Reusing DV tapes

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by BossofMASS, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. BossofMASS macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2008
    When you reuse a MiniDV tape that has already been recorded on, will there be any quality decreases? Are there any drawbacks to re using a tape?
  2. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Technically the quality will be the same, but you will sometimes get dropped frames and stuff.

    It's easier to just buy new tapes. They're cheap.
  3. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

    Jan 1, 2007
    My previous Camcorder used Mini DV tapes. I quite often reused them without any problems, but as the previous poster said, they're cheap so why take a chance.
  4. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    It's a mechanical system that wears out with increased use. I re-use tapes when I'm just playing around, experimenting. For any real project, I buy new tapes and never re-use them - that also solves the problem of archiving the data!

    - Martin
  5. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    Don't resuse

    I wouldn't recommend reusing MiniDV tapes. Buy in bulk if concerned about price.
  6. phiberglass macrumors 6502a


    Oct 3, 2007
    Yea, a lot of times if you reuse it frames can be dropped and you will have a tough time importing through final cut pro and other video programs. If you do indeed have to reuse a tape, put the lens cap on, rewind the tape, record a black image over the entire tape so you just have one in and one out time code. This will make it much smoother when taping over. I would just buy new ones though.
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    You increase the likelihood of dropped frames, but little else. For important projects or paid gigs, use new tapes.
  8. Randor macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2008
    Vancouver, Canada
    Horrors of Re-Using Tape!

    I think a lot of us must have horror stories of re-using a source tape only to need the original contents months, or even years later.

    It doesn't seem to matter if you choose a tape that contains video that was shot years ago, and there is no possible way on earth that anyone would ever need one frame of it ever. The very moment that you record over it, the phone will ring and the client, who you barely remember even shooting for, will pay ANYTHING for 500 PAL copies to be shipped to Antarctica.

    Unfortunately you tried recording a time-lapse of snow melting in your neighours backyard, which didn't work anyway, because you didn't set up the interval properly on your camera and ended up just recording an hour of realtime video of your neighbour's dog sleeping in the snow, along with the audio of you arguing with your girlfriend on the phone, and you now have to nuke the tape anyway because what you said during the argument could be used against you in court if anyone found out a recording of it exists.

    If you had of just used a new tape to record the neighbour's dog sleeping in the snow, you could hand deliver the 500 PAL copies to Antarctica (which is now the only safe place for you in the world after what you said to your ex-girlfriend) and have enough money in your pocket to hibernate at the South Pole while things cool down on the home front.

    But...NOOOOO!!!! you had to just grab any tape off the shelf.
  9. BossofMASS thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2008

    Would it also be beneficial to follow the lens-cap procedure when working with brand new tapes?
  10. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    You mean blacking the tape? Yes that can be quite useful in laying down a timecode to prevent TC breaks when your importing. I personally dont do it very often, but if you plan on breaking TC by reviewing stuff in the field then black the tape.
  11. jakebrake3202 macrumors newbie


    Feb 28, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    Whenever I buy a new batch of tapes I always record them with the lens cap on and the audio down to lay the timecode. I do them all at once in one night so when I want to use one later I know the timecode is all ready there. It makes batch importing to FCP much easier if that is what you are doing. If you have breaks in your timecode the program may get confused upon a batch import.

    I try not to reuse tapes. I would hate to record over something and then find out I needed it later. I clearly label every tape and archive it by date in a little cabinet.

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