Do you FF then REW a new tape before using it? at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:26 AM   #1
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Do you FF then REW a new tape before using it?

First, I just wanted to throw out a "thank you" to everyone who contributes to this message board. About a week ago, I was still trying to decide if the PDX10 or GL2 would be the best for me, and all of the great posts here helped me decide that the GL2, which I ordered this weekend and should receive tomorrow, suited my needs the best.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone can share thoughts on fast-forwarding (and then rewinding) a new tape before recording on it. I've heard that it's a good idea to do this in the camera to help establish proper tension on the tape, but I don't know if there's any truth to this or if it's just an extra step that lacks any true benefits. Any thoughts on this topic in general, or how it specifically relates to the GL2, would be appreciated.

And while I'm on the subject, what are your personal favorite brands for Mini DV cassettes? Personally, I've been partial to Maxell media for a long time, and I ordered some Maxell cassettes along with my camera.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 11:17 AM   #2
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You been reading my mind John?

I've had, and started again, having pixels on record.

5 mins in and on review here they come!!!! - Soooo.... I then decide to FF and then REW to beginning. Re-start filming - no more pixels. I use Sony Premium. I'm gonna institute this procedure for any tapes I use in the future - regardless! - I'm gonna do this with 3 or 4 before I go out on a shoot - that's it!

I think the tape tension/s vary from tape to tape, so doing this sets it up for my own XM2.

Grazie
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Old September 15th, 2003, 11:38 AM   #3
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There may be some merit to FF and REW. Seems that most of my drop-outs come during the first or last minute on Sony Premium tape. Any expert opinions?
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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:35 PM   #4
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Both topics have been posted on in the past. Do a search and you'll find many varied opinions. I'm a rewinder and fast forwarder and I use Panasonic tapes.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 09:55 PM   #5
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Same as Jeff

I've had zero drop-outs since I switched to Panasonic Tapes from Maxell. And I do FF and REW each and every one. DVM63PQ.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 02:52 AM   #6
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record and then rewind

This is what I do with the tapes. First I record a complete tape so I have an uninterrupted timecode written to the tape. Then I rewind it and use it. This is what a friend told me to do.
But now it just crossed my mind since I hear many discussions here about wear of the heads. Using this method will use the record heads twice the time, so maybe it is not wise to use this method.
How do you guys get an uninterrupted timecode?
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Old September 16th, 2003, 03:29 AM   #7
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Joris, as long as I use PAUSE or Stop, and don't introduce a "blank" piece of unrecordered tape, my timecode is continuous. No problem. Now if I review while on a shoot, I use the "+" and "-" option cue in buttons, to get back to the last frame of the previous piece - yeah? I've done it often and I get continuous timecode. No breaks. TC gets laid down all the time when recording - I don't "stripe" TC my tapes at all. However, I will be FF and REW in the future - this for tape tension and to kill those PESKY-PIXIE-PIXELS!

Grazie
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Old September 16th, 2003, 09:34 PM   #8
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I'm sure many of you already know this, but I have been itching to make a contribution to a thread, so here goes...

Just for future reference, so you don't have to type as much next time, fast forwarding and then rewinding is sometimes called "packing" the tape. This process winds the tape tighter on the reel so it won't accidentally slip during recording, thus causing a glitch. I know vhs tapes have a bad habit of containing slack in the wind, so i'm sure it is helpful with mini-dv as well.

Also, recording a full tape of nothing, or colorbars, is sometimes called "blacking," "striping" (as Grazie referred to above), or laying control track (sort of timecode's older, less useful brother). This process is used a lot in linear/cuts-only editing because it allows the editor to insert clips in a somewhat out-of-order fashion without breaking control track/timecode. This is super helpful in linear editing, but doesn't seem to matter much with non-linear as long as you leave plenty of pad before the first and after the last shots so you don't encounter a timecode break during usable footage. Like Grazie said, you only reserve continuous timecode when the recorder is paused. Stopping the tape, then recording again, will always cause a timecode break, which defeats the original purpose of striping the tape as well as prematurely wears your heads.

Getting back to packing the tape... I've been looking for a good mini-dv rewinder. I've found a couple that have both fast forward and rewind capabilities, but after reading so many reviews of snapped tapes, I'm hesitant to buy one. Does anyone have a rewinder (preferably with fast forward too, but any advice will help) that they are using? And if so, would you recommend it to others?

nicholi
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Old September 16th, 2003, 09:55 PM   #9
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Do a search on rewinders, you'll find several threads. Just like packing and striping, you'll find varying opinions.
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Old September 16th, 2003, 10:23 PM   #10
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I recently purchased a Sima miniDV bi-directional tape winder (approx. $30). It operates on AAA batteries (or optional AC adapter). For the modest cost it certainly seems to work well. My only complaint is that the top window is not clear, thus making it hard to see the reel's status.
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