Question about changing different brands of tapes! at

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Old April 7th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #1
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Question about changing different brands of tapes!

Hi I just bought a Canon XH A1 and the guy before my used canon tapes and before he shipped it he cleaned the heads! The question I have is would it be okay to change to sony tapes once I start using it? Or do you think I should try to stay with canon tapes?
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Old April 8th, 2009, 08:06 AM   #2
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Hi there,

I'm brand shiny new to all of this but through my own research on the topic (when oh WHEN will they deilver my tapes so i can have a play around!!!!!!!????) I think the general consensus is always stick to the same tapes BUT if you change then do a head clean first.

There seem to be two reasons for this from what I've read on these boards and forgive me if I'm talking rubbish... *clears throat*

1. The dry Vs. Wet tape issues can cause serious head problems and even though Sony have changed the type of lube they use no one seems to trust or want to endanger their lovely camera and hence will not dare test the theory. Neither will I.

2. Some type of "mating" ritual develops between tapes and player (camera) which means they eventually bond and physically there's some type of ridge groove development type thing which means that if you stick to the same type of tape there is a better connection between the heads and the tapes.

So i reckon you should decide based on that. I, personally, would do a mini clean before changing to Sony as they're cheap and easily accessible. Unless someone gave me a good reason not to.

>>>>>>>>>>>I would like to know if the head cleaners use a lubricant and if those are wet or dry and if it's preferable to use a wet head cleaner before wet tapes etc.<<<<<<<<<

Not that I need that info for myself but it's good to know these things.

Many peeps on these boards know more than in this regard so if you wait they will be along to help if they're not being edgy about judging how much you've used the search function ;)
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Old April 8th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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The problem that you get when you switch tape types (or at least, the one I know about from personal experience) is "gunge-ing" of the head, leading to horizontal stripes on the recorded video. Cleaning the head a few times should solve it, but I would certainly run a few tests to make sure everything is OK before going on an important shoot.

I am not aware of different types of miniDV head cleaning tapes, I thought they were all of a similar dry, abrasive type. Wet cleaning tapes, which I used to use for audio cassette decks, had a sort of cloth tape that you applied a cleaning fluid to, but I haven't seen any of those for miniDV. So I expect you can use any brand of cleaning tape though I'd still stick to established brands.

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Old April 8th, 2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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Canon doesn't make their own tape; most people think it's the Sony PHDVM 63 packaged for Canon. It's a good idea to use your head cleaning tape once before changing brands. But if the camera's been cleaned, you may not need to do that. When using the head cleaning tape, follow the directions precisely--ie., play it for no more than 10 seconds. If you follow standard procedure and record 30 seconds to a minute of bars at the head of the tape and then check that by playing it back, you should be OK. That's why they give you more than an hour on an hour of professional tape, so you can record bars and check it and do your sound check too if shooting dialog.
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