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Is there a best tape?

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Kevin C.
Is there a best tape?
on Oct 26, 2005 at 9:35:22 pm

Shooting on GL1, is there a best tape to get, or are all the major brands more or less the same? thanks!



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Phil Grimpo
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 27, 2005 at 12:14:26 am

Personally, I've had the best luck with the Panasonic "Master" tape. I've had far fewer digital hits with that tape.


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Kevin C.
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 27, 2005 at 3:20:57 am

thanks PHil:
Is this a lot more costly than "normal" tapes?

Hits you mean dropouts? thanks



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Don Greening
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 27, 2005 at 5:33:00 am

Yes, the Panny Master series will cost more money. Sony also makes a Master series that are similar in quality to the Panasonic tapes.

Hits - dropouts - tiling - all mean the same thing. Once you've decided on what brand of tape, you should stay with that brand and only change after you've sent your camera in for a professional cleaning. This is because there are basically two types of tape: dry lubricated and wet lubricated. Mixing the two types without getting the cleaning done first is inviting tape recording problems such as dropouts, etc. It doesn't matter which type you choose, but when you do stay with that choice.

When you first put a new tape into your camera, fast forward to the end and rewind to the beginning. This accopmlishes 2 things: it pre-tentions the tape against the recording drum and also helps to toss out any microscopic bits of debris that sometimes get lodged in the tiny grooves of the heads. This practice will help to keep tape dropouts to a minimum.

And don't use a head cleaning cassette. They are very abrasive and will wear out your heads prematurely.

- Don


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Kevin C.
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 28, 2005 at 3:20:30 am

thanks Don:
I already started with just a few Maxell regular mini DV tapes, so I guess I will stick to them unless you say otherwise.

I bought a head cleaning cassette, but was not going to use it until I saw a problem. What do you recommend instead? And do you wait to clean when you see a problem, or clean at certain intervals, problem or no problem.



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Don Greening
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 28, 2005 at 5:29:05 am

Cleaning the heads and tape transport should be done at regular intervals, even if you don't have problems (read: preventive maintenance). I take mine into a local camera place once a year and let them do it. I don't wait for tape dropouts to occur before I get cleaning done because it's already too late and that important shot is now trashed. Keep that head cleaning tape in your camera bag and only use it in emergencies when and if a head clog crops up. Also follow the tape cleaning directions to the letter. Usually, a fast forward/rewind will accomplish the same thing as using a head cleaning cassette. I still don't recommend using a head cleaner but keep it in your bag just in case.

The length of time between regular trips to the camera store to get the heads cleaned is directly proportional to the amount of time spent using the camera. When the heads are cleaned professionally they'll also clean the entire transport system, lubricate everything and re-align the recording head(s) back to factory specs.

If you're using the Maxells now without issue then you may as well continue. When you get head a service done you can decide then if you want to change brands or not.

- Don


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Kevin C.
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 29, 2005 at 2:13:36 am

thanks Don:
Do you need to take it in to camera place? how much charge?

Fast forward/rewind as good in emergencies as tape cleaner? doing that on what tape, a normal backup tape or the tape shooting with at time?

thanks!



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Don Greening
Re: Is there a best tape?
on Oct 29, 2005 at 4:25:19 am

[Kevin C.] "Fast forward/rewind as good in emergencies as tape cleaner?"

In most instances, yes. Unless it's something that has glued itself to some part of the tape transport, then you need to take it in for a good cleaning. I wouldn't want to quote you a price for cleaning because you live down there and I live up here, so the prices would be quite different.

When it's time for a cleaning just take it to an authorized Canon repair facility in your area. I'm sure there's a ton of them in and around LA.

Also keep in mind that if you do get a tape dropout it might not be the camerra's fault. From what I've been able to learn about MiniDV tapes, they're all made the same way. It's during the quality control inspections that the manufacturer discovers that some tapes have dropouts on them so they sell those at a cheaper price. The ones with the fewest dropouts get packaged and sold as premium tapes at a higher price.

I could be wrong about this but this seems to be the popular belief.

- Don



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