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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #16
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I have been looking around, and find there is controversy over the robustness and lubricant issues regarding MiniDv tapes, even today. The lubricant issue is especially interesting, and I have found some interesting Q & A here: http://www.zenera.com/dvtape.html#mix_brands .

"Yes and No. According to Mr. Weideman issues have been resolved, but this is not my practical experience. The issue seems to be the formulation of tape lubricants. When Sony and Panasonic manufactured tapes are mixed the lubricants intermingle and become tacky. The result is that the tape mechanism will stop. (On a Canon XL-1 this is shown in the viewfinder by "Eject Tape" flashing in the viewfinder.)"

and

"Generally speaking, Panasonic Digital Media manufactures about 70% of DV media, Sony manufactures 25% and TDK manufactures 5%. These figures are approximate and of course subject to change. I know Maxell and Fuji have DV and DVCPRO tape brands, I would expect these manufacturers to enter the game very soon if they are not already as both have a history of providing media.

"What I can find from direct experience of these OEM arrangements is that Panasonic makes Canon and JVC tape. Sony makes its own tape. TDK makes its own. I do not know who makes Fuji, Maxell or other tape brands."

What is interesting is that you can find heated discussions regarding this subject, but why people get worked up over these things is beyond me.

One can find evidence to support almost any point of view. I only know that when I don't mix tapes I feel I'm in the solution. One person who seemed very knowledgeable I found on the net actually says he mixes many brands and never runs more than 4 hours with one brand. Sounds complicated to me.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 18th, 2007 at 09:31 AM. Reason: addition
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #17
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Robert, I don't much about tapes, but I believe for some reason, that these tapes are not very robust. I do not trust them. A competitor of mine gave me footage to edit for him that he shot onto a new tape and all it had on it was colored squares...it was worthless and he is convinced it was due to a bad tape. Plus from my earliest contact with people in this biz I have been told to "never" reuse tapes because they cannot stand up to repeated use, and I guess that sort of thing just sticks with you. Is it true? Who knows?

When I brought up my original post about replaying tapes I was really freaked out because I believed so strongly that these tapes disintegrate during use, which of course is true to some degree, but not to the degree I believed.

Since researching this issue this morning I found evidence of people who DO reuse tapes with no apparent ill effects. The whole thing is weird. I wonder if the huge amount of conflicting information is actually planted by the greedy multinational corporations to confuse and frighten us into buying more tapes? (Just kidding)

Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 18th, 2007 at 05:13 PM.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #18
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I think that in most cases it is wise to not record over a tape multiple times as new tape cost is low, each use increases the odds of a problem occurring, and one has the best odds of eveything working right by using fresh tape.

One can however in many cases reuse a tape many times with no problem. With re-capture of course you have no option, but to replay the tape and the chances of problems are minimal, even after repeated uses.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #19
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I have personal experience of my DHR1000 deck jambing solid after inserting and playing a Panasonic tape, it had to go back to Sony to get the tape out and my Sony PC10 had the same problem soon after. Since then only Sony tapes in my Sony's ( DHR1000, FX1, TRV50, HC96 ) and have relegated the PC10 to non Sony tapes. I have not had any problems in the last three years on any of the machines. Use Sony Premium most of the time and Panasonic MQ on the PC10 when used and it is used as playback machine if someone gives me a non Sony tape for some reason. I have a few Sony Premium tapes that I have used for testing that must have been used 25 or more times. So recording and capturing from the tape using the same machine a few times is certainly no problem.
I used to rent DVC200 and then used the large Panasonic tapes but after the problems with the DHR1000 would use iLINK and copy to a DVCam tape in the DHR1000 and then reuse the Panasonic tapes a couple of times.

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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #20
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Old November 19th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #21
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I bought my first DV camera in 1997, therefore my oldest DV tapes are now ten years old. I have never used a tape more than once.

Earlier this year I captured the footage from my brother-in-law's wedding in 1997 - one of the first things I ever shot on DV. Leaving aside the fact that I have been promising him this footage for a decade, this was the first drop out I have experienced in several years of frequent capture (at least 2 or 3 hours a week) using the same capture device. I haven't experienced any drop outs in the 6 or so months since then using only brand new tapes.

Difficult to say whether this is due to tape deterioration or something else. I haven't kept the tapes in any special conditions, just cased and boxed in my office. I haven't looked through any of the other early tapes but I am now concerned that this might be an issue. When I get a spare month I may just archive it all off to something or other. (In other words, it's never going to get done.)
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Old November 19th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #22
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The drop out could just be some dust in the shell. A rewind will likely solve the problem. My first DV tapes are from 1996 from a VX1000 and then in 1997 bought my DHR1000 which is the only piece of equipment from that time still going strong!!!! I think that tape quality has improved over this time. Early assumptions by the manufacturers probably didn't think the tape would be as good and also they may have underestimated the quick move to NLE from linear editing. IT is interesting that before my move to DV I used Hi8 and the only tapes that have given me problems from the early 1990's are the expensive Sony Pro tapes that were intended for linear editing. I had foolishly used them for something that was really important and when I went back to re-edit with newer NLE etc and put on DVD they had all sorts of dropout problems. Luckily, because the event was important I had backed up to some cheap Fuji tapes and they are just fine!!!! It's this experience over the last decade that has made me stick to the Premium tapes exclusively with no problems and to avoid the expensive Sony tapes!!!! They may have improved but the Premiums work and hopefully in the next while HDD or Flash will be the way to go with archive being the only problem to solve next!!!!!
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Old November 19th, 2007, 08:13 AM   #23
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Good point, Ron. I'll check it out. Thanks.

On the subject of 'which tapes', I have used Panasonic DVM60 tapes exclusively for 18 months. They are dirt cheap but (touching wood as I type) I have not had a single problem with them in a Canon XL2 and captured from an old JVC consumer cam. I'm typically shooting 2 to 3 hours corporate stuff each week (sometimes considerably more) and I use each tape only once, clean the heads on both cams (with different head cleaners) approximately monthly, always use the tapes in SP mode and never use any other brand.

I'll continue to do so until I experience any problem but to date my 1's and 0's are doin' OK!
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Old November 19th, 2007, 08:55 AM   #24
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
I have been looking around, and find there is controversy over the robustness and lubricant issues regarding MiniDv tapes, even today. One can find evidence to support almost any point of view. I only know that when I don't mix tapes I feel I'm in the solution. One person who seemed very knowledgeable I found on the net actually says he mixes many brands and never runs more than 4 hours with one brand. Sounds complicated to me.
Take note that the interview you reference is 8 years old, or the greater part of the "near decade" that mentioned previously.
I don't advocate mixing tapes, but for different reasons. I also don't advocate reusing tape, and have only done so in extreme circumstances. For a savings of 5.00 or so, and the substantially increased risk of dropout...I'm happy to avoid it.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #25
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Old November 19th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #26
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I didn't notice the date of the interview, but will that matter to someone who is having a problem with an issue that was "settled" years ago? I think not.

Not to minimize your viewpoint, Spot, but as Ron's post indicates, the issue is settled only for those who haven't mixed dry and wet tapes as I did and found out the hard way they don't mix.

The issue is alive and well for anyone experiencing a problem with it. It might be settled for an experienced pro who uses one type of tape and who has know for years not to mix them...but everyone isn't an industry veteran, as I am not.

Obviously, many of us are not aware that Panasonic makes tapes, let alone know of the dry vs wet thing....so I am sure that for the vast majority who use one tape and stick with it, there is no issue.

Addtionally on the "settled" aspect, this wet dry thing was pointed out to me, as I mentioned, by a Panasonic engineer only two years ago, and the pros at the authorized Panny repair shop. Funny thing, people wanted to know who the engineer was. I took that to mean one of two things...I wasn't believed or the engineer was full of it, or I mis-reported the conversation. I can confidently say that the first possibility is not true, the second one I cannot know, and the third thing is always possible, but I am confident that was not the case here.

As long as there are dry and wet tapes, someone will mix them and experience a problem (or possibly not). To tell them the issue has been settled years ago will not do them any good!
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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:35 AM   #27
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There was a comment somewhere in this thread about BASF tapes.

I believe that BASF sold or otherwise spun off their tape division quite a few years back and I believe it is now under the EMTEC name. There was a gentleman from Emtec on the LTO tape consortium media committee and he told me that he used to be a BASF tape guy.

Fuji and MAxell are major manufacturers of tape media. in the LTO tape market, Fuji manufactures under their own name and also manufactures IBM's brand.

However, who makes what is really complicated by the fact that there is so much OEM activity and it wouldn't suprise me at all to find that Brand X makes LTO tape under their own name and even sells it to company Y, but buys their miniDV tape from a competitor like company Y and just markets under their own name

In this day and age it's usually safe to assume that no company makes the complete line of products that it sells. Trying to figure out who really makes what is usully a pointless exercise.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #28
 
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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
I believe that BASF sold or otherwise spun off their tape division quite a few years back and I believe it is now under the EMTEC name. There was a gentleman from Emtec on the LTO tape consortium media committee and he told me that he used to be a BASF tape guy.

Fuji and MAxell are major manufacturers of tape media. in the LTO tape market, Fuji manufactures under their own name and also manufactures IBM's brand.

However, who makes what is really complicated by the fact that there is so much OEM activity and it wouldn't suprise me at all to find that Brand X makes LTO tape under their own name and even sells it to company Y, but buys their miniDV tape from a competitor like company Y and just markets under their own name
This is exactly correct, Emtec (AFAIK) still uses the BASF name as a brand. I was under the impression that Emtec is part of BASF, but I could have that wrong. Looking around on the web, it appears that Emtec is under the BASF umbrella?
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Old November 20th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #29
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Good question re ownership of Emtec. The engineer I knew referred to it as a spinoff or going private, but you never know in this business because divisions get spun off into private equity deals and then sold to other companies, or set up as new public companies.

Update:

I found the following. It appears that Emtc was indeed spun off from BASF and then declared bankrupt a few years back.

http://mmislueck.com/EmtecSpecialReport.htm

http://www.loc.gov/nls/technical/cas...omponents.html

http://studioforums.com/eve/ubb.x?a=...81&m=476105179

It seems that Ampex has bitten the dust and the people who took it over (Quantegy) are gone as well. When I was at IBM we had some joint tape automation development activities with Ampex and they still had significant technical capability. This would have been shortly before I retired from IBM in 1995, although I'm still in the business side of magnetic tape development working on joint projects between NEC Tokyo and IBM Tucson.

We still sell a lot of LTO tape products into the computer archive and backup market space. Tape may be on its way out, but it will certainly outlast me!
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