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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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Do you re-use your tapes?

Was interested to see what everyone does....I cost the tapes into the packages I sell so I keep the tapes (maybe hundreds but they dont take up that much space)

Do you re-use them or do you keep them?

My question is not really aimed at how keep for backup, more so for cost, do you just use and re-use them?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 08:57 AM   #2
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Tape is so cheap that buying new for each job isn't the problem. The big problem is in the wording 'tape is so cheap'.

Sony Premiums are well under $2 a tape - and this for a mechanical component that has 28 tightly-toleranced moving parts carefully assembled inside it. You'd never use a cheap untested mic on a shoot, so why use cheap untested tape on a shoot?

So once you've proved a tape is good, keep it, recycle it, use it. Every time you crack open a new one you're fingers crossed on a prayer mat.

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Old October 21st, 2008, 09:12 AM   #3
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Vince, many people do. Many people do not. I am one that does and I feel comfortable doing so. I've had as many issues with NEW tapes as I have with REUSED tapes. Others feel more comfortable using new tapes each time. Ultimately there is no hard and fast answer to this and you have to do what makes you most comfortable.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:08 AM   #4
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depends on what I'm shooting, but for multi-camera recital shoot I do because who cares if you get a drop frame out of an 1.5 hr performance. I won't use a tape more than twice. I feel better I'm not filling the landfill as quick and I haven't seen a problem. Tapes in my video class have been re used 20+ times without a problem. I find that drop frames are more a function of dirt on the tape or on the camera head not from the number of rewrites.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 04:11 PM   #5
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WE use the Sony HDV tapes and re-use them. I looked into this a lot and even got in touch with sony's engineering department for an answer.

Initially the results I found i google were saying "never re-use, bad quality, dropped frames etc". But digging deeper many of these were users from the old analogue days and carried ver their quality hangups to the digital world.

So I spoke to Sonys engineers who wouldnt say how many times you can re-use it as it depends on the conditions but in normal use each tape should give you hundreds of hours before you start seeing any dropped frames.

Totally agree with Tom also, if you know it works, why risk a new one. We renew our tapes each season and mark them after each use so we can replace after 10+ uses.

Ive had dropped frames once and this was on our short use scratch tape which we film a few minutes, rewind, film, rewind etc. The tape just gets out of sorts so just fast forward to the end, rewind and it sorts it out.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:46 PM   #6
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I'm glad to hear some "pros" admit they re-use tapes. I generally have not re-used, but probably will start.

Do you bulk erase them, or black them out by running them through the deck on record, or simply record over the old material?
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 02:54 AM   #7
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No, don't black them (does more harm than good and is totally unnecessary) and don't bother to bulk erase them either. You'll most probably find that any buly eraser from the analogue days won't work at all, that's how powerfully deep the digits are burnt.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:11 AM   #8
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I'm working on a project now that would be easier and quicker if I hadn't re-used some of the original tapes.

I didn't think I would need those original tapes again, so I've learnt the hard way that you never, ever re-use tapes if you think there is the slightest chance that you might need the material on it.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:24 AM   #9
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We dont erase, why put more wear on the heads than necessary. Overwrite and in this modern, digital NLE age when I capture I simply delete the clips which it captures which arnt for this event. Vegas does a sterling job of scene detection so makes it easy.

We store it all digitally on a network hard drive where the cost per MB is cheaper than tape. Raw footage is kept for 3 months for re-edits unless I want to keep bits for a highlights. Works out nicely.

I did the math and for me to re-use my HDV tapes a min of 10 times its cheaper than new Premium tapes each wedding. A cost I can either pocket or pass onto the customer. If I feel like it I can then blank them and flog them on ebay, always somone wanting tapes which then claws me back some of their cost. It all adds up.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:30 AM   #10
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Never

I do not tape over old tapes. It just seems silly to do so. What if my client's house burns down (lets never hope for the worst! but God works in mysterious ways) and lets say the wedding video product memory was lost in the ashes... Once they recover, I'm sure they would want AT LEAST the raw footage to keep something in memory of their special day.

Like its been mentioned... tape is cheap. Why not keep the used ones in a box and keep buying. I mean lets say an average of 10 tapes a wedding (2 cameras) thats not more than $30 bucks!

...then again... that box could get lost if you move to another location and that could be dreadful! ;)
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 10:45 AM   #11
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By all means keep a copy of the master edit on DV tape David (and at various times over the years I've been very glad I did) but after a month I happily recycle all those raw footage tapes.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 11:53 AM   #12
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I've seen this argument go both ways for years, and I've yet to see any evidence to really suggest either side of it is correct.

My thought is this. The tapes use lubricant, and with use you would expect that lubricant to degrade and pick up dust and dirt, so to me it seems like reusing tapes "could" bring problems. Now, a new tape only costs me a few dollars, so I've decided to just build this minimal tape cost into every project.

It could very well be that you can use a tape 100 times with no problems, but the other argument could be true as well. So I choose to err on the side of caution since the solution (purchase new tapes) is pretty inexpensive.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 12:18 PM   #13
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The whole point of my argument (post #2) has been circumnavigated when you say, 'I choose to err on the side of caution since the solution (purchase new tapes) is pretty inexpensive.' My claim - that a $2 or $10 tape has had no inspection whatsoever - means that using a new untested tape certainly isn't 'cautious' or a 'solution'.

As always, test all your kit before an important shoot.

tom.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 01:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
By all means keep a copy of the master edit on DV tape David (and at various times over the years I've been very glad I did) but after a month I happily recycle all those raw footage tapes.
Yeah thats true... I do have an ACTUAL DVD with packaging of all the wedding I shoot. I didn't think about that part... but still... seems a little hurtful to overwrite things like this... but who knows I might change my mind in the future! :D
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 05:55 PM   #15
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I use new tapes on every shoot. That said, I can see the pros and cons of the points above. For me, new tapes works fine.
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