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Old August 6th, 2002, 10:56 AM   #1
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Leaving the tape in the camera

I have read leaving the tape in the camera is bad, but never found out why.

Bad for the tape? Bad for the head and camera? What happens if I leave it in there? How long can I leave it in until I should worry? I just found out that I had forgotten a tape in the camera for 6 weeks... do I have to be scared now?

Cheers, Peter
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Old August 6th, 2002, 03:44 PM   #2
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I have heard that this is a bad habit, but also never heard why. So, I have one more bad habit to add to my list. I guess I have been lucky, as no problems have come up. I always have a fresh battery and tape in, ready to go. You never know when...
Keith
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Old August 6th, 2002, 04:39 PM   #3
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Having a tape loaded and ready may be good if your chasing UFO's or the Loch Ness Monster, but it can cause cause problems with the tape. Part of the reason to fast forward and rewind new tapes is to get the tape to lay flat and equalize the tension. During shipping the tape gets bounced around and slack develops. The same thing happens when you leave the tape in the camera. The tape can develop slack and even get stuck in the camera. Worst case the tape might get a crease in it or the camcorder eats the tape and breaks a head. Does this happen very often? No, so you have to figure out if its worth the risk to always be ready.

Jeff
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Old August 6th, 2002, 06:36 PM   #4
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That's the first I have heard of that. Thanks for the heads up.
Keith
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Old August 7th, 2002, 07:16 AM   #5
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Leaving tape in camera short periods (e.g., over night or on a weekend trip) is not likely to be a problem. But the longer the period the greater the risk of the tape taking a set that can induce a short term play error. Kind of like your joints are slow to recover after resting in one position for a long time. Also, leaving the tape in a camcorder while the camcorder undergoes some environmental cycling (e.g., cold-to-hot-to-cold, or humidity changes) might encourage a touch of tape sticking to the mechanism. And of course, someone could even record over existing footage.
As Jeff notes, it is a matter of your risk tollerance.
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Old August 7th, 2002, 09:27 AM   #6
 
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In my experience, the magnetic recording layer is vapor deposited onto the substrate and the bond between them is very fragile. In areas where the tape passes over a drive capstan there is a very tight turn. Storing the tape in one position stresses the bond and sometimes causes the recording media to delaminate and flake off. The dreaded blockiness or dropout then shows up.
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Old August 14th, 2002, 03:31 PM   #7
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I believe there's one other consideration to keep in mind... leaving a tape threaded in the camera puts tension on a series of tiny springs inside the tape transport mechanism. These springs cost perhaps a few-tenths of a cent to manufacture. However, replacement and labor charges due to worn-out springs which were tensioned needlessly over long periods of time will be to the tune of a couple hundred bucks. Some guys have an issue about using their cameras as playback decks, but they'll cause more harm simply by leaving a tape in all the time. Something to think about.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 05:31 PM   #8
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Rewind the tape for storage

Before you take the tape out the deck for storage on the shelf for longer periods of time make sure you rewind it to the beginning. Tapes stored in the middle of them can develop a ripple where the capstan left an impression on it. This will still happen at the beginning too but chances are your best shots aren't off the top. One more reason for recording bars at the head of every tape.
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