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November 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM #51842
Hello all, upon filming an event yesterday and capturing the footage (on a different camera) I noticed some glitches (or so I think) in the footage.
I was wondering if these were indeed glitches, or just some signs that the camera's drums were cold.
The reason I talk about the cold drums is because the camera was sitting in my cold car for a few hours prior to filming, and as the event progresses, it appears the glitches subside (as the camera warmed up).
Here is the footage http://youtu.be/jsCLo8M7OXA
It would be awesome if some people could weigh in on my dilemna and remind me how to use a MiniDv head cleaning tape.
Thanks in advance!
November 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM #204750
Just to clarify, the glitches I'm talking about are at 0:09 in the video. Thanks again!
November 7, 2012 at 5:33 PM #204751EarlCMember
Jesse, I did see them, but had to watch a couple times on the small window as they were not overwhelmingly evident at first view. I've no idea how prominent they are or would be on a larger monitor or screen, however. Here, they look acceptable.
The thing about a head-cleaning tape is that it is NO guarantee your glitches will disappear or not show up in spite of running one. I am of the camp that uses my "dry" head-cleaning tape, running it 10 seconds, before EVERY videotaping session. The other side of that coin is that even if you DO run it every time, occasionally, or only when something you've last shot shows dirty heads (glitches, dropouts, etc.) aside from the various informed or uninformed arguments for frequency of use, or using wet/dry cleaners, etc. or even using denatured alcohol and a lint-free fiber swab, there is NO guarantee that the first tape, new or otherwise, you insert won't flake off.
You can repack (fastforward then rewind) your new tapes or repack used tapes, if you adhere to the reusing tapes crowd; you can take whatever measures of precaution you so desire, but anything can happen before, during or after running a cleaner or hand-cleaning your heads. Setting THAT thought aside, I er on the side of caution, using ONLY new tapes in my cameras, always running ONLY 10 seconds (I use a dry cleaner – actually only what appears to be tape but I suppose there's some possible addititives … never looked deeply into that) BUT I do have a dirty heads warning from my camcorder as well.
If I do not have a cleaner tape with me and run into problems I usually always have a second camera running with a save or medium-to-wide shot that I can leave running while I rock my shooting tape back and forth – fast forward a few seconds, rewind a few seconds – usually dislodging any minor head clog. Then I simply resume shooting. I mean, unless the unit just shuts down on me, what am I going to do, stop shooting?
Another of the reasons I have for always running two units even if one is ONLY a lockdown Larry.
November 8, 2012 at 6:14 PM #204770
Thanks for all the great info! I too only use new tapes, and hope to pick up a dry head cleaner sometime soon.
I have heard that using a head cleaner takes away the lubricant on your drums, and will eventually ruin the drums – is this true for "dry" cleaning tapes, or is only true for "wet" head cleaning tapes?
November 8, 2012 at 11:53 PM #204773EarlCMember
Yes, Jesse, any cleaner will eventually generate WEAR on your heads, but so does running tape during a production … over time. The process of hand-cleaning with swabs is less abrasive if performed correctly. It is probably, sometimes anyway, more efficient if not less costly to find a service you trust and take your cameras in for an annual cleaning and recalibrating, general maintenance … provided, of course, you don't develop problems meanwhile.
I'm comfortable doing my own cleaning and I use a dry tape cleaner, again what looks like nothing more than a short length of regular videotape that is ONLY used for knocking loose any accumulated foreign matter that has created a clogged head, generating your glitches/dropouts.
I have the opinion, not a scientifically based one, that using solution on an abrasive material and running it through my camera is more damaging over time. Some would say this is true of ANY head cleaning type. And, over the years I've had many many independents claim they've either NEVER used a head cleaner (lucky for them) or ONLY use one if/when a head clog occurs, usually witnessed after the fact by said A/V glitches. If that footage is critical to the production, or occurs right in the middle of the, say, vows, OUCH! Thus the need for redundancy of equipment and audio/video backup, backup audio recording devices, etc.
AGAIN, I have to say running the cleaner before each gig, as I do, or once a month, every two or three months, whatever, is NO guarantee your next shoot will result in flawless master tape. I simply feel better going to a gig after having run a few seconds of cleaner, checking my lenses for smears, smudges, scratches or debris and ensuring that all my batteries are freshly charged and up to speed … I'll use them until they noticeably start causing problems. Sometimes, again not scientically established, I suspect that older batteries can run the camera but might not do it at a steady flow of power, causing fluctuation in tape movement across the heads. Might just be superstition on my part regarding that, but I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law.
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