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


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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:46 PM   #16
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Ken, I totally agree with you if we were talking about quality, but this in not the issue here, as you aware each tape leaves some deposits behind, some brands leaves more deposits than the others hence you need more often of head cleaning and as you know the less cleaning the better for the head. I am intrested to know which brand leave less deposits so that I can decide on which one is better to use with my new GL2, I am not warried that much about quality between those brands
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 05:07 PM   #17
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Actually, about four years back I used JVC tapes. And these tapes alone, in a brand new camera kept clogging my heads. It was awful. Banding to the worst degree. I kept cleaning with a JVC head cleaning tape. After doing extensive research, I went with Fuji, and NEVER had to clean my heads in that cam again. Any questions?

Before that, I used to shoot almost every day, for about 6 months. From about 8 am to 11 pm. This also including dubbing/editing etc. Again, lots of head clogging problems. Why? Because the guy I was working for bought and mixed brands of tape: TDK, Sony, Panasonic, you name it. He always bought batches of tapes that were on sale. We were using 4 cams back then, with at least 5 different brands of tape. (Fuji was eiither too expensive or unheard of in those days here in Vancouver, I can't recall, so we never used those.) This mixing certainly caused us problems, well, more like made us crazy. Any questions?

Sorry for being blunt.

Personally I think that today some tapes are still better than others. Fuji, Sony and Panasonic make good tapes. just don't mix them! Head clogging because of mixing tapes is still a big problem today. I keep reading people freaking about this banding on other boards.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 11:05 PM   #18
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Cool. Thanks for all the info. I'll stick w/ the Sonys for now!
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Old December 24th, 2002, 08:20 AM   #19
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Zaid,

Tape deposits is a double edge sword. What you start to get into is the actual abrasiveness of the tapes themselves. The more abrasive tapes actually do a better job of preventing clogs etc. Yet, the tape, by being more abrasive, reduces the head life more.

There is no one ideal tape. In analog tapes, Sony and Fuji were known for having more abrasive tapes. Ampex had the least abrasive tapes and Panasonic (those tapes not made by Fuji), JVC, Maxell were in the middle. I used a lot of Fuji tape in those days. I had to replace the heads on an M II deck in those days, $2,200. Tape abrasiveness played a factor. But pro's can not afford clogged heads (easiest way to lose a client).

I use only new tapes. I never reuse a tape, Never. Before a tape is used, it is fast forwarded and rewound. This lays the tape flat and any deposits that are loose are allowed to fall off. I couldn't tell you the last time I had a head clog. I also don't black tapes. I think a lot of people put a new tape in and start recording. Any particles that are loose from storage, transportation, manufacture etc are now being deposited on your capstan, posts and upper drum assembly (heads). All to come loose at the least opportune time. If you're going to black your tapes, at least FF and RW before blacking.

Follow the cleaning tapes instructions EXACTLY. Tapes that call for 20 seconds are less abrasive than those that call for 5 seconds. Why a 20 second tape? In 20 seconds the tape will travel further and clean more of the posts, capstan etc. In theory it might do a more complete cleaning. It would make no difference if it is done in record or playback. It doesn't change the speed or position of any mechanical component. The cleaning will be the same. However, cleaning in FF or RW might cause excessive friction and lead to other problems.

Jeff
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Old December 24th, 2002, 07:34 PM   #20
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Thank you Jeff

Your answer was the most informative one I ever saw about this subject
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Old December 26th, 2002, 03:49 PM   #21
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So here's a new can of worms to open. I know about not switching brands of tape, but I recently started using Panasonic Pro mini dv tapes as opposed to their regular comsumer line of mini dv tapes. Could mixing those pose a problem? 'Cause I got both! Just to confuse things - ha!
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Old December 26th, 2002, 04:40 PM   #22
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Switching grades within a brand is not likely to be a problem. The lubricant type is likely to be consistent, and that's what causes the problem.
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Old April 5th, 2006, 08:10 AM   #23
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My GL2 is 3 years old now. 6 months ago i have a message: use cleaning
cassette. I buy one, and use once. Since then the message never happened.
Luckly i never seen any dropout.
This year i make 8 wedding videos, so i want to play a sure game.
I dont want a head error, a dropout. I always use NEW Tdk tapes.
My gl2 is now in the service because the tape rewind error. They change the tape transport mechanism. I asked the guy: can you test the head too?
He said the head is in normal condition, not needed to change is.
My question is: have somebody's head changed yet? If yes, how old was the cam? Or how much workhour do you use it?

If the "use cleaning cassette" message doesn't appear, i can 100% sure that no problem is on the tape?
And when this msg appear, i have some workhour before the first dropout appear? It will be good.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #24
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Today i have a message: dirty head, use cleaning cassette.
It is interesting, because i used the cleaning cassette
YESTERDAY!!! For 15 sec.
So what is it?
The videocassette was a brand new tdk tape.
I dont think it has dirt that is on the head now.

Is my head bad? :(
I dont see any dropouts yet.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 07:59 AM   #25
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GL1 vs. GL2 response

I like that message. At least with a GL2 we know there might be a problem. My GL1s just keep on shooting with no indication in the viewfinder there is a problem. But there will be mozaic footage or blue screen for several seconds.

I think what you are encountering is a build-up of chemicals from the tape that momentarily washes over the heads. Hence the message from a GL2. I encounter this occasionally when I have been doing run and gun shooting, i.e. shoot,pause, shoot, pause, where the pauses may be longer than the shooting. It almost never happens unless I have had a lot of long pauses. If I cannot stop for the moment I simply keep on shooting. Almost all the time the footage is fine. Occasionally there is a momentary glitch at the time the message occurred. Just to be safe, I always stop as soon as possible to use the cleaning tape. Sometimes an immediate cleaning is not possbile--if the bride is putting on the garter, I have choice: shoot it and hope the tape is good, or clean the heads and miss the shot anway.
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Old August 19th, 2006, 08:09 AM   #26
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Before every wedding i make a test, record 30-40sec in LP mode.
When there is no problem in playback, maybe there will be no problem in wedding in SP mode.
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