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-   -   Wet/Dry Tape List? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/long-black-line/36232-wet-dry-tape-list.html)

Richard Alvarez December 11th, 2004 08:25 AM

Wet/Dry Tape List?
Does ANYONE have a definitive list of which brands of tape are wet or dry lubed??? I mean a "white paper" or a manufacturer's website that specifically lists which tape brands/stocks are wet and which are dry lubed?

I just spent an hour searching this forum and 2-pop, and collected a half a dozen conflicting postings.

"All panasonics are dry"
"Only the professional pannasonics are dry"
"All sony's are wet"
"Sony and Fujii are the same brand"
"All Fujii's are dry"

Get the picture

Graham Jones December 11th, 2004 09:12 AM

They're all dry - bar Sony

Richard Alvarez December 11th, 2004 09:38 AM

Any "official" documentation to supliment this statement? I have received conflicting information from suppliers... so anything you can post would be appreciated. I am trying to avoid "definitive" statements with no supporting postings.


Graham Jones December 11th, 2004 12:43 PM

No official source, sorry.

I learnt what I posted above from studying The Long Black Line.

There I encountered myriad conflicts of opinion about many tape related issues, including which brands were best and the significance of wet/dry.

I never encountered confusion with those two elements combined, i.e. which brands were wet and which were dry.

It seemed accepted that they're all dry bar Sony.

Richard Alvarez December 11th, 2004 04:02 PM


On 2-pop - "Fuji tapes are made by sony, and hence the same tapes" This would imply they are wet.

From Zotz Digital "Only the Pannosonic PQ and MQ series are dry, the lower end tapes are wet" Hence their reccomendation to go with only the high end version.

To name a few conflicting statements.

Hence the search for a "white paper" or official standards paper, instead of "What I heard"...

Thanks again, I'll keep trying to sort it out.

Graham Jones December 11th, 2004 07:34 PM

Sure, good luck

John Britt December 14th, 2004 02:49 PM

I went straight to Panasonic to try and clear up this question, as well as some others, over a year ago. This was in reference to PQ vs MQ statements being made by retailers and consumers.

I Heard one thing from a rep, posted it online, caused a ruckus with my findings, was told the first guy was wrong, fielded calls/emails from various Panny reps for a couple of days (some helpful, some downright rude), but not once did I get a firm or clear, concise answer. I couldn't even get an apology for some of the incredible rudness I encountered...

Good luck finding an answer. And chances are I won't believe you even if you do... :)

Richard Alvarez December 14th, 2004 03:46 PM

Okay, is it some sort of proprietary trade secret issue, that they just don't want to reveal? Sure makes it hard on all of us poor geeks trying to do the right thing.

John Britt December 14th, 2004 04:07 PM

<<<-- Originally posted by Richard Alvarez : Okay, is it some sort of proprietary trade secret issue, that they just don't want to reveal? -->>>

Which would be fine, if they actually said that. My problem was that nobody gave me a straight answer, or at least, every answer I got contradicted each other. Is it so difficult a question that various representatives of a single company can't even give you remotely similar answers? Imagine if you got that kind of response when asking what size the CCDs were in a particular camera...

Graham Jones December 14th, 2004 05:04 PM

I've read horror stories about mixing wet and dry tapes, many other horror stories in the broader context of Mini DV, find it to be a very stable format and that the old 'sticking to one brand/type' rule seems to address many potential wet/dry fears: even if you don't know whether you're brand and tape is wet or dry, if you stick to it then at least you're not mixing...

Yet your concern Richard and possibly yours too John seem more intelligent and more deeply rooted.

Could you tell us a bit more about why you're concerned?

Richard Alvarez December 14th, 2004 05:13 PM


The "Sticking to one lubricant" scenario, seems to be the only universal answer. Everyone seems to agree that you shouldn't change from one form to another.

In order to do that, it would help if I knew DEFINITIVELY that the lubrication does not change even WITHIN BRANDS.

I always thought that you should stick with a given brand first, and at least stay with the same lubricant (Wet or Dry) if you had to change brands. Recently, I was informed by Zotz digital, that a brand I always thought was dry (Fuji) was wet. They reccomended the Panny MQ tapes with my new XL2. I bought the panny tapes, but while shooting a doc recently, ran out of the ten tapes I had, and couldn't find Panny MQ tapes anywhere... so I bought the lower priced panny tapes... assuming the lubricant was the same.

Zotz informed me that the lower priced tapes were NOT dry lubed, and thus... my querry begins.

Now then, I had hesitated to bring up the reason for my querry, because I didn't want to engage in an endless round of "But so-and-so told me differently". I am, at this point, interested in some form of WHITE PAPER or Technical analysis or perhaps brand comparison grid, that will simply list tape lubricants by brand and model.

Will ADAM WILT weigh in on this??? I'd listen to anything he had to say.

Graham Jones December 14th, 2004 06:06 PM

Just had a look at Panasonic site - AY-DVM63MQ, AY-DVM83MQ Mini DV tapes are dry lubricant alright, says so here:


...but it won't give lubricant details for the regular Mini DV tapes. Damn. I always thought Panasonic were all dry though..

Richard Alvarez December 14th, 2004 06:22 PM


Yeah, it was the comment from Zotz, about the lower brands not being dry, that got me to wondering if the wet/dry difference varied WITHIN a brand...

I have a whole box of Fuji's that I am not using because someone told me they were wet, after someone else told me they were dry...

The search goes on.

Kevin Janisch March 4th, 2005 07:17 PM

Just ordered my XL2 which is to be delivered Tuesday. I only used Fujis with my former XL1s. I did have a problem with lost recordings and interlaced footage, read here:


From the resolution, I don't think it was a tape problem, but rather a manufacturing defect, but none-the-less I'm a little bothered by Zotz's recommendation. Should I switch from Fuji to Panasonics?

What is everybody else using with their XL2s? From extensive reading before purchasing my XL1s last year, I came to the conclusion that most people with problems were using Sonys and Panasonic tapes, where many people swore by Fuji. Problems may be relative to more people using the Sonys and Pannys though.


Dave Largent March 5th, 2005 09:48 AM

My understandiing is that the only dry tapes are
the Panny MQs. The PQs and Sony and Fuji are

Richard Alvarez March 5th, 2005 11:24 AM

Dave, thanks for your understanding. Mind if you share the white paper or spec sheets this understanding comes from? I have a different understanding... and it is based on different things I have heard or been told by different people.

The point of this thread, was to cut through 'what I hear is...' and hopefully find 'Sony states on their website that...." or "Adam wilt has a definitive list of wet and dry tapes, located at ..."

Glenn Chan March 5th, 2005 01:50 PM

I heard that:
Jan Crittenden said that the master Panasonic tapes were dry while the normal cheaper ones are wet. It turns out that the normal ones are dry lubricant too.

(Just spreading uncertainty here.)

Richard Alvarez March 5th, 2005 02:11 PM

Gee... thanks Glen. I'll have to think of SOME way to repay the favor... :)

John McManimie March 6th, 2005 01:59 PM


Kevin Janisch March 7th, 2005 04:00 PM

My XL2 arrived a day early (today) and my tapes are on the way from TapeOnline.com tomorrow morning =(

I took a loss with half a box of Fujis as I've decided to go with Panasonic MQ's, $5.50/each as their online brochure states the MQ uses a dry lubricant not to mention Zotz's recommendation. I'm not taking any chances


Richard Alvarez March 7th, 2005 06:09 PM


Johns posted link above, would indicate that fuji's are dry. Still, like you, I set aside the box I had. I do use them for dubs in my dsr11 and such. So they are not 'wasted' and you can always sell them to others.

Pete Bauer March 8th, 2005 02:39 PM

This link was just a search hit that I otherwise have never run into before, so I absolutely cannot vouch for the accuracy of any info in it, and it is getting a bit dated. But, it does seem to be in agreement with prevailing wisdom on several points, and goes a bit deeper. So for whatever value it may have, here it is:


An especially interesting comment is that about 70% of tapes are actually manufactured by Panasonic (I'll guess that would be most or all that are known to be "dry lubricant???").

John McManimie March 8th, 2005 10:00 PM

>> An especially interesting comment is that about 70% of tapes are actually manufactured by Panasonic (I'll guess that would be most or all that are known to be "dry lubricant???").

UrbanFox lists tape manufacturers here (I don't know how accurate it is):


and has some info on tape here:


Pete Bauer March 9th, 2005 11:26 AM

Thanks much, John. True, all of these are unverified sources, but I think all the info is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in tape technology.

Kevin Janisch April 26th, 2005 01:44 PM

Just my personal experience, but I formerly used Fujis with my XL1s and switched to Panasonic MQ for the XL2 per the dry lube discussions found here on the board. I noticed early on, the 3rd or 4th MQ tape on a new XL2 had a short blue screen segment, maybe 5 seconds. Didn't think nothing of it, just cleaned the heads (I did indeed clean the heads before initial use). Weekend before last, I got the "Heads are Dirty" message in the field which I've never seen before (only 6 hours of recording time). Cleaned them and when I reviewed the footage, I had terrible banding and entirely lost segments of footage which was replaced with blue screen and no audio for minutes at a time, even after I cleaned the heads.

So I cleaned the camera yet again and thought, what the hell, I'll try some of my left over Fujis. Enter this past weekend and what a glorious one it was as I knew I got some killer shots. So upon viewing the footage (5 tapes worth and hella nervous), there was not a single glitch, banding, lost recording, or any of the like in all 5 hours of footage!

I don't know if it's coincidental or what, but I'm using Fujis exclusively as I did with my XL1s from now on.


Graham Jones April 26th, 2005 02:37 PM

I would have demanded a new xl2 and tried the MQs again.

I'm not fixated on MQs you understand - merely on the idea that a brand new Canon should accept the first and only brand of tape used in it, or it's time to put your foot down.

Kevin Janisch April 26th, 2005 03:00 PM

Yes, this is actually my second XL2 (diff problem).

My XL1s exhibited the same problem 1x early on but with Fuji tapes. Much like my situation now, I was in the middle of production and couldn't afford to send it in. In 3 months time, the problem never occurred again until the last tape on the last shooting day. Sent it in to Canon and they replaced the recorder unit under warranty.

With the XL2, it is possible that debris got into the camera as the shooting conditions were identical to the XL1s. Same problem, 2 different cameras, 2 different tape stocks. Like I said, it may be coincidental, but the MQs continued to show problems after cleaning. Maybe the 3rd run with the head cleaner did the trick and the Fujis didn't come into play at all, don't know but I'm not willing to run the risk of it not being the case. I will be sending it in to service in late July for the aforementioned problem as well as a few others.


Tony Davies-Patrick April 26th, 2005 03:47 PM

With no reliable evidence to show any difference between various tapes from different manufactures, and also after following all the past discussions - each never really getting to the bottom of the original questions asked, I finally chose not keep worrying about a change to using a different, or so-called 'better-tape'.

I have used, and continue to use cheap JVC normal MiniDV tapes in my XL1s with no problems so far at all, so I've decided to stick with them.

For my next major shoot (which will cover a 4-5 month period) I've just purchased a stack of normal JVC tapes, with a smaller number of Pro-JVC for the most important periods of shooting (although I'll probably never notice even a slight difference in quality or number of drop-outs when doing the final editing between them except their price differences!).

If, after many further hours, days, weeks or months of filming I begin to notice serious problems, I'll swallow hard and dig deep to buy only Pro-tapes or DV tapes in the future...but hopefully (!) that will not happen, and by October I'll be able to come back and say that I made the right decision.

David Ennis May 2nd, 2005 06:29 PM

No offense intended, but ....
Which is wet and which is dry? And does it matter?

Urban legend material.

Theories formulated based upon anecdotal evidence.

Not a single respectable study performed.

Anyone who makes decisions or alters their habits based upon all that has been written and repeated on this subject would do as well by reading their horoscopes, IMHO.

David Ennis May 5th, 2005 01:56 PM

Must have been a bad hair day...
Sorry about the tone of the preceding post. Although it does say bascially what I think, the manner of expression not my usual style.

Marco Wagner May 5th, 2005 02:46 PM

Which is better wet or dry?

I use Sony Premium DVM60PRL tapes from tapeandmedia.com for my XL1s, never really had any issues. Used a few Pannys in the past, and had issues, even after cleaning the heads. I try to stick with middle of the road tapes as I don't usually film mission critical stuff. My decisions are mainly based on price and past performance.

Dean Harrington May 6th, 2005 06:59 AM

cleaning heads......
Has anyone here cleaned their cam heads the old fashion way- swabs, cleaning fluid and a soft touch?

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