Thanks also to you for your input. Do I understand you correctly: It IS possible to find a sparre bulb for this scanner quite easily? This scanner is the most appealing to me, but I'm afraid to be left in the cold if something mayor like the bulb breaks/dies.
I got mine from this Chinese seller on eBay
at a premium since I was unable to find the specifications of the lamp on the net myself and I only became aware of the Yahoo Minolta forum (see below) later. Since he had no auction running at the time, I simply contacted him and he put one up for sale.
The bulb issue has also been discussed several times over the years on the Yahoo forum dedicated to the Minolta DSMP (registration required). There have been reports that a standard CCFL (cold cathode fluorescent lamp) could be used (sold here at CCFLwarehouse, for example
), and that the built-in scanner calibration procedure would compensate for any potential difference in color temperature etc. to the original Minolta bulb. The required lamp dimensions are 2.0mm (diameter) x 110mm (length).
I have not ordered through CCFLwarehouse et al. myself yet, but I'll eventually get there once I blow through the current bulb AND the Chinese replacement I bought on eBay. Since my scanner is still running on its first bulb, this may possibly take quite a few years
At this point I'm not so much concerned about lamp failure or even mechanical failure (I'm quite confident I could fix most moving part problems), but rather about some failure of the electronic circuit board components. Because these (as opposed to the lamps) are REALLY unique and virtually impossible to replace. Still, I've also got a Canon A-1 with red LED display from the 1970s and a Rollei SL35E which both work without a hitch (impossible, according to most forums) and so on, so I'm using this scanner in the same spirit without any concern about what might or might not happen in the future. If you can get your hands on a Minolta in cared for condition for a reasonable price, you might consider taking the leap of faith. The results speak for themselves!