Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Consumer Camcorders › URGENT! URGENT! All three VX2100’s are asking for Cleaning Tape. HELP! › It is possible and likely
It is possible and likely that the clogs are bad enough, or even tape head damage severe enough, that a deep cleaning, even head replacement has become necessary. I personally do not think a tape head cleaner will do the job for you now
I purchased all my XL1 Canons at the same time (one digit apart in serial numbers) and the same situation happened to me during a particularly hot, humid event week involved with producing a week-long homecoming series for an area high school. We were in and out of air conditioning, AND I wasn’t at the time aware of tape stock differences using TDK, Panasonic and Sony tapes with abandon. Oops.
I soon had to replace the heads in all my Canons to absolutely correct the problem that had become more persistent than intermittent. You may be at that point with your cameras. The probable reason all of them are having the problem, to some degree more or less, is that you’ve used all of them in the same environments and probably about the same amount of time – two camera shoots, third cam backup, etc. They’ve all reached the same point of condition at pretty much the same time.
I had to purchase a throwaway (based on MY smaller budget determinations, as in the pro industry my Canons are considered throwaways 😉 to finish a couple of gigs, and had some severe client problems due to camera malfunction until I bit the bullet and paid for these extensive and expensive repairs.
Though this will not help you today it might help in the future. I don’t care what others claim, say or what theorists state as fact regarding the wear and tear on heads by constant tape head cleaning. I run a cleaner through my cameras for 10 seconds each before each and every commercial gig. I occasionally use denatured alcohol and swabs to brush across whatever points inside the tape path I can readily reach and I occasionally use an air-pump device to blow out any visible or perceived “dust bunnies” not really but you get the idea.
When traveling from any given location to another and especially if it is a part of the year where auto air conditioning is needed I not only wrap my cameras in extra large Ziploc bags (leaving the air that gets trapped inside as well) but I also seal a couple of silicon moisture absorbing packs inside.
Oh, and like you, I now ONLY use Sony tapes and use other devices for playback or feed, master recording to/from the editing system.
Since this costly experience (knock on wood) I’ve not experienced a serious tape head clog or dew warning and have had only the extremely rare half-second or shorter glitch in my acquisition stock.
What you’ve experienced with your cameras is not a negative factor regarding their quality or performance capabilities, nor were they with mine IT SIMPLY JUST HAPPENS and those who say they NEVER experience this even when NOT using tape head cleaners or when using whatever brand strikes their fancy or is available at the moment should consider themselves and their equipment touched by angels.