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Old February 20th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
...If that bugs somebody to the point where they can't handle how unscientific that position is...
It doesn't bug me. Your position justifiably transcends the question of whether the "use one brand" advice is scientific or not. Meanwhile, the question itself is quite well settled in this thread. For whatever portion of the three thousand or so readers to date make their decisions on a scientific basis, I think that's a service. For the unscientific types, no harm no foul--they'll just believe and do what they wish.
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Old September 8th, 2006, 08:42 PM   #62
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Wouldn't it be great if we had a list of all the tapes that includes all the different models each brand sells with information on who actually manufacturers the tape, who makes the housings, and what type of lubricate is used, etc. (I -SUSPECT- that a lot of the tape and/or housings is really manufactured by a very small number of companies then sold by different brands.) If you read the packaging on most tapes, they make up technology names for their special features or else they write something like "special coating to protect recording layer" - what the heck is that really?

Real information on tape formulation would be the first step in getting to the truth of this matter. But we all know this will never happen, it's all a big secret.

So I stick with one brand because I have no real information I can rely on...
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Old September 10th, 2006, 01:32 AM   #63
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I buy my tapes in bulk, so I only use one brand :P

I've used the Sony premium tapes in my XL1 and XL2 for years. Never tried another brand. I buy them because after thousands of tapes they've never failed me, and that's enough for me to be loyal. Plus, they are cheap in large quantities (by the hundreds), and that's always important.

Just find a tape you like and stick with it. I don't see the big deal?
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Old September 10th, 2006, 03:39 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Granted, there is no scientific proof either way. But I think Chris stated his case very well. Look at it from a risk/reward point of view. We don't know for sure, but there might be a risk involved with mixing brands. OTOH, I fail to see any reward whatsoever associated with mixing brands.

So why would you want to take a chance when there's essentially nothing to gain by mixing tape brands? But of course it's your camera, so you have to make your own choices.
My experience with mixing tapes landed me in serious hot waters, I have compleatly lost one serious shoot that I never could repeat. Now I am horrified of brand switching. This happened even when I cleaned the head before.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Winchester
I buy my tapes in bulk, so I only use one brand :P

I've used the Sony premium tapes in my XL1 and XL2 for years. Never tried another brand. I buy them because after thousands of tapes they've never failed me, and that's enough for me to be loyal. Plus, they are cheap in large quantities (by the hundreds), and that's always important.

Just find a tape you like and stick with it. I don't see the big deal?
Yep, exactly, I found a tape I like, and I have used one flavor of tape in my XL1 for years. And as you pointed out, when you buy enough pieces of one thing, the price goes down. Get a hundred at a time, and you get the right price, plus you never run out and get stuck using something you are not sure about.
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Old September 11th, 2006, 10:57 PM   #66
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Wow I've never actually read through this thread before. I'm honestly kind of suprised.

I particularly enjoyued the argument derived from descartes (I think) that if it's true you've got everything to gain and if it's not true then you've got nothing to lose, now he was originally arguing for the existence of god, but I'm sure were he around today it would be over tape stock switching.

The issue I have with keeping with one tap style is this, say for example you happened to receive a couple of cases of tape stock for your brand new (insert camera here) this is the super duper high grade stuff something like oh I don't know the sony digital master HDV stock. Now suppose that you've used it and everythings been great BUT the f-ing tapes are getting expensive, you see those sweet looking panasonic master quality tapes hanging out at 5 for the price of one of your sony's and hits you that if you shoot a modest 200 tapes a year you're spending around 3k on siny digital masters where as you'd only be spending around 600 bucks for the panasonic tapes. 2400 is a lot of dough, and to be honest at that level it may be worth it just to bite the bullet switch see if there is in fact an issue and if there is send the camera off to be cleaned (probably less then 1k for the pricess) and start over with the panasonic but that's defeats the point of the post.

So seriouslyhas anyone done this test? surely someplace like dv.com or consumer reports or someone has done some sort of comarison? I really don't think fred was intentionally attacking anyone I think perhaps he was just curious as to if the tale of caution can actually be founded on scientific data and perhaps was jsut appealing to us as community to find out if there was any sort of cold hard sort of data like

panasonic uses x chromosomes
sony uses y
if you mix them they give birth to gunk in your camera.

did I miss the sport where someone actually referenced any other site or source?
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 06:42 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hiltgen
I particularly enjoyued the argument derived from descartes (I think)
You're referring to Pascal's Wager. I'm proud to say that I end up on the same side of the argument whether we're talking about the existence of God or tape-mixing issues. :)
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 09:54 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hiltgen
So seriouslyhas anyone done this test? surely someplace like consumer reports or someone has done some sort of comarison? ...did I miss the sport where someone actually referenced any other site or source?
To my knowledge, nobody has ever published any such test results; I'd gladly link to them if they did in fact exist; no I'm not about to commit any of my resources to such a test because I've got a mountain of more important things to do; if somebody out there wants to go to the time and expense of mounting a valid, objective scientific experiment, then I say go for it and more power to you. And please let us know the results.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 01:51 PM   #69
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I own a Sony VX-1000. I have operated that camera since new with only Panasonic tapes. Never a problem.

However, in 2004, I decided to switch brands to Sony tapes. After only shooting a few tapes, things started getting really weird. I'd see green bars when I played the tapes back.

I cleaned the heads with a tape cleaner, and it worked ok for a while, but the green bars would come back, and I'd be dropping timecode left and right. It would 'reset' each time I stopped recording.

Eventually, I sent the camera to Sony for a lens replacement. There were large dust spots on it, and I also had them check into that problem.

The camera came back, and worked fine for a while, but with Sony tapes, it starts getting the green bars back.

I now own a Z1U and ONLY run Sony tapes in it, period.

That's my first-hand experience.

Jim
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Old November 16th, 2006, 01:09 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Retread
Here's what I consider a scientific article on tape failure: http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub54/2what_wrong.html
Great article - refers to some old technology. Who's willing to ruin their oven by baking a DV tape for 3 days? Okay, cheap shot - it's a great article, reminds me of lectures (OMG) 20 years ago. And the pain of being strung out on caffeine trying to explain the impact of Hysteresis in 2000 words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Hiltgen
has anyone done this test? surely someplace like dv.com or consumer reports or someone has done some sort of comarison?
Maybe tape brands are like food.

If you mainly eat fish curry with rice, pretty much every day, with leftovers for breakfast, and suddenly you have to eat a Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust, your digestive system says no. Swap the circumstances - pizza is the only food group, then one day someone gives you 'American Hot Sardines' with rice on the side. Your imagination can fill the blanks.

If you're a globe-trotting international restaurant critic, this is not going to be a problem. For the rest of us, well...

Your desire for empirical scientific analysis is laudible, but please remember that the 'request' is for proof that very few potential sponsors want to hear. No tape manufacturer will fund this research. No camcorder manufacturer will fund this research either, as they happen to own a tape manufacturer. Here in the community, we can't demand that our colleagues pistol-whip their kit to prove something that they already know by gut feeling.

What you're demanding is expensive. Come to the DVinfo picnic, demand Foie Gras, demand certification that all products are organic. Wholesome. Accountable. That's good. And how would Sir like to pay?

PS: Virtual beer to all those who are participating! :)
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Old November 17th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Daviss
...please remember that the 'request' is for proof that very few potential sponsors want to hear.
Nice post otherwise, but I take serious exception to this statement. First of all the are very few sponsors here to begin with... just compare this site to a number of others which are literally saturated with advertising. And while a handful of sponsors make this site possible, they have little to no impact on what I choose as its focus. As I said before, there are two very plain reasons why I won't pursue any such testing here: I have neither the *time* nor the *money.* I simply can't afford to do it, because of limitations on the clock and in my wallet.

Now -- also as I've said before -- if somebody, anybody out there wants to torture their own gear and conduct their own objective, scientific testing and show some conclusive results -- then I'd be more than happy to host it or link to it (because on this site I'm the one setting the table, not my sponsors).

Also, I've changed the title of this thread (finally) because the former moniker of "Mass Hysteria" was itself more of an emotional appeal than a scientific finding.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 11:31 AM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
I take serious exception to this statement. First of all the are very few sponsors here to begin with...
Apologies, Chris - I wasn't inferring connection with DVinfo sponsors. My intention was to point out that shareholders in a DV tape manufacturing company would be uneasy about their company funding research that would undermine their market share.

Here in the UK we have very expensive petrol. What does the market do? Do they purchase the cheapest fuel and fast-track their engine to failure? Do they purchase premium brands that promise efficient performance over cheaper brands? Do they put additives in their tank to lower the effects of cheap fuel?

OTOH - and I throw this analogy in for free - I've sacked garages for trying to save me money by fitting cheap brake pads to my cars. They all stop efficiently, they all last a long time, but the non-brand cheapies all squeal like a wire brush down a blackboard. I'd rather pay the extra than have the embarassment of all those horrified faces outside a client's premesis. And if I ever got a drop-out on a vital take, I'd rather state that I'd used the best tape available at 4 times the cost of consumer brands as it was less than 1% of the total budget, rather than suggest a re-shoot.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 12:26 PM   #73
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More on media than you may care to know...

Here's what perspective I can provide, having worked and involved with both hardware and media for two companies:

- There are manufacturers that produce both their respective media and hardware. With regards to HDV and DV, Sony and JVC design and build both. I have been informed Panasonic does, too.

- Specifications on tape formulation and tape path tension vary. Sony specifications call for a tape path that is more rigid/tense than JVC, and is considered unique to their equipment. JVC tape path tension is considered more mainstream in comparison.

- Tape formulation is designed to provide the best performance for the equipment they are specified to work with. A large number of physical characteristics are in play, from the amount and strength (physical and electronic) of magnetic particles/evaporated ingots being used, the resulting level of friction resulting from the coating process, to the rigidity of the resulting formulation. Back and top coating technology also play a vital role in the performance of the media. All of the formulations are quite involved and incur many years of R&D and fiscal investment. Imagine the amount of study that goes into just determining the best method of combating friction between the spinning recording drum head surface versus the magnetic tape layer.

- Optimization occurs when a single media formulation is used over time. This would explain how a camcorder/VTR that uses a single brand has little or no issues in operation. This would also be an explaination why a camcorder/VTR that constantly has multiple types of media being used doesn't fully become "engrained" and may not have any issues.

The negative results from using an alternate media brand after the camcorder/VTR has been optimized with a single brand can also be explained by this. I've experienced the latter many times over investigating defective media from broadcast customers when Betacam tapes were being returned for edge damage because the photog had to use a different brand on a shoot. The edge damage occured because the tape path width on the drumhead was optomized for Brand A, and Brand B's media was wider, causing the edge damage to occur. And, yes, even media slitting technology and specifications differ from manufacturer to manufacturer.

So, is there merit to the comment of using a single brand for the best results? I found this to be true. Is there such thing as an ideal match between media and hardware? That's what the manufaturers struggle to provide especially at the professional level because that's what shows the product, hardware and media, in the best light (i.e. to specifications).

Each person has their own reason and choice on what media to use. Hopefully the information above helps clarify some thoughts. One thing to remember, though, is that the content you shoot ultimately ends up on the media.

Good luck, everyone, and happy Thanksgiving.

PS: I've learned that JVC manufactures calibration media for DV and HDV hardware, and is the manufacturer of HD-D5 media. Prior to joining JVC, I didn't know they manufactured media, so I was quite impressed by this fact.

*This posting is dedicated to all my friends in Dothan, Laredo, Sendai and Mito. Many thanks for all the education and support you've kindly provided through the years.
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 12:59 PM   #74
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Craig,

Thanks for your inside input.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to be saying not only use the same brand all the time, but find out which brand specifically matches your cam and use that brand all the time. Yes?
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Old November 23rd, 2006, 05:37 PM   #75
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Hey Craig, thanks a TON for your input on this topic -- it's much appreciated!
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