvious.  The problem was that the slide pusher stuck out too far and pushed to cards at a time.  To fix that I opened it up and put washers inside in the place they would need to be to make the pusher not stick out as far.  I don’t remember how thick they were, I just grabbed a bunch of different ones until I found some that were thick enough.  I could have doubled some up if I didn’t have any thick ones.

  • bobt

    SF-200… SF stands for “Supremely Frustrating”

    It’s good to find some solutions for the horrible behavior of my scanner… I had bent the stainless steel pressure plate and had it repaired…

    But… why the heck doesn’t Nikon offer retrofitted corrective parts so people don’t have to put in jury-rigged fixes such as credit cards, Lego toys, and rubber washers?

    Surely Nikon knows that the majority of scans are going to be cardboard-mounted sides.

    Has Nikon responded in any way to the complaints? This feeder should be adjustable to smoothly and snaglessly scan plastic or cardboard slides, with a user-controlled adjustment.

  • BigMac
    I agree. The jamming is frustrating.

    I’m using an SF-210 on my Nikon 4000 ED scanner and I do find the jamming frustrating on occasion. The adjustable stainless steel seperator seems to work OK but I find myself constantly adjusting it. :S

    I may try my own jury rigging eventually. My problem is that I’m scanning a mix of plastic and cardboard framed slides. So there’s not much I can do about it. I’d like to keep them in order.

    About the colour. I found Adobe Photoshop 6 to be quite helpful here. After scanning the slides, I put them back in to their plastic 8.5×11 page and place the page on a Gepe backlight deal so that I can see the real colour. In Adobe, I recorded and tweaked some actions on one slide to get the right colour. You can then apply the filtering sequence to a complete folder of photos if you want using the batch command. Very powerful stuff.

    I’ll document it if anyone would like.

  • HowTo
    How to open the feed mechanism?

    I follow step1 to add a credit card and the SF-200 feed better. But sometime it still does not load. So I’m prepare to do step 2. Could you elaborate on how to open the feed mechanism housing?




  • It’s been 4 years

    I’m sorry but I don’t remember and I no longer own the scanner so I can’t check.  Sorry.

  • ChrisBaunach
    sf-200 weak spring

    The spring for the reurned slide holder is very weak. So the slides often catch on the metal guide on the way back.

    Has anybody had this problem? Has anybody replaced the sping? If so, where did you get the spring?

    Without any mods, the plastic slide-pusher doesn’t always drag the slide in. The slide gets barely caught on the edge, then it slips off. Suggestions?

    Does anybody know if there are replacment metal guides available anywhere?



  • RuezArtnet
    Digital Ice, etc LS-2000 Scanner

    A do-u-know question:

    Is there a trade off in final quality in doing multiple scans versus using ICE?

    What’s the best feature/setting to use if the slide is not too scratched up?

    Crop: Is there a rule of thumb as to how to set the Crop so you get the max data (for max size) with the least image quality lost? Or is it best to keep it at 100% and get the max data and enlarge it in Photoshop?

  • DougfromPhilly
    Still Relevant

    I just had to comment that it’s really a testament to the power of the web, that even though the original poster of this information apparently posted it over 6 years ago, it is still helping people. I found it when Googling to try to find out how to fix the jammed slide problem I’m experiencing with the SF-200 when scanning cardboard jacketed slides. I see there was another post just last month.

    Thanks for keeping the page alive!

  • bkeepr

    I have 2 sf200s and both seem to have the same weaknesses. I have been able to avoid the major operation of trying to put washers in as mentioned by another user by using a very small piece of plastic tubing, a piece of electricians tape, and a small allen wrench. Using a moto tool and a small grinding stone, round the end of the allen wrench to a smooth but rounded point that is quite smoothly polished. Insert it into the plastic tube so that it pokes out of the end of the tube about an inch. Using 1 inch (not 3/4)wide tape, tape the tube and wrench to the top of the divider (that separates slides going in from those coming out) with tape going down each side of the divider. If you have assembled correctly, you will be able to move the hex key to the thickness of the slides that are being moved into the scanner. The character of the close fitting tubing will hold the key at the position you want and yet allow only one slide at a time. The carefully rounded end of the tool will allow the slides to slip past and in most cases if it is set for cardboard mounts and encounters a plastic mount it will slip backward enough to let the plastic mount enter. It is very important to observe the position of the tube to be sure it is not too long. If it is not mounted correctly the tube will catch on the edge of the ejected slide and cause a lockup and jambing of the exiting slides. I use a spacing of 7/16ths from the end of the tube to the edge of the slide backwall. The method has been much better than the taped on credit card method since it allows slides that are not perfectly flat to be moved into place to be scanned without catching on the credit card face.

    A second modification may be of help. I discovered that a small piece of cardboard cut to a width of 3/8 inch in width and 2 inches high if stood vertically and taped to the left side of face of the pressure plate with double stick scotch tape where the slides are stacked awaiting input to the scanner, it causes unequal pressure to be applied to the slide stack and allows a little extra space on the right side of the slide preventing the slides from catching on each other as the injector picks up a new slide and pushes it into the scan position.

    I am currently running two of these devices. One is ver 2.5 and the second is ver 3.1. the first operating under Win98se and the second under Winxp. Because of the controls that I have set internally, which are the same for both machines, it takes about 2 1/2 minutes per slide. This means I don’t have time to baby sit the operations. The failure rate has been reduced for my machines by over 1000% with these simple modifications. If this helps, you are welcome. If it complicates your life, please accept my apologys. Kaye. 

    You are welcome to comment at

  • bkeepr
    GA added

    I forgot to mention the thickness of the cardboard added to the pressure plate. I scan mostly cardboard mounts. There a number that are not flat. I vary the thickness of the cardboard wedge but usually it takes about 1/4th inch to do the job. That translates to two pieces of a cardboard box material taped one on top of the other. Since completing the mods, I am able to stack 50 slides for input and receive 50 slides at output without a hitch 99% effective. I have just completed 2700 slides with an average failure of 1 stops per 200 slides.

  • bkeepr
    GA further modification

    The above worked so well, I modified it. I replaced the tubing and hex key with a piece of piano wire .035 in thickness. Use the small find stone on your moto-tool to shape and polich the end as before. I bent the end to stick up like the hex key did. that allows me to twist the wire so I can move forward and back to vary for slide thickness. I used the electricians tape, but this time I could use either 3/4 or 1 inch wide tape. I made the shaft 3 3/8 long and then added 3/4 inch for the upward bend.  I taped about 2 3/4 long along the divider. One piece of tape running the long way of the shaft. This one doesn’t shift to the side causing the occasional glitch on the unload side. I am currently running mixed loads of slides with both cardboard mounts and plastic mounts and so far have not had a failure except on very badly twisted or warped mounts. Good luck.

  • bkeepr
    GA Slide output/input and other stuff

    If cardmount slides are slightly curled (horozontally concave as loaded into input side of scanner), when they exit, they catch on the previously ejected slide. The jamb point is at the left edge of the opening in the cardmount. The slide being ejected catches the left inner edge of the opening where the transparancy is located. It is a very subtle action, difficult to see. Use small strong light and something thin to separate the two slides and you can see what is happening. Try this, wrap a “cue tip” shaft or a round tooth pick with duct tape and leave a small half inch tail of tape sticking out to fasten the thing onto the output pressure plate. Mount it vertically at the RIGHT edge of the plate. Nikon put a small bump there that shows you where to put it. The slides will eject same as always, but will stack at about 15 degrees from flat. The slight difference in angle prevents the jamb. This seems to eliminate the most common jamb I encounter on both units I am using. 

    If you do the same thing on the input pressure plate on the LEFT side, (Nikon put another bump there) the pressure plate seems to cause the right side of the slide that is ready for input to scan to be able to move without getting hung up on whatever device regulates the thickness of the in-going slide and on the next slide behind it in the input stack..

    A different approach to regulate the problem of more than on slide going in the scanner is to cut the end of the credit card in a slight curved shape about the curve of this little mark “)”. Round the top and bottom ends and fit the shape to touch only the cardboard part of the mount and NOT hang up in the opening in the slide where the transparency is. I secured card in position with double stick scotch tape, placeing a slide between the ends of the credit card and the back wall of the scanner and leaving about the space of 2 sheets of paper between the end of the card and the slide mount.  I used one of my wifes fingernail sanding boards to taper and round the end of the credit card ends to prevent rough edges from catching on anything rough on the slide.  As I write this about 800 slides have passed thru each of the scanners without a single glitch. 

    Would appreciate any feedback you can spare.  I’m just like you, I need all the help I can get.

    I don’t understand all the different settings in the durn thing. Suggestions?  I prefer jpegs due to space. Is there good reason to do other ?  What gamma works best? I have slides that are 40 years old and have used every type film on the market, so images all have to go thru photoshop.

  • bkeepr
    GA : Accidental discovery

    Because I was having trouble with the ejected stack jambing, I Put a piece of scotch tape on the end of the pressure plate to hold it all the way back out of the way. When I was finished with that jamb, I only removed the end of the tape that was holding the plate to its fully open state, leaving the end sticking up in the air to use again.  It turned out to be much easier to grasp  the tape  than use the little bump nikon provided to pull the plate open.  Consequently, I put a similar  piece on the end of the  pressure plate in the load side.  Sure makes it easier to pull each of the  pressure plates to fully open for loading or unloading.

    answering questions

    1) My slides are organized into boxes, 30-40 slides per box. 2 boxes of the 50 or so boxes of done so far came out very very blue. I don’t know why this is. Nikon says that the scanner does not work well with slides from Kodak Kodachome film. Maybe those two boxes use that film.

    Nikon is correct it does not like Kodachrome film it will turn it either blue or red depending upon the loss of pigmintation in the film ie blue or yellow or red. You can fix this problem by either using a different program such as Vuescan ($80) which color corrects the film or try and go through nikons settings and turn off one labeled color default correction

    2) Sometimes, more often than I would like, the scanner does not seem to focus well. I don’t really understand why it needs to focus since the slides should always be at the exact same place in front of the scanning mechanism. It could be that some of the slides are bent but I don’t think that’s the majority of them.

    it can be the bent part as you put it film over time will warp to ward the emulsion side (the really shinny silvery stuff) and will look like this ). The scanner has to focus on that and how big your film is ie 126, 35 this makes a diffenece depending upon how much cardboard is inside of the scanner more for a 126 less for a 35 either increasing the light or dark for differen for through it’s depth of focus, focusing also depends upon postition of the film not all film is at the same height or angle when it goes into the scanner

    I have been working on scanners for the past 2 years now as a slide transfer technician and repairman for nikon slide scanners

  • DunnDec
    Need a nikon slide feeder for my CoolScan 4000

    Anybody have any pointers on a slide feeder, I need it for maybe 1,000 slides for home use only. Benn reading about the SF 210 id it worth $350.00, any help?

  • JohnnyK
    Also need a slide feeder for my Coolscan 4000

    Is the SF 210 any good and are there any other alternatives?

  • Gerry
    Slide Feeder

    Yes both the SF200 and SF210 are good ….. but will probably require the modification shown here.  Both will work on the ED4000 and 5000 but may not on the basic models (EDIV and EDV).  You may find some SF200’s on eBay or elsewhere as folks get rid of their scanners. You could also try using a digital camera to photograph your film. You could use either a “slide duping” attachement to a camera, or dedicated machine from the old days of duping film. These too are often found used on eBay for very little. With this system the copy lens should be of high quality, minimum being a macro lens for a basic set up.

    I do not believe there are any other alternatives for any other scanners for batch scanning.  The flatbed Epsons can hold several frames of film, I don’t recall  how many, but are not as easy as the Nikon. Also, depending on your end use, you will get the best edge to edge sharpness if your film is VERY flat, either after processing, no humidity and or by using high quality slide mounts, which labs do not often provide as part of their service. For low res scans, on the web or in small prints, you won’t see the difference if your film is not perfectly flat.

  • tunerland
    looking for LS-30/2000 parts

    Hello All,

    I’m looking for lenses (optic barrels) from Nikon LS-30 or LS-2000 optical block units. Kalel, since you work repairing these you might have some broken, beyond repair units. email me at and I’ll pay $40 a piece for the lenses- as many as you can get. I’m using these fo a copier project I’m working on.

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