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Tapes and Heat

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Dan Quintero
Tapes and Heat
on Jun 3, 2010 at 8:54:56 pm

Anyone know what the safe operating temps are for tape (DVCPRO HD)?

I found a brochure printed by Maxell that references the SMPTE RP-103 (Recommendation Practice for Professional Video Tapes) that says the safe operating conditions/temps are from 63F to 77F...



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Mark Suszko
Re: Tapes and Heat
on Jun 3, 2010 at 9:38:36 pm

Outdoors, touch the black parts of the top of your camera with bare fingers. If you can't do that comfortably, I promise, the tape is too hot. Heat is not nearly as bad as humidity.


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Ryan Mast
Re: Tapes and Heat
on Jun 4, 2010 at 4:59:09 pm

Absolutely right about the humidity.

I've shot for hours in the sun in up to 90 F without issues in Sony HDV and Canon DV cams.

One week I ran media for a summer camp with 80 F heat, but near 90% humidity and it shut down the tape transport on all of our cameras. Except the Sony A1U, but that one later died of a creeping corrosion from moisture damage...

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Meteor Tower Films
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Steve Wargo
Re: Tapes and Heat
on Jun 7, 2010 at 8:59:48 pm

We shoot when it's 116 in the shade and have never had a tape failure.

We have had human failure in broad proportions but tape, not at all. What is your situation?

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

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Dan Quintero
Re: Tapes and Heat
on Jun 17, 2010 at 4:50:53 pm

As an update, we used Panasonic DVCPRO tape outdoors in 118F without any problems.

Go fly fishing.


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