Using the Nikon Scan 4.0.2 plugin with Adobe Photoshop CS3 on an Intel Mac running OS X 10.5

Tonight is my local camera club meeting and it’s competition night, which meant I needed to make prints from some of my recent images. After an emergency trip to HobbyCraft last night to buy some mats to mount the prints (unfortunately it was too late in the day to catch the local picture framer), I set to work on tweaking the images before printing them (hence the requirement to buy some extra ink yesterday!!!). The digital files were fine but two of the images to enter in the competition needed to be scanned from film, which meant setting up my Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 ED with my MacBook (running OS X 10.5.5) and Nikon Scan 4.0.2 as a plugin Adobe Photoshop CS3.

A couple of years ago, I wrote about installing Nikon Scan as Photoshop CS2 plugin on my Mac Mini but things have moved on since then. I hadn’t realised that the Nikon Scan plugin is a PowerPC application (and my Macs have Intel processors) and under CS2 (which ran on OS X’s Rosetta emulation layer) this wasn’t a problem but I couldn’t get CS3 (which is a Universal application) to recognise the plugin (incidentally, my original advice to copy the plugin to the Photoshop plugins folder works, but there is an alternative – simply add the path to the legacy plugin in the Photoshop preferences):

Enabling Nikon Scan in the Photoshop preferences

Select Rosetta emulation for Photoshop CS3The answer is to adjust the file information the Photoshop CS3 application to open it using Rosetta (information found on a photo.net forum post). After this is done, Photoshop CS3 is happy to run the plugin, although the interface is not at all Mac-like (and Nikon have stated that they will not be updating Nikon Scan for full OS X 10.5 compatibility). I could use alternative scanning tools (like VueScan) but, despite the awful user interface, Nikon Scan serves its purpose and includes support for the ICE features of my scanner.

It’s worth pointing out that Rosetta is limited to accessing 1.5GB of memory for all non-Intel processes. As I have 4GB of RAM in my MacBook, that’s starving Photoshop of resources, so it’s worth turning off Rosetta when Nikon Scan is not required. Alternatively I could run Nikon Scan as a standalone application but I prefer to run applications like this as plugins.

Incidentally, for those who are interested, these are the pictures I’ll be entering in tonight’s competition:

Silverton HotelTornadoSt Pancras International (2)Basilique du Sacré-Coeur from Musée D'Orsay

(These images are ©1993-2009 Mark Wilson, all rights reserved and are therefore excluded from the Creative Commons license used for the rest of this site.)

[Update 22:30: the St Pancras International image was awarded third place in the open category! The others didn’t make the cut]

4 thoughts on “Using the Nikon Scan 4.0.2 plugin with Adobe Photoshop CS3 on an Intel Mac running OS X 10.5


  1. I have the bulk slide scanner with my Nikon…. will this plugin method work to scan a batch of 50 slides? Somehow I doubt it…


  2. I just scanned NikonScan v4.0.2 as a plugin from PS4, OSX10.5.8, MacBook Pro, with PS4 set to Rosetta and it worked beautifully. I am shocked Nikon is not keeping this software up to date. But that is Nikon for you.

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