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Old May 30th, 2002, 05:26 AM   #1
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Pro Dv tapes vrs. consumer Dv tapes

I am looking to buy a bunch of miniDv tapes in bulk and i was wondering what the benefits are of buy "Professional" miniDv tapes. Are there acutal visual enhacments or is it strictly an issue of sturdiness and wear?

If so called "consumer tapes" can handle recording fine, whats the deal?

Just wondering cause I don't have much cash, and every dollar saved is a dollar in my pocket!

Thanks
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Old May 30th, 2002, 11:45 AM   #2
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i've been using panasonic tapes for 2 1/2 years .. have used approx 300 ay-dv60 ( 3.25ea) and approx 50 Master Q 60 ( 7 ea) ...
i can't see the difference/hear difference ...
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Old May 30th, 2002, 10:51 PM   #3
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I've had problems with some lines of tape, a few years back. Since I went to Fuji (and Panasonic for 2 of my cams), I've never had problems. And I never "mix" tapes. Find a good one, and stick with it.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 01:28 AM   #4
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I use sony excellence but I understand from AZuHO, who uses sony premier, there's hardly any difference and they're half the cost $10 vs $5.00.

Bruce
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Old May 31st, 2002, 03:05 AM   #5
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one of our local filmmakers uses DVCAM tapes although he shoots with Canon XL-1. He had some mechanical failures with consumer tapes. Price difference is big, DV tapes are some 2,5 times cheaper than DVCAM
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Old May 31st, 2002, 11:21 AM   #6
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About that tape mixing business. . .this guy at a local video equipment supply shop told me that you could mix mini dv tapes with no problem, and that it was only with higher formats that it became an issue. Everyone on this site seems to say differently. Who's right?
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Old May 31st, 2002, 02:40 PM   #7
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The different lubs that rub off the tapes can interact and gum up your heads, thus screwed-up video: drop-outs, noise and those nasty bands and lines running across the footage. If you don't believe it, try it. Lots of people on message boards seek help because of dirty heads from mixing tapes---but don't know the cause.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 03:33 PM   #8
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Josh,

"We're right!" <g>

Seriously, though, there is a substantial body of evidence to support the pick an' stick tape brand philosophy.
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Old May 31st, 2002, 04:29 PM   #9
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Thank you sir. I suspected as much. The place where I heard that. . .not the people I'd choose to go to most of the time. I'd even name them so Houston residents could avoid them, but seeing as how now my real name is here on the forum (thanks Chris. . .Mr. Anti-alias (just kidding)), I don't want them to send the videography mafia after me or something.
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Old June 1st, 2002, 05:36 AM   #10
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A sidebar to this thread:
Something I always do with new tapes is to always cue FWD and REV end-to-end once or twice before I use the tape. I had drop-outs from time to time on a few tapes (both Sony and Panasonic) and after talking with some friends about the problem whom do pro video they recommended the "end-to-end" technique to tighten the tapes on the spools. Seems sometimes when tapes come from the factory they are loose on spools and that in some cases can cause the drop outs.

Has anyone else heard about this? I have had good luck since I started doing this.
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Old June 1st, 2002, 06:43 AM   #11
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this spooling end-to-end is called retensioning and is common practice with many old data backup drives (like dds dat, or QIC tapes), in fact, any tape that has two spools in it.
I believe this was one of the reasons why Quantum went for a single spool in their DLT formats...
I have been doing it to my minidv tapes also (just once though when they come ou of the shrinkwrap), but I only had a problem once or twice before i started doing it.\

HTH

Kai.
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Old June 1st, 2002, 04:04 PM   #12
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Hi,

I don't beleive they come out of the factory loose, but that it happens during transportation to their final destination. Retentioning also allows any loose particles to dislodge themselves and not clog your heads the first time they pass over your heads. I have always done this with my portable equipment and studio equipment and in over 20 years I've rarely had a head failure from tape clogging.

Jeff
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Old June 1st, 2002, 04:57 PM   #13
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Sounds like a good technique. So just to clarify, you fast forward all the way, and then rewind all the way, yes?
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Old June 1st, 2002, 05:44 PM   #14
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I guess so, but use a cheap deck to do this. Another thing one can do is "blank" the tape, before using it to shoot with. But again, don't use your expensive cam to do this. Your heads will wear out more quickly.
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Old June 1st, 2002, 06:01 PM   #15
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Hi,

Yes, just fast forward and rewind the tape. The wear and tear is minimal. The drive mechanism is direct drive (all gears - no belts) and not likely to wear out in our lifetime.

Jeff
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