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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old May 4th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #1
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Sony tapes in a Sony camcorder?

This might sound like a rediculous question, so forgive me!

Are Sony camcorders optimized for the lubricant on Sony tapes? If I start using Sony tapes in a new PD-170, am I forever limited to using Sony tapes in it?

I've been renting a VX-2000 and I used a Sony tape in it the first time, and the footage came out unusable. I was told that it was because the Sony tapes use a 'wet' lubricant, and all others do not. Since this camcorder has never had Sony tapes in it before, it gummed up and created a mess. So, that's why I'm asking this. I've seen other posts here about this issue, but didn't find anything related to Sony camcorders being optimized for Sony brand tapes.

Thanks,
Dan
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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #2
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Can't give you a definitive answer on this, but can tell you that I've only used Sony tapes in my VX-2000 and PDX-10. No problems. If you were using a rented camera then there's no telling what it may have been subjected to before you got it.

Sony tapes. Sony camera. Seems logical to me...
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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #3
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Thanks Boyd... I agree that it seems logical to use Sony tapes in a Sony camcorder, and I have no problems with that at all. My only concern is that if I'm out at a shoot and in an emergency I need an extra tape or two, I can't just use any tape. If a local store or a fellow videographer doesn't have a Sony tape, I'd be in trouble. Works the other way around as well... if all I have are Sony tapes and a friend needs a tape, unless he uses Sony he can't use mine. Why would Sony makes tapes that isolate themselves from all the other brands? Is a wet lubricant better than dry?

I guess if I just made sure I had an abundance of tapes with me this wouldn't ever become an issue. None of this is a huge deal at all, as I'm sure any tape will work perfectly fine in the PD-170. I just wondered if the tape mecahnism and heads were specifically designed for Sony tapes.

Thanks again!
Dan
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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:27 AM   #4
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Does Sony use the same lubricant on all of their various tape types?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:16 AM   #5
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I guess I go against the grain as I use Panasonic PQ tapes in my 150s, old vx1000 and JVC5000. This is only my opinion but I don't see a difference if you use one brand or another as long as you use ONLY that brand. With a rented camera you never know what tapes ran thru it and I bet the rental house dosen't know or care either. Not to mention they probably don't clean the heads before they rent it out again.

In all the time I've used the Panny tapes, and they are the only tapes to ever go thru my cameras except for the VX1000 which had a thru and thru cleaning a few years ago, I have not had any real dropout problems. Maybe I'm just lucky but the 150s each have over 900 hours on them. The VX1000 probably has 2 times that and the JVC has 120 hours.
Pick 1 brand of tape and stay with it. Of course thats just my opinion.

Don
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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger
My only concern is that if I'm out at a shoot and in an emergency I need an extra tape or two, I can't just use any tape.
True, however I've found that WalMart, Target, Best Buy and CompUSA all carry the Sony premium tapes for ~$5. Is there anywhere left in this country where one of these stores isn't within a short drive? ;-)
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #7
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Why not buy tapes of your choice thru a tape supplier. I think 1 is a sponsor for this site-get them in bulk and save some bucks. You can get 5-10-15-20 or 1000s if you want. That way you'll never run out.

Don
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:23 AM   #8
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I buy my premium Sony tapes through the mail in bulk at about $3.25 a pop. Not bad at all when they give you free shipping!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies.

I guess my best bet would be to use nothing but Sony tapes. I'll just stock up and always keep plenty of extras with me. I agree that Sony would know how to best make tapes for their own camcorders. It will be less convenient, though, because I have another Canon camcorder that I'll be using as well, and I have only run Panasonic tapes through it.

Thanks again everyone!

Dan
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Shallenberger
Thanks for all the replies.

I guess my best bet would be to use nothing but Sony tapes. I'll just stock up and always keep plenty of extras with me. I agree that Sony would know how to best make tapes for their own camcorders. It will be less convenient, though, because I have another Canon camcorder that I'll be using as well, and I have only run Panasonic tapes through it.

Thanks again everyone!
Dan
Hi Dan,

I have a 150 and 2100, and I use the Panasonic MQ tapes. Dry lubricant, and they work fine. Being consistent with tapes helps too so you don't have to run different ones through your deck. Clean the mechanism in your camera real well, and you won't have to switch between Sony and Panasonic. You won't accidentally grab the wrong tape for your camera when under pressure, and you won't gum up the VTR deck either.

Dave
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Old May 8th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #11
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Sony Tapes

I shoot with a vx2000 and a 2100, have only used sony tapes. One camera is two years old and have not had to even clean the heads once. See the "sticky" at the beginning of this area by Mike Rehmus.
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Old June 7th, 2005, 08:32 AM   #12
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Apologies, didn't see this thread, and I've already posted a new thread on tape drop outs..
I have always used Sony Premium tape with my VX2100, and have not noticed any major problems. I have occasionally had capture problems (to my PowerMac / FCP 4.5) but the actual tapes themselves seemed to be OK.
The wedding I shot last Saturday changed all that tho' (see other thread).
One of my questions is why should changing tape brand make any difference? I asked Sony tech support and was told that the tape brand does not matter....
The other question is whether the Sony Excellence tape is any better than the Premium tape. I have done a lot of audio recording and I know that tape quality makes a huge difference with an analogue signal. With digital I'm not so sure, but logically if the tape has a high noise floor (tape hiss in analogue terms) then the signal to noise ratio will be degraded, thus the signal could still be at risk - even if it's a digital one. Does that make sense?
So do I now try Sony Excellence tapes - or another 'pro' brand, or will it further screw things up as I'm now experiencing serious tape drop-outs (with Premium).
Note too that I occasionally capture from Pana tapes shot on a Panasonic 953. Capture has been OK. But have I messed things up in my VX...?
Tape head cleaning is with a Sony tape; is the Pana cleaning tape any better for cleaning the VX after capturing the Pana tapes..?
I'm baffled.. ..and can't use my VX..
Thx.
Rgds,
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Old June 7th, 2005, 08:52 AM   #13
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Ross, here's what I understand, and hopefully if I'm wrong about anything, someone will jump in and correct me.

The Sony tapes use a 'wet' lubricant on their tapes, and all other brands use a 'dry' lubricant. If you use Sony tapes, and then pop in a non-Sony tape, the change in lubricants can muck up the heads, and in my case one time, the tape itself, resulting in tons of drop-outs.

I was in the opposite situation with a rented vx-2000 once. It had never had Sony tapes run through it, and I used a Sony tape myself not knowing I needed to use Panasonic. My resulting tape had so many drop-outs it was nearly unuseable. I was told it was because of the difference in lubricants... ran a cleaning tape through several times, recorded about 15 minutes of blank footage, and then it worked fine with a Panasonic tape afterwards.

As far as your head cleaning tapes, I'm not sure myself. Hopefully someone more experienced will chime in.

Dan
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Old June 8th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #14
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Here's a thought....

Presumably I could take an analogue output from the VX into the analogue input of another videocam, then either record onto that cam, or take its Firewire direct to my Mac - i.e. use the other cam (Panasonic 953) in pass-through mode....??
Sort of D to A to D type of thing..? Need to borrow the other camera again.. If I can get a reasonable video signal into FCP, I can probably get a watchable result... drop the original (glitchy) audio, and add suitable music...
Doesn't solve my VX problem, but might be a way of saving something from the wedding shoot..

BTW, I saw somewhere on the web that the Sony Excellence has a better signal (carrier) to noise figure, and is of different construction (Metal Evaporated) so theoretically it should perform better than the Premium.
Anyone know if there's a site which gives tech specs of the tapes..?
Rgds,
Ross.
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Old June 8th, 2005, 03:30 PM   #15
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Oh, and another question...

Is there a better way to clean the tape heads / mechanism in a VX2100? If I suspect that some material deposit is causing drop-outs, is there a better cleaning method rather than simply just putting the Cleaning Tape through the camera?
The instructions on the cleaning tape state '..use no more than 5 times consecutively'. So that's 5 x 10 seconds. Is the cleaning tape in any way abrasive, or is it simply impregnated with cleaner? The question is whether damage might be caused if run for more than 50 seconds...
So, if my camera requires a more thorough clean, what more is done by a repair shop..? Any ideas?
Thx.
Rgds,
Ross.
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