I have an old Nikon 5000 film scanner that I use 4-6 times a year now as I slowly digitize thousands of old negatives and slides. I have not done any maintenance on it since getting it about five years ago, and it continues to work perfectly.

Question: How often should I be sending the scanner to Nikon for routine servicing?

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    Does the owner's manual mention anything about it needing periodic maintenance? – Michael C Oct 20 '19 at 8:07
  • @Michael C - I took a look. They recommended every 3-5 years for servicing and an annual inspection. Thank you for your help with this. Given that Nikon no longer services these unites, as the post below points out, I'm accepting his/her answer as a reasonable approach to the problem. – Philly Oct 22 '19 at 1:12
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    They may assume a certain usage when indicating servicing period. If you don't use it much, unless lubrication dries out (could be, but uncommon), I would not worry too much. – FarO Feb 24 at 8:35

The Nikon scanners do not require regular maintenance. They are however quite prone to dirt and dust. Your best bet keeping the scanner running problem free for a long time is to store it in a clean place (wrapped in a cover) when not in use. Some units are also starting to show signs of age and may e.g. have problems with the lubrication drying out. They also have moving mechanical parts made out of plastic and these parts can wear out and break. The last problem is not so closely related to age, but how much you use the device.

A great problem with the units which are actually failing, is that Nikon for a long time has not provided service anymore for these scanners and there are usually no spare parts obtainable if something should fail. Even if the units are now some 15-20 years old, they retailed for several thousand dollars and one should perhaps expect more from a manufacturer like Nikon.

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    Exposure to UV light (such as sunlight) will also age plastic parts and make them brittle and weak. – Michael C Oct 20 '19 at 23:58
  • @MichaelC The plastic parts I am talking about are enclosed in the scanner and would not be exposed to light from the environment. Not that it makes particularly sense anyway to store the scanner in direct sun-light. – jarnbjo Oct 21 '19 at 11:58
  • @jarnbo You might be surprised at what some folks do, such as leaving the lid open all of the time with their scanner sitting next to a window. – Michael C Oct 21 '19 at 23:50
  • @jambjo Thank you for this information, which seems very sensible. I also found some useful advice online at shtengel.com/gleb/Scanners.htm at doing your own maintenance, which is pretty much the only option left us. – Philly Oct 22 '19 at 1:15

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