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Old June 7th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #1
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Reusing MiniDV

i'd like to reuse my miniDV's to save money...is there a significant loss of quality when doing this?
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Old June 7th, 2005, 09:01 PM   #2
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Depends. Some cameras respond poorly when overwriting previous content. If it's vacation stuff or xmas present unwrapping spur of the moment stuff, that's a perhaps.
For any commercial work forget it. New tape always. They're 5 bucks per hour. Not worth the risk of dropping entire segments.
Re-using tape is not a money saver. It can cost you way more than the price tag of a fresh tape.
As for your original question of quality, the dv25 data stream is either complete or it's trash once on the tape. There's no "degradation" of the image when "printed" to the tape. It's a digital image.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #3
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awesome...thanks a lot...

yeah i was thinking more along the lines of everyday stuff that doesn't really matter if i miss.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 11:43 PM   #4
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theyre about $2.60USD in the states off ebay sellers/vendors/stores. in canada, you can deal with the seller getthebestdeals to minimize hidden costs (brokerage).
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Old June 9th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #5
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Reusing tapes make them more prone to dropouts but the reason why they occur after reusing tapes many times has nothing to do with the fact that you are writing over old data. The magnetic material on the tape gets worn away by the various wheels, rollers and other stuff that the tape rubs up against as it passes through the device. Once that oxide is gone, the tape can no longer hold the
magnetic charge needed to store the data. Seeing that this doesn't happen on the total at the tape in one go, certain sections are worn to a point where data can no more be contained : a dropout occurs.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #6
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Some people report doing a high number of passes without dropouts. (They are testing to see whether writing over a tape multiple times will cause dropouts.)
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Old June 9th, 2005, 12:51 PM   #7
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Never re-use tapes... if you want to save money... get a cheap bulk eraser and sell your old blanked out tapes on eBay in bulk. If it is worth shooting it certainly is worth $3....



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Old June 9th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #8
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my old tapes become the tapes i use for home video. my dog and 4 yo and other family members don't really notice much diff between old tapes and fresh tapes. also good if close friends ask you to shoot their prom videos, graduations, etc. no need to use a fresh tape for pro bono work....
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Old June 9th, 2005, 03:52 PM   #9
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I'll occasionally re-use tapes once or twice but I usually buy them in bulk so I always have a stash of new tapes available.

At one point, I had a crazy idea to label one tape my "scratch" tape and re-used the tape fully about 20 times before it started failing. C'est la vie.
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Old June 14th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #10
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Michael, I'm currently doing that "scratch" test on few systems - miniDV, D8 and BetaSP. Just exporting material from computer when doing projects. Off course final footage is always exported on new tape. Like other guys said tapes are too cheap to ruin your material, especially if you are shooting.
Results so far are:
- MiniDV - Fuji DVM60 - 23 usages - no dropouts
- SONY PDVM40N(DVCAM tape) - 14 usages - no dropouts
- TDK DV60ME - few dropouts after 5th usage, after 8th throwed
away the tape.
- D8 - Sony HME 60 min. tape - 67 usages - no dropouts
- Beta SP - Sony BCT20MA - over 80 usages - few dropouts, still OK

I am not doing this for any report on "best tape". During years of filming I reallized that tape quality is totaly inconsistent. Sometimes I had problems with brand new tapes. May also depend from which part of "big cake of tape" you got yours.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 06:16 AM   #11
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My professors keep telling everyone to black out their tapes first. They say to record with the lens cap on for the entire length of the tape to create a full time code, rewind, and THEN shoot.

So, wouldn't this be the same as reusing a tape, and thus not be recommended?
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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Mitchell
My professors keep telling everyone to black out their tapes first. They say to record with the lens cap on for the entire length of the tape to create a full time code, rewind, and THEN shoot.

So, wouldn't this be the same as reusing a tape, and thus not be recommended?
Bryan

i think that would be wasting more money by using the heads than what it would cost to buy new tapes. Of course you wouldnt see that immediately but in the long run of course.

I think the best option if you want to save some money is to simply ebay your old tapes and buy new ones.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #13
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Tape eraser: I have one and it doesn't do a very good job of erasing the tape. miniDV uses metal evaporated tape, which is a lot harder to erase. See John Beale's TRV900 FAQ and posts here. Some erasers like the "high power" radio shack / realistic tape eraser will do it.

Quote:
My professors keep telling everyone to black out their tapes first. They say to record with the lens cap on for the entire length of the tape to create a full time code, rewind, and THEN shoot.

So, wouldn't this be the same as reusing a tape, and thus not be recommended?
The advantage of blacking tapes is so you don't get timecode breaks. However, there are better alternatives:
A- Avoid them in the first place. If you must review footage, use the end search feature on your camera (some don't have it, but there's a workaround: record extra footage, and park the playhead in the right place). If you notice timecode reset to 00:00:00;00, then go back and start recording where there's already timecode. It'll pick up where the timecode left off.
B- If you have an unavoidable TC and know it's there, you can dub the tape.
C- When you capture your footage, your program should report if you had a TC break. In this case, many editing programs can handle it fine (i.e. FCP4 and higher). If not, just dub the tape and make sure it records continuous TC. No generation loss.

Some of these advances were only recent. For C, FCP3 and lower could not cope well with TC breaks.

Anyways, you really don't need to black your tapes. To me, it's a waste of time if you know your gear and you are doing the editing.
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