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Old December 22nd, 2002, 11:45 PM   #1
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How many times can I re-use a minidv tape?

I read somewhere that most miniDV tapes can be re-used up to 8 times. This week I'll be trying out my new GL2 and obviously won't really be using the footage I get for anything other than testing. I was wondering, how many times should I reuse the miniDV tapes? Should I consider reusing them at all? I read the article at dvfreaks about tape, and purchased the fuji miniDV tape.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old December 22nd, 2002, 11:51 PM   #2
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The general rule-of-thumb I follow is that for shooting anything important you should always use fresh tape. For just putzing and learning it's fine to re-use the tape once or even twice.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 12:41 AM   #3
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Ken's advice is solid. I put Sony PR series tapes through a beating at work, recording over them as many as 10 times (for a non-archival spot check application) and they still deliver, but I wouldn't do this for anything serious.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:03 AM   #4
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Let me ask you this: I've heard that one of the differences between the Master Quality Panasonic tapes and the Linear Plus tapes is that you can rerecord over the Master Quality without fear, also that you don't have to spool them. . .the director who told me this has told me weird and certainly incorrect info in the past, and I'm sure this is more of it, but I just thought I'd check with the pros.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:27 AM   #5
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Josh,
Honestly couldn't say with certainty. I use the MQ as well as the PQ tapes and can't notice any difference in construction or tape quality whatsoever. I'm sure the specs between them differ slightly but, personally, I recommend using the PQ (Professional Quality) tapes. In the good/better/best range so popular with the marketing cabals it's the "better" grade...and less $$ than the MQ's.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 02:13 AM   #6
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I think that the more times you playback a recorded tape, the more drop outs you'll get. I've noticed an increase in drop outs after a playback of 6 to 8 times. So when my tape is first completed, as a master, I make a duplicate, just to be safe.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 07:09 AM   #7
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I never re-use DV tapes. The small mini DV tapes are so inexpensive that it is not worth the risk. I use the Panasonic AY-DVM60EJ (LinearPlus) and they cost about $3 a tape. Anything I shoot is worth at least $3. It could be work for a client (certainly worth more than $3) or my son playing soccer or a scouting event. Anything I pick my camera up to shoot is worth a lot more than $3.

Have you ever accidently recorded over something really valuable? Wait until you get your tapes mixed up, it'll happen. Try explaining that to a client (or your wife). It's not worth the risk for $3.

Do your selves a favor and use only new tapes. Your camera will thank you, your clients will thank you, and you'll have those once in a lifetime family memories for, well, a lifetime.

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Old December 23rd, 2002, 11:12 AM   #8
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My primary concern wasn't necessarily for the tape, but for the heads on the camcorder. I did want to make sure I could use one tape to test the camcorder for a few hours just to make sure it workds. After that, I'll probably only use tapes once.

PS - Are there any rewinding machines for miniDV tapes? I've read the instruction manual for the GL2, and there seems to be an extreme emphasis on keeping tapes in contact with the heads for the absolute minimum amount of time possible.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 12:55 PM   #9
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There are a few miniDV rewinders available, I don't know any brands/prices though. Another option is to buy a really cheap miniDV camera and use that as a deck.
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:01 PM   #10
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Cheap Camera

That's what I did until it started eating tapes. Be Carefull!!
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:17 PM   #11
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I found one that maxell makes, I might get that.

http://www.tapeandmedia.com/detail.asp?product_id=MAX-MDVRW
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Old December 23rd, 2002, 01:51 PM   #12
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I would use the camcorder to rewind tapes. The wear and tear is minimal and safer on your tapes. Rewinders tend to snap the tapes when they reach the end. Cameras sense the tape end and slow down, thus avoiding the sudden snapping at the end of the tape.

Jeff
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Old December 24th, 2002, 01:35 AM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : I would use the camcorder to rewind tapes. The wear and tear is minimal and safer on your tapes. Rewinders tend to snap the tapes when they reach the end. Cameras sense the tape end and slow down, thus avoiding the sudden snapping at the end of the tape.

Jeff -->>>

Yeah, that's a good point actually. I cringe when I hear the 'clunk' on my VCR when I hit stop!

I don't think people should be so concerned about their playheads, if you don't abuse them and keep it relatively clean I don't think you'll have very many problems. It's not like they put the playheads in there so they couldn't be used :P
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Old January 1st, 2003, 07:56 AM   #14
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> There are a few miniDV rewinders available,


Cheap rewinders lack the logic to provide gentle tape handling. Now that they are becoming available, I am reading more posts about tape damage due to rewinders.

Tape heads should be good for on the order of 1000 hours of record, playback, and pause time with good tape.
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Old January 1st, 2003, 08:30 AM   #15
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Is it save to burn raw dv-footage from the harddrive to a CD-R and store the footage there?That way you can delete the footage from your computer and even reuse the dv-tape.
I would only do this if Im sure the cd-r will deliver and not wreck any of the footage. Anyone done/do this?
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