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Old November 21st, 2003, 05:11 PM   #1
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Do tapes remember their past?

Hi,

I'm a pro' still film photog' really but have been playing with DV for the last few months. Started with a really basic Samsung then bought an XL1s.

I've got a couple of tapes which have been used more than once (slap wrists) and when I play them back I see alternate bands showing the current footage and a still of something from an earlier part of the tape. The same thing happens whether I play back through the Samsung or the Canon.

Using a head cleaner cures the problem for a while but then it comes back. My uneducated guess is that the tapes are knackered and are somehow leaving a deposit on the heads which continues to show up.

Can anyone comment, particularly on how much damage these tapes may do to the cam if I go on trying to capture my priceless footage from them. They'll stay on the shelf unless anyone can convince me they're safe.

Thanks in advance,
Roger
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Old November 21st, 2003, 05:45 PM   #2
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How many times do you re-use your tapes? You may always try to "strip" your used tape before using it again.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 07:02 PM   #3
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That sounds to me more like a head problem with the camera.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 07:59 PM   #4
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I agree with Bill, sounds like a head problem. This anomaly has been reported here before and in a few cases a cleaning worked. However, most cameras needed to have their heads (upper drum assembly) replaced. How old is this camera? Are you the original owner?
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 07:11 AM   #5
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Head to head

Thanks for all the replies.

I was planning to reuse my tapes about five times although I haven't used any more than twice yet and I've striped them in between.

I did have a head problem with the Samsung and sent it back under waranty and they replaced the upper drum ( I think that's what it was).

I've more or less decided to only use tapes once in future and always buy Panasonic because that seems to be the concensus in this forum about what you should do although I'd welcome any further advice.

My main concern is that I've still got footage which I'd like to archive to DVD. Then I'll just throw away all the old tapes.

I'd naturally do the capturing via the XL1s but I'm worried that these dodgy tapes may damage the heads so I'm just going to leave the tapes alone unless anyone can reassure me that this won't happen.

Oh yes, both cams were new when I bought them, although the Samsung was ex-display. I wish I'd looked at this forum b4 I bought that Samsung and spent a little bit more but in my ignorance, it looked like a really good buy.

Thanks again,
Roger
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 07:21 AM   #6
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Roger,

I have an XL1 and experienced the same banding problem you mention when, as a beginner, I was recording over used tapes. The folks here at DVInfo straightened me out, and I've never had the problem since.

Just wanted you to know that I didn't have to get a cleaning...simply not recording over used tapes stopped the problem.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks John

I sort of thought that may be the answer. I shouldn't be such a skin flint.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 02:03 PM   #8
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I have a XM2, and I have used a few tapes more than once.
A few months ago I also tested one of my tapes by reusing it 10 times without striping it. (only the first 6 minutes of the tape)

When I captured to the computer (Adobe Premiere 6.0, win2k pro), the only thing I noticed was the very last captured frame. That frame was a mix of the last and the previous recording. It happened during all 10 capturing sessions.

It was not visible during playback from the camera to tv.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 05:36 PM   #9
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Tapes remember

Roger,

ALL tapes take a memory.

NO EXCEPTIONS!

The only solution I have found to using a tape more than a few times, (in my opinion), is to record over the previous info with color bars. At Least you establish a new time code. Not much else.

Consider.

If you think about it, the time that you take to record bars on an old tape; the wear on your heads; etc.; I think, may tend to convince you to use only tapes that are new. Maybe, you can get away with another session with your older tapes; but…………

Over all, tape is cheap, if you are a professional shooter.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 06:29 PM   #10
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...or record with the lens cap on and a dummy audio plug (Radio Shack, 5 bucks). Personally, I'd just use fresh Fuji tapes.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 03:03 AM   #11
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Most of my tapes are 10 times reused. Some of them even 15 times. I have a XM2 (GL2). I never striped the tapes. I didn't noticed any problem... When I remove a tape from the camcorder and then put it back, or when I swich from CAMCORDER to VCR, I use the SEARCH buttons on the camcorder to find the end of the recording, and get a few frames (maybe a second) back to be sure there's no space between the two recordings.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 06:44 PM   #12
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I always use Panasonic tapes, never record over recorded material (hey it took work to get that footage, never know when you may have to use it again). I've only had one bad tape, and was lucky enough to be able to go reshoot the scene.

Tape is extremely cheap, a lot cheaper than time, as Robert pointed out. But I'm not opposed to ganging jobs, that is, if I only used the first 10 minutes of a tape on a shoot, I might record another job after it on the remaining 50 minutes. It's fine as long as you label things carefully.

I used to pre-black (stripe) everything before using it, it's the only way to guarantee unbroken time code from beginning to end. Now there never seems to be time in the run-and-gun field production environment (and too busy doing post-production when I'm not out in the field--hey, wait a minute! I could be blacking a tape right now! hee hee!)
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