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Old September 5th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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Sorry to do this for the millionth time, but let's talk lubricants

Okay, so, can someone please give me the real, true, unbiased, nitty gritty on tape brands and lubricants?

I was under the impression for a long time that it was safe to simply stay within a brand, when using miniDV tapes (i.e, any of the three grades of Panasonic tapes should be safe to mix and match).

Then I heard, somewhere else, that even WITHIN the brand, the different grades use different chemicals or whatever, so the best thing to do is stick with one PARTICULAR KIND OF TAPE, like the Panny PQs, MQs, whatever, and never let anything else touch the heads of your precious baby.

I'm shooting for this dude who believes the former of my statements above is true, and I don't like arguing with tempermental people who can crush me unless I have some hard science to shove up their ying yang. Anyone actually, truthfully, know what the real deal is? Only one of these claims can be correct, it's not like "This movie sucks/rules."
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Old September 5th, 2004, 07:40 PM   #2
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As Ben Stein said in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off": Anyone, anyone?
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Old September 11th, 2004, 12:47 AM   #3
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Surely someone knows. . .perhaps you all misinterpreted the thread's title, and thought I was either being dirty or asking about dry skin problems?

Come on. . .someone must know. What I really love is arguing with employers/clients about why I must use Panasonic MQ tapes. What if I were wrong?
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Old September 11th, 2004, 12:55 AM   #4
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Actually, Josh, I doubt that anyone here knows the answer authoritatively...including that "dude" you're shooting with. Such details tend to be guarded proprietary manufacturing information.

I believe that Jan Crittendon of Panasonic did once remark that the MQ's used a different lubricant than their other tape grades.

I -can- say that it's most probably a very moot issue and that you are safe staying within a brand. I've used MQ's and PQ's interchangeably on a variety of cameras for years with absolutely no trouble.
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Old September 11th, 2004, 09:11 AM   #5
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Hmm. Well, experience, I guess, is a better benchmark (?) than anything else, so far.

Let me ask y'all this then: if you do have problems, what kinds of problems are they? Is it simply drop-outs on the tape, things like that, or is it severe damage to the heads that costs like $900 to fix?
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Old September 11th, 2004, 10:04 AM   #6
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Just to toss in a series of questions, that might prove illuminating.

1) Do you use one brand of tapes exclusively?

(If Yes, what brand)

2) Have you ever sent your camera back for head/transport repair/maintenance?


Answers from enough people might shed some light on this.
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Old September 11th, 2004, 10:12 AM   #7
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Brilliant!

1) Yes, Panasonic MQs. . .ideally.

2). I've had, I believe, two tapes that got their "tape" stuck in the whozitz, in a two and a half year period, preceded by an "Eject Tape" message. Last time, happened during a rewind. Got another one when I last tried to spool/pack a tape. No more spooling/packing for me. Most of the time it performs flawlessly. I may have had a dropout or two, but very rare.
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Old September 13th, 2004, 07:29 PM   #8
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I've used Sony and Panasonic brands exclusively without regard to exact tape model since 1998. One time I had gray bands go across during playback. That problem was fixed by a head cleaner.

As it happens, I just sent my daughter off to college two weeks ago with my old trusty Optura Pi. She stuck a Radio Shack tape in it and voila! Bands of dropouts. I ran the head cleaner to no avail but I noticed a little improvement. I put a new Sony tape in it and pressed record. An hour later, everything was fine.

This doesn't really help you too much. I think it's conceivable that there are differences between grades of tape within a brand at a gross level (like between the $2.50 ones and th $15.00 ones.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 05:52 PM   #9
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I know this reply is coming way late in this thread but...

When I bought my new XL2 from Zotz (our sponsor), Brian recommended some particular Panasonic tape stock to me as it was "dry lubed". He said that the lower end stocks of most tape brands are wet lubed (including Panasonic) and that the high end panny tape stock is dry lubed. He recommended this particular stock and said that this is what I should always use (the 2 high end dry lubed) and never...ever....use wet lubed tape stock once I have used this.
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Old September 15th, 2004, 06:13 PM   #10
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So as far as Pannys go, then, the PQs and MQs are okay, but not the. . .uh. . .Linear Pluses, (EQ, or something)?
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Old September 16th, 2004, 06:00 PM   #11
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I use the PQs and that's it.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 04:44 PM   #12
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When you say " some particular Panasonic tape stock ", which kind ? Would be interested to know.

Thanks;

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Old September 23rd, 2004, 06:22 PM   #13
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All of the major brands of tape have been using dry lubricants since around 1996-1997.

There's an enormous amount of mythology about tape that travels through the Internet grape vine. If this mythology hurts sales of some tape brands and grades the manufacturers have nobody to blame but themselves. They have not been very open with their customers or dealers about the distinctions between brands and grades.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 06:25 PM   #14
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But how do we KNOW it's mythology. . .does someone have hard evidence disprove it? I'd rather be an anal monkey than have to replace anything expensive.
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Old September 29th, 2004, 05:37 PM   #15
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The GL2 unfortunately suffers with either a frail design in their tape transport mechanisms or an unacceptably high percentage of some defective component in them. I think that this is the underlying realilty.

But it's human nature to try to connect the dots and create meaning, so someone's anecdotal experience with tape usage habits was at some point raised as a possible cause for the problem. Some snippet of information from somewhere about the existence of different lubricants was thrown in and now we have something widely regarded as an actual theory. Sure enough, other people who dared to mix tapes have gone on to have failures, because a certain percentage of all types of users will have failures. There may be thousands of users out there happily mixing tapes with no consequences, oblivious to the existance of these message boards.

I think that what we have here is what used to be called a Wives' Tale.

I don't accept any theory that hasn't risen from a scientific process. That is:
1. Clearly define the problem
2. Digest and consider all the available information
3. Form a testable hypothesis
4. Test the hypothesis
5. Test it again and again and again. If a whole lot of data supports the hypothesis, and absolutely none contradicts it, then put forth a theory (Einstein said, "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.}

I mix and reuse tapes all the time and haven't had a problem. I seen others post similar comments. And I've also seen others post laments about having relgiously used a single brand and still have a failure. So what was that hypothesis again?
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