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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:34 AM   #1
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Tape Length Problems - Help Please

I've been using Panasonic AY-DVM63MQ (dry lubricated) tapes. They have been great and I've had no problems with them.

I just found out that the show I'm going to record May 1-3 is 80 minutes for the first act. I went looking for the AY-DVM83MQ tapes, only to find they are discontinued.

The AY-DVM83PQ tapes are available, but they are the wet lubricated type and I know I'm not supposed to switch between lubrication types.

If I was only using one camera, I would try to do a quick swap during a black out. But along with my A1, I have a DV20 for a full stage shot, that I would have to change too.

Is it a good idea to clean heads on both machines and just use the PQs for the whole show, then clean them again after so I can switch back to the MQs?

Or are there any other dry lubricated 83 minute tapes I could use?

I guess if the timing is right and I won't know until dress rehearsal, I could switch tapes early on the DV20 at a black out then on the A1 on the next black out. But I would rather not do that.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Howard
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Old April 20th, 2008, 04:16 AM   #2
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I don't know who told you the PQ's have the wet lube process, but they're mistaken. All of the Panny tape line uses a dry process.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #3
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A person on this page says PQs are wet. He says he got the info from Panasonic.
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/archive/in...p/t-18737.html

That is what caused my confusion.

After reading your post I did a more detailed search and did find what you say to be true.

Thanks,
Howard
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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:11 AM   #4
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Why not shoot in LP mode? I guess you don't see an y difference.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 08:08 AM   #5
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I don't shoot in SD, I was using HD mode which doesn't have an lp mode.

Though I guess I could do that. But since I haven't yet used my A1 in SD mode and I don't have time to really test it before I have to shoot the show, I will just get some PQ 83 minute tapes.

Thanks for the idea though.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 08:25 AM   #6
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When you change to a different type of tape, run a head cleaning tape first. You should be OK. The 83 minute tape has a thinner base stick, so it is a bit more fragile.

BTW, the tape lubricant incompatibility issue dates to the mid 1990s, and was resolved back then. However, it still makes the Internet rounds as gospel wisdom. As I understand it, the issue is other mechanical properties of tape that effect how tape wear deposits are left on the mechanism, and a cleaning tape usually takes care of it.

Note that the PQ tapes are probably subject to a somewhat less stringent level of quality control, so occasional tape read errors are a bit more likely. Be prepared to deal with that possibility.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 09:15 AM   #7
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If at all possible you're better off getting a second camera, if you can borrow or rent one. Even if it's a single chip camera--you could set it up for a cutaway shot, start it up when you're about 5 minutes from the end of your main camera tape, switch tapes, and go back to it. Then you'd only have a minute or so of footage from the second camera to deal with. Maybe an audience cutaway would be appropriate there, or a significantly different angle, then the difference in quality wouldn't show up much.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 10:25 AM   #8
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Thanks all. I think I will go with the PQ tapes for this shoot and clean the heads before and after.

Howard
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