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Old January 1st, 2004, 03:45 AM   #1
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Question about MiniDV tapes' evaporation

Do all minidv tapes undergo evaporation (or the strip of film)? What is the process, anyone know and what metals are involved in the process? I just want to know whats the true diff between magnetic clarity in standard vs pro. tapes? What's the big deal?
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Old January 1st, 2004, 06:11 PM   #2
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I can't answer your questions but I've got some good tape links posted here: http://www.dvfreak.com/tape.htm

Perhaps you can find some of your answers.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 06:25 PM   #3
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Wow there is hardly an accurate statement in that web link!
For instance what tape is this refering to?? -"others will dirty your heads" or "stretch etc."
"heads are very dirty, you'll see diagonal, mosaic-like bars in your viewing screen." - not true, head clogs apear as horozontal bands alternating with normal picture info never diagonal. Slightly dirty produce random specs in the recorded picture.
Cleaning tapes - "This should be done for about 5 seconds only." Both the camera and cleaning tape manufactures reccomend 10 seconds run not 5 sec.
"The heads will have to be realigned" HUH?? For dirty heads - I don't think so!
"cleaning cassette is abrasive---like putting sandpaper to your heads" That is a gross and missleading exageration.
"For the mini DVCAM format, use only Fuji mini DVCAM or Sony mini DVCAM tape" Why?? Most people use regular MiniDV tape in the cameras that are the mini DVCam format without ant issues at all.
"The problem using cheap tape... " What brand is 'cheap' DV tape??
"I highly recommend what the dubbing houses use: Fuji Pro and Fuji Master VHS tapes" You can recomend all you like but Fuji DV tape is a very minor player in the dv field SOny and Panasonic out sell Fiji by a huge margin.
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Old January 7th, 2004, 10:30 PM   #4
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Bob, the information from that site is mostly correct or a little vague. That is the problem with web sites, they are not always updated on a regular basis. Your complaints, when taken out of context, sound severe. But when read in context they are written, are not as bad as you make them sound. The errors that are contained, are again just vagueness, but they error on the side of caution. For example both the site and you are wrong about cleaning tapes. One length of time does not fit all brands. Some manufactures recommend one time and other manufactures recommend another. The rule on cleaning tapes is follow the manufactures printed instructions included with the cleaning tape. Why? Because not all brands are made the same. Just as all sandpaper is not the same coarseness, not all cleaning tapes have the same abrasiveness. So rather than follow hearsay and innuendo on web sites, follow the directions.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #5
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Bob, you're one lucky man to never have had "isues" using "cheap" miniDV tape. :-))

You're more than welcome to revise/re-write that article, and I promise to have a serious look at it. :-))
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Old January 8th, 2004, 08:34 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Frank Granovski : Bob, you're one lucky man to never have had "isues" using "cheap" miniDV tape. :-)) -->>>

Cheap is generally determined by price, is it not?? Well, the 2 'cheapest' tapes on the market are Sony and Panasonic! Panasonic is generally the “cheapest” brand available by a few cents. But in most professional circles Sony and Pana are the ONLY tapes used. I have always considered Fuji, Maxell, Canon, JVC and who can forget RCA as the 'cheap' brands (if such a thing exists). Because you see 75% of the posted complaints about DV tape with those few brands that combined sell less than 10% of the total tape sales (Fuji, Max, Can, RCA). There are probably only 2 or 3 actual manufactures of DV tape and the others are just ‘branded’ but I don’t think those manufactures would give their best stock to be ‘branded’ with someone else’s brand, would you??

The 'cheap' brands (Sony and Pana) are cheap because of the tremendous volume of them that are sold - business 101- supply and demand and volume! Those other brands are primarily sold through outlets like Walmart, Target, Circuit City, Best Buy etc.
When I see someone writing that 'Fuji' DV tape is the best brand then everything in that article is suspect and likely to be inaccurate, as it was.
My personal choice is Sony brand is the only tape to use as I switched to in DV in 1995 and 1996 with 2 VX1000 Camcorders and used both Sony and Pana tape because neither brand supply was plentiful enough to stick with just one at the time. The mixing issues were unknown yet (I had to replace the heads in both cams within a year because of switching brands) The Panasonic tapes I shot during that period are all but un-watchable and unusable now because they have deteriorated so badly but the Sony tape looks like the day I shot it. I can take one of those used Sony MiniDV tape from 1995 and pop it in a camera today and it performs like is was just purchased yesterday. Those Panasonic tapes produce an instant head clog when you try to play them and once you get over that, the picture is complete crap - you do the math! Of my 14 DV/DVCam cameras and decks I do have one cam/player that I use exclusively for Panasonic (and the other ‘off’ brands) tape as I do work with other customers tapes and don’t want issues with my Sony-only fed gear. That unit requires regular, manual, thorough cleaning to work properly. I have no serious problem with Panasonic tape so long as you don’t need to archive anything on it for very long. It performs equally with Sony for original acquisition. I was recently given about 80 one pass Panasonic Mini DV tapes and have reused most of them again without any serious issues.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 08:54 AM   #7
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<<<-- For example both the site and you are wrong about cleaning tapes. One length of time does not fit all brands. Some manufactures recommend one time and other manufactures recommend another. The rule on cleaning tapes is follow the manufactures printed instructions included with the cleaning tape. Why? Because not all brands are made the same. Just as all sandpaper is not the same coarseness, not all cleaning tapes have the same abrasiveness. So rather than follow hearsay and innuendo on web sites, follow the directions. -->>>

You may be correct, my personal experience with cleaning tape recommendations is limited to Panasonic Mini DV Cleaning tapes and Sony in the Mini DV, full size DV and full size DVCam tapes and cleaning recommendations in my Sony manuals for the VX1000, VX2000, PD150, DSR 200, DSR250, and DSR300 and DSR300A units that ALL state “10 seconds” as the time to run them. I have 3 JVC DV cameras also but I can’t find the manuals at the moment but I seem to recall they recommended 10 seconds also.

Please be specific about what other brands of DV cleaning tapes and DV Camera recommendations you have seen other than the ’10 second’ rule. I am very curious as this “5 second” pass is posted about occasionally, but never backed up as to what specific DV manufacturer or DV model made the recommendation.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Please be specific about what other brands of DV cleaning tapes and DV Camera recommendations you have seen other than the ’10 second’ rule. I am very curious as this "5 second" pass is posted about occasionally, but never backed up as to what specific DV manufacturer or DV model made the recommendation.
As I suggested, "you're more than welcome to revise/re-write that article, and I promise to have a serious look at it." The 5 second thing is based on what I've read at dv.com and from my own personal experience (since day 1 of miniDV). However, since I've switched to Fuji miniDV tape (about 5 years ago), I've never had to clean my heads again---knock on wood.
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Old January 8th, 2004, 09:24 PM   #9
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Many users feel the "10 second rule" is too aggressive and may result in excessive wear and tear on the heads (upper drum assembly). Canon states in it's owners manual for the XL1s:

• When mosaic-like noise appears on the playback picture, the video heads may be dirty. When the video heads are badly contaminated, the camera may show a blank blue screen.

• For the best picture possible, after using the camera for approximately 20 hours, clean the video heads using Canon’s DVM-CL Digital Video Head Cleaning Cassette. If the “noise” remains, repeat the cleaning (up to maximum of 5 times).

• Do not use a wet-type cleaning cassette, as this can cause damage.


The tape directions say to clean no more than 4 times. Some people feel safer following minimum times rather than maximum times etc. In Franks web site he choose to be cautious with times because of the unknown variable of what brand camera or cleaning tape might be used. I, too, would rather error on the side of caution with blanket recommendations.
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Old January 17th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #10
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I am very happy with the "cheap" fuji cleaning tape......
and will absolutely NOT switch to sony, nor panasonic..... why ? because the fuji is doing exactly what it's supposed to, clean the clogged heads a 100%. ....that's all folks !!
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Old January 29th, 2004, 01:24 AM   #11
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Panasonic Tapes

Bob I hate to muddy the waters here but after reading your thread about your experience with Panasonic tapes re Sony I had to respond.

I started using digital tapes in 1998 when I purchased a Panasonic camera being a NV DX100.

From the word go I used only Panasonic tapes as they were the only ones readily available in my part of the world at the time, (not knowing anything about the not mixing tapes).

Having used approximatly 150 tapes over the last five years with mabey about five of those TDK I have never had a problem playing back any of the old tapes from 1998, I have played them on the original camera and the new Canon XM2 with out a problem, I have to admit to a few hickups with my JVC deck, but this appears to be a sepperate problem of which has been covered in a different thread.

I have also had a couple of dud Panasonic tapes along the way but in general they have proved to be a good product for me.

What all this means is any ones guess, but it would appear to me if you use only one brand continuously you should be okay.

Regards, Cliff Elliott
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