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HD Tape Stock

Published : 18th Aug. 2004


I was asked by my producer today about HD tape stock. He says he can get a screaming deal on Fuji stock. Is there a big difference between it and Sony stock? I know of a lot of houses in LA that will only run Sony stock through there machines...so I wondered.

Raoul Germain
DP LA



>I was asked by my producer today about HD tape stock. He says he >can get a screaming deal on Fuji stock. Is there a big difference >between it and Sony stock?

Fuji HD Tape Stock if Fine and is just as good as Sony Stock.

However, I would be suspicious as to why this producer is getting a Screaming Deal. Make sure that the tape wasn't already used once already and has been degaussed or it was left in the Sun for 2 months you get the idea.

If its unused and left over from another job where it has already been paid for that's understandable but be aware of the reason.

But Good stock from a Reputable outlet will serve you well.

You should expect to pay about the same price.

B. Sean Fairburn SOC
Director of Photography
Castaic Ca



This is what I've heard. The brands only recommend their own tapes since they are the only guaranteed to perform as the camera and VTS´s needs.

I do know the difference between Sony and Fuji but as for Panasonic everybody says a I should run only Panasonic tapes.

Regards

Rodrigo Lizana Lamarca
Pixine, Cine Digital
www.pixine.cl



Rodrigo observes :

>I do know the difference between Sony and Fuji but as for Panasonic >everybody says a I should run only Panasonic tapes.

I know that seems to be case with DV tapes but since Panasonic doesn't make HDCam tapes, I wonder what the difference would be also.

In Betacam world it was not uncommon to use Fuji Beta tapes although there was some discussion about the heads wearing at a different angle with different brand tapes. Can't imagine why.

If Fuji can make a good quality HDCam tape that undercuts Sony and doesn't have an appreciable effect on head wear, then I'd be all over that because the best price I've been able to get for Sony HDCam 40min tapes is about $56 a tape.

Cheaper than film of course, but almost 175% more than Beta tapes (even accounting for the extra 10 minutes).

Funny thing about HDCam tapes is they have the same hub config as Beta tapes but they have a groove along the top of the cassette thus Beta tapes won't fit in the camera.

Anybody know how much more metal particles HDCam tape has in it vs. Beta SP tape?

Allen S. Facemire
DP/Director
SaltRun Productions,inc.
Atlanta



Allen S. Facemire wrote :

>In Betacam world it was not uncommon to use Fuji Beta tapes >although there was some discussion about the heads wearing at a >different angle with different brand tapes. Can't imagine why

In My BetaCam world Sony metal tape was shit for quite a while. I switched to Fuji and did not have any problems with it over many years and hundreds(?) of hours of shooting.

The Urban myths surrounding video tape are really interesting these days. I don't think there is much difference at all in a functional sense. Not like the days when 3M decided they were going to get in the BetaCam market. Those tapes were terrible!

Mark Smith



I've had some odd used tape buys off eBay. I use it for test purposes, or playing around., or 2nd unit stuff. So far no problems at all.

Then fun part is seeing what weird stuff people both to shoot. It's kinda creepy, fascinating and boring at the same time, but you see stuff like a whole hour bus ride of college kids getting ramped up for some kind of game...Or a rodeo...Or a circus.

And you're compelled to wonder - what kind of lens did they use? Man, they've got the detail cranked up. Will she take off her clothes? (never).

Anyway, just thought I'd share some extremely minor war stories.

Dale Launer
Writer/Filmmaker
Santa Monica, CA



Allen S. Facemire wrote :

> Rodrigo observes :

>I do know the difference between Sony and Fuji but as for Panasonic >everybody says a I should run only Panasonic tapes.

Sorry. Typing mistake.

It should say "I don't know the differences between Sony Betacam and Fuji tapes, but as for Panasonic HD tapes, Panasonic strongly recommends their own tapes..."

Rodrigo Lizana Lamarca
Pixine, Cine Digital



I have read the "HD Tape Stock" comments with much interest, I really enjoyed the comment about urban 'tape' myths. There are so many anecdotal stories and personal accounts of tape stock use, both positive and negative, that it is impossible to get the true story versus a fictional account.

I will make a blanket statement that should cover all of the previous postings on this subject.

Magnetic media or tape is designed for the format it is intended to be used in. Whether Beta or DVC-Pro, whether the application is HD or SD, the format Developer/licensor determines if a company, such as Fuji gets a licence to manufacture a tape product with the format's logo. As far as using a tape product that is manufactured by a company other than the hardware manufacturer, I know of no instance where a licensed product has ever invalidated a VTR manufacturers warrantee.

My recommendation is to test any tape stock you are about to use in the cameras or recorders being used on the job and that tape should be obtained from a reputable supplier of tape products with close ties to the media manufacturers. Also listen to the advise of the rental house technical staff, they know the camera's operational history and can be the best source for information about any aspect of operation and use.

There are many instances of "Grey Goods" product being offered at very low street prices. This tape tapes circuitous routes to reach this market and it's storage and shipping condition cannot be guaranteed.

James Hegadorn
Director, Technical and Media Services
Recording Media Division
Fuji Photo Film, USA
200 Summit Lake Dr.
Valhalla, NY, 10595-1356