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Switching Tape Stocks


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#1 Jonathan Bryant

Jonathan Bryant
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Posted 27 July 2005 - 07:45 PM

I saw this post from a guy in another forum and it seems nobody has delt with this tape problem before. I just thought I would post to let everyone know when switching tape stock in a camera you may want to clean the heads to avoid problems. Read his post and my response.

(i'll try to be as vague as possible so as to protect the innocent)
we rented a professional high end video package to shoot a small commercial project this past weekend. somewhere in the middle of a two day shoot the camera just freaked out and we basically lost two scenes. we didn't realize it untill it was too late. the footage was all blocky digital f'd up like it was a bad head or whatever. we just don't now what happened. we luckily knew of another project out over the same weekend with the same package who only was shooting for one day so we used their camera for the remainder of our production. we successfully completed the job.

when we returned the camera i talked to the rental manager and told him what happened and of course he sounded shocked and he claimed it was the fault of "putting new tape stock in a camera. sometimes this gunks up the heads".

This is a known issue with dv formats. For instance Sony uses certain tape lubricant Maxell and Panasonic use another. If you swap tape brands without cleaning the lube off of the heads then you are bound to have problems. One time I was shooting Burt Reynolds house for a tv show we had switched tape brands and when I got back with the tapes I found out one whole tape was blank with a few glitches here and there where the picture would pop up. Can you say nightmare! We had to go back and shoot again. I had learned this lesson before with tape glitches but never a blank tape. So I hope you were nice to the rental house.

In the future use the same tape stock they have been using. Or clean the heads before sticking in a different brand of tape. Hope That Helps
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