Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

DV(HDV) Tape Issues


  • Please log in to reply
47 replies to this topic

#21 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 19 August 2007 - 04:20 PM

Wow, some of this makes me feel reeeeeeal old. Originally, blackstriping a tape was almost a necessity because everyone was using linear editing systems and they weren't very frame accurate even at the highest level of gear. Tape stretch was often the problem. Now the only good reason for blackstriping is because you may have the habit of popping the tape out or playing it and not going back into your last footage causing a time code break. I suppose another good reason would be because you intend to shoot over everything that is already on the tape. I always, should I look at my footage mid tape, going back into the last few seconds or use the stop edit button. If you go back into your tape, it creates a good habit and that is to waste a few seconds shooting at the end of his clip. It will give you more room to play with in and out points as well.

I have always been in the habit of not mixing tapes though there have been occasions where I've done so without problems. However, old habits die hard and I generally do not mix. I knew about the lube problem but wasn't aware that had been corrected.

As far as tape breakdown, if there is going to be tape drop outs they will generally be in the first and last 30 seconds to a minute of the tape. These parts of the tape get the most stretch and abuse when winding and rewinding. But that's okay since I have found it to be a good practice to waste the first minute with color bars, black or just wasted tape before I go in the water or shoot anything I may want. Tapes do last a lot longer than they used to, however, it is still advised to store tapes in places not too hot nor cold and to store them standing up with the rewound tape on the bottom, not to lay tape cases flat onto each other. Its a matter of gravity.

Steve B)

www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
steve-sharksdelight@cox.net

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#22 CamDiver

CamDiver

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1103 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indonesia
  • Interests:Filming and documentary production. Beach and surf photography. Family time, isolated beaches and walking the dog.

Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:52 PM

First the prevailing stories:
1. Blacking/Striping a tape gives continuous timecode and is essential for any shoot.
2. Mixing different brand tapes with different lubricants is bad for your video head.
3. Reusing tape is a bad idea and you should buy new tape everytime.
______________________________________________________________________

Answers:
1) Never done it, never had a problem. I don't have a second deck I can use to do that and don't want to run my heads twice for one tape, or thrice if you count capturing.
2) Heard about that, never experienced it.
3) I always archive everything I have anyway, even if its crap. I never re-use any tape.

Cheers,
Mark.

The Sharks of the Forgotten Islands

- A Natural History Documentary -


#23 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:55 PM

We using a fridge as a dry cabinet now (NOT turned on) and the tapes that we do archive are kept on a shelf in there, along with our cameras, hard drives, microphones etc..

The vast majority of our archive still resides on hard drives however (3 copies, one of them off-site), not on tape.

A fridge is great to use as a dry cabinet. It's air-tight, loads of shelves, cheap, and the insulation evens out temperature changes from air conditioning etc. and so prevents condensation. It's stuffed full of big silica gel sachets we got from a manufacturer.

#24 SimonSpear

SimonSpear

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1390 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:05 AM

Drew

Most AV Hire Companies that I've talked to request that you do not mix tape brands and if you do to only use certain brands (eg Sony with Fuji). Most if not all literature on this subject still states that you should not mix brands of tapes as many still have a different manufacuturing process. Using TDK or JVC tapes on a cam that's primarily used Sony tapes can (still) cause problems.

Honestly why take the risk? We spend big money on our equipment and when repeated use of mixed brand tapes can still cause a problem, I'm really surprised that you are condoning it and dimissing it as an old wives tale.

Cheers, Simon

#25 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 20 August 2007 - 07:34 AM

Mark,
Interested in what deck you are using for downloading your footage, or are you using your cam for that. I wish they would come out with a small portable deck like the GVD -1000 which only works with SD tapes
Steve

www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
steve-sharksdelight@cox.net

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#26 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 20 August 2007 - 08:08 AM

Simon
The issue of changing tape brands is still one that carries on and on.
Actually it was the constant use of one brand then a sudden switch to another brand with a different lube that is purportedly the cause of the problems. The engineers who solved the lube problem believe most of these prevailing problems are due to bad maintenance and lack of cleaning of the heads.
Another issue is the recorder head profiling, which can be alleviated by again cleaning your heads, especially with a q-tip and ethyl alcohol (ethanol), GENTLY cleaning the tape head to remove all sorts of debris. And yes the old tape head cleaning fluids are very toxic and have been removed from the shelves. Using cleaner tapes at 30-50 hrs use is also a good idea, especially if used in dusty environments.
It's not an old wive's tale, but a prevailing insurance policy of an old problem. It was a very real problem with very real consequences. And since then, professionals want peace of mind by sticking to one brand. So it's like insurance, but how many times do you hear of people having dropouts with one brand or another. Anecdotal evidence isn't conclusive on the prevalence of the lube problem these days. I'm just advocating a cleanling regimen as the best way to avoid most issues. IF/WHEN the user decides to use another brand with different lube, it's ALWAYS a good idea to clean the head using the fluid method. Imagine going on a location shoot and the case with all the Sony tape didn't arrive. So you have to buy what is available where you are, which are all TDK or Pana (who are OEM for JVC and Canon). With a head clean, you can buy the local tape without problems, instead of having to Fedex your tape from wherever.
The real problem for much of tape head problems is bad maintenance. AV rental locations come in all shapes and sizes. Back in 2002, I was on a boat fooling around with a rented digibeta. A shark splashed and everyone jumped out of the way except for the fool looking through the viewfinder who didn't know it was coming. The camera was wet a bit and stopped working (great for a 1st day on a 16 day shoot). Thinking I killed it, I was given so much crap until our tech guy opened it up. Played the tape and it had stopped recording 30 mins before the splash. Seems the camera hadn't been cleaned since coming out of the factory. Through sheer dumb luck, the production got a replacement and finished the shoot. Not to say AV rentals are all bad, but again they want to instill that cheap insurance and the added maintenance is sometimes bothersome, so tell the clients to stick to one brand and that's it.
All of the "evidence" has been anecdotal, and I would think that if there were a HUGE problem, especially in the US, someone would've brought the manufacturers to court by now. I can tell you my PD150 has had wet and dry lubed tapes in and never skipped a beat after 400 hrs u/w. My PD170 on the other hand skipped beats no matter what tape I put in. They replaced the head and it worked well with different tape lubes.
So buy whatever brand you like and stick with it if you can. And if you have to switch for whatever reason, clean the head first (with a head cleaner of that particular brand).
And for those lawyer types, this is my opinion and is by no means representative of Wetpixel's official stance or recommendation. :)

I wish they would come out with a small portable deck like the GVD -1000 which only works with SD tapes
Steve


Steve the GV-HD700U/E has been announced and will be available in Sep.
GV-HD700 announcement

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#27 SimonSpear

SimonSpear

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1390 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 20 August 2007 - 09:46 AM

Thanks for the very detailed reply Drew! I had a situation a few weeks ago when I ran out of Sony tapes and had to beg borrow and steal some from wherever and whoever I could. It was a bit embarrassing going up to people with camcorders asking them what tape they used and did they want to sell me any :) but I was adamant that I would only use Sony tapes. I'll think again after what you've said.

Oh yeah and of course if I miss that mating whale shark shot then the law suit is in the post! :(

Cheers, Simon

#28 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 21 August 2007 - 04:34 AM

Couple years back I put a old DV tape that someone had given me to grab footage from into my PD100. I don't know what was on the tape but it completely stopped the camera from playing back any tape even after head cleans. Just got a blue screen, not even any time code numbers...nothing.

So what does one do when you live in the bush...go down to the hardware and buy a can of Xylene, dabb a cotton bud into it and manually clean the head. Put in a head cleaner then away it went. Just don't get any on any plastic in there as it will melt it and don't' smoke while you are doing it. :( and dont' sniff it :)
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#29 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:10 AM

...go down to the hardware and buy a can of Xylene, dabb a cotton bud into it and manually clean the head.

That is definitely not on the recommended list. There are plastic components in the camera not to mention the toxic properties of Xylene. However Wags, it does explain a lot about your behavior lately :)

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#30 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:28 AM

Hey Drew,
Thanks for posting that new deck. The info doesn't imply what it will sell for but I hope it is in the same range. To add to what you were saying about maintanence I have always bought the extended two year warranty on my cams. They are not very expensive and even if you do not have anything wrong with the cam you can use the warranty for cleaning and alignment purposes. I have found this to be very beneficial and provides that peace of mind that all is ok.
Steve B)

www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
steve-sharksdelight@cox.net

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#31 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 21 August 2007 - 08:43 AM

So what liquid exactly should I use to clean heads? I used meths way back when but can't get it here. Would that blue 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol do? Or lighter fluid? Or Mekong whiskey? Options in Thailand are limited.

#32 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:36 AM

Don't use rubbing alcohol! It may have additives which will stay on the head. Get 99% isopropyl if you can. Any wet "tape head cleaner" solvent will do really. Chemtronics Head Cleaner II is ROHS WEEE compliant and works pretty well. Problem is I can no longer bring it to you in Phuket. It's flammable.
If you can find older Russian Vodka, that's 50% ethanol. Nowadays all the alcohol have flavoring and additives.
If you are using ethanol or some form of solvent... make sure to dry the components. If left on, the ethanol can retain residue. Nowadays, I just send it out to professionals to do the work properly. NickH, the Sony guys in Bangkok are really good and cheap too.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#33 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 21 August 2007 - 10:20 AM

Thanks Drew. That's true actually, everything I've had done by Sony service here in Thailand has been spot on, prompt and very good value. Apart from other stuff they cleaned mould out of my VX2000 lens system and replaced that fried main board and other stuff on my Z1 and took it all in their stride.

Before I go that far I'll have a look on the shelves for head cleaning fluid, or ask my pharmacist friend if she can get 99% isopropyl.

#34 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:50 PM

Darn, I knew I shouldn't have drunk all that old Russian vodka
steve B)

www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
steve-sharksdelight@cox.net

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#35 jonny shaw

jonny shaw

    Orca

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1318 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney

Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:05 AM

Last time I asked a pharmacy for 100% alcohol they looked at me as if I had asked for a gram of cocaine!! :)

Even after I explained what I needed it for they said they wouldn't give it to me....

Must be my baby face and they thought I was under 18 :(

www.ginclearfilm.com
www.facebook.com/ginclearfilm
GATES DEEP EPIC Based in Sydney


#36 wagsy

wagsy

    Blue Whale

  • Senior Moderator
  • 3845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cairns, Queensland.
  • Interests:Sewing and Knitting......no diving of course :-)

Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:52 AM

Well the Xylene worked that's for sure. :) ..but I would not recommend it as it's pretty powerful stuff.

Hey Nick you chicken... I have taken the lens assembly out and completely pulled it apart from my PD100 twice now to clean the mould out of it.
Amphibico Phenom & EVO PRO & Navigator 900
Share Your Underwater Videos www.hdvunderwater.com | www.flykam.com.au | www.reeftorainforest.com.au

#37 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2842 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 22 August 2007 - 06:49 AM

I'm with Nick, I wouldn't do it myself either. I'd mess something up for sure. Clint said,' Know your limitations, son". I do.
Steve B)

www.kenstone.net
www.lafcpug.org

Steve Douglas
steve-sharksdelight@cox.net

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.


#38 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:54 AM

To be fair to Wags, he does live in the boonies where a Sony rep is a 'roo or a sheep.

Wags, always keep your camera in a dry case. Or leave your camera in the housing with some silica gel packs. Don't ever leave it lying around on deck for weeks, BUT leave it at outdoor air temperature. Mold can't grow if you dry up the cameras quickly. 40-50% humidity is best so you don't dry up the rubber. Tapes also do better in that range.
The fastest way to get mold on stuff is to have temperature changes from cold to hot. That causes condensation and if left alone and constant, say hello to spots on your lens.
So my advice is to store your tapes, lenses and cameras in a dry area in open air when on a boat, shaded of course :)

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.


#39 Nick Hope

Nick Hope

    Sperm Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1989 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Thailand

Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:50 PM

Hey Nick you chicken... I have taken the lens assembly out and completely pulled it apart from my PD100 twice now to clean the mould out of it.

Wish I'd had some pics taken of me in Bunaken with the Z1 completely dismantled on a picnic table. Somehow there weren't even any screws left over when I reassembled... unless the cockroaches pinched them.

40-50% humidity is best so you don't dry up the rubber. Tapes also do better in that range.

Oh god so now you're telling me my "cabinet" is too dry :) It's 31% in there at the moment.

#40 Drew

Drew

    The Controller

  • Video Expert
  • 10645 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:GPS is not reliable in South East Asian seas

Posted 22 August 2007 - 10:46 PM

Nick
Too dry also creates complications. Think about those dry desert winds which bring RH down to 5%... humans crinkle up and they are self lubricating. Do you think rubber and tapes will fare any better? Optimum is 40-50%. My dry boxes stay at 45% in wherever there is RH of above 60%. In LA, my apt has to be humidified to 50% in the winter/spring.

Drew
Moderator
"Journalism is what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

"I was born not knowing, and have only had a little time to change that here and there.