Nikon LS-2000 Film Scanner and OSX
I came across an old Nikon film scanner at a junk store in Tokyo. Since it was only $3 I picked it up and brought it home. But once I got it home I realized that it was going to be a bit difficult to get it set up and running on my MacBook pro. So here are the two ways I got it working.
#1 Using an SCSI to Firewire convertor box + Vuescan scanning software.
The difficult part is finding a convertor for a reasonable price! I was able to find one used for $10. Orange, Belkin, and Microtech seemed to have sold the same box with different names eg. ‘FireSCSI’. Ratoc also made a convertor box called the ‘FireRex’.
Once you have a convertor box the setup is fairly simple.
– Install Vuescan.
– connect the box to the mac using a firewire 800 to 400 cable.
– connect the scanner to the box using the appropriate scsi cable.
– turn the scanner on.
– open vuescan.
Some people reverse the order, and turn the scanner on first and the laptop on last. But I found this order to be the most reliable for my setup. But after using the firewire box for 6 months it became unreliable. The connection would interrupt mid-scan. This made me search for a more reliable solution, using a SCSI to USB adapter.
#2 Using an SCSI to USB adapter + WinXP on Virtual Box + Vuescan scanning software.
Once again the difficult part is finding the adapter. I was lucky to find the cable at a junk store in Tokyo for about $5. First I confirmed the cable worked by installing all the necessary drivers onto an old WinXP laptop. I could have stopped here and just used the old laptop for scanning. But my goal was to get it work on the MacBook. It seems to be a general truth that SCSI to USB cables do not work on OSX.
I installed Virtual Box and then installed winXP into it (instructions here). This way I could use XP like a program on my Mac without needing to boot into it at startup. Then I installed the SCSI ASPI layer (instructions here), the drivers for the SCSI USB cable, and lastly a windows version of vuescan. The cable was recognized so I connected the scanner. Windows gave the scanner a generic driver. After that I opened up vuescan and to my surprised everything worked.
The scanner was connected for hours with no interruption. The scanning speed is on par with the firewire box previously. All in all, I am very happy with this setup.