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Chris loves answering your questions!

They don’t have to be questions though: you can also send in

  • greetings (“I’d like to give a shoutout to the members of the Loch Ness camera club…”)
  • a show intro (“This is Chris Marquardt from Tübingen, Germany and you’re listening to Tips from the Top Floor”)
  • the place where you listen (“I listen to TFTTF while flying my Boeing 777…”)
  • something that happened to you when out shooting (“Yesterday when out shooting, my camera’s battery grip exploded…”)
  • or simply feedback about the show.

This is how you can get your voice heard:

E-Mail is cool, but you can make Chris really really (really!) happy if you record something on your smart phone!

To do that, you have several options:

Preferred: Audioboo (it’s fast and free!)

Step 1: record an audioboo and tag it asktfttf
Step 2: there is no step 2

Make sure you don’t forget to tag it!

(You can get the Audioboo app for your mobile device at

» Click here to record an Audioboo directly in your browser.

Via phone:

Just pick up your phone and call one of these two numbers:
US: 206-202-3757 (that’s 206-202-DSLR)
Intl.: +44-7005-805-742

Hint: if you put those numbers in your phone’s address book, you will be able to call in with a question any time it comes up.

Via email:

Fire up your microphone and record an MP3 or similar (don’t worry too much about the format, I can work with virtually anything), record your question and send it to

Use your smart phone:

You can also use the Voice Memo app on your iPhone or any other voice recorder on any other phone. These recordings sound really great and make it easy for you to record anywhere. Once you finished recording, send it to

audioboo icon by, other icons on this page by

Butt-dialled calls

Yes, sometimes someone sits on their phone and doesn’t notice they called the show’s voicemail number. I get at least one of them a week. Most of them are very uneventful. Sometimes they’re more interesting. I have started this section to upload some of the butt-dialled calls that I found worth sharing.

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  • Anthony Sparacio

    I heard your audio with David Person… It was very good but you forgot the BRIDGE cameras ( that have P.S.A.M. bilt in just like the DSLRs….                             tony

  • Tech4ken

    I am thinking about getting the Sony NEX5n and I am new to this type of photography. My past cameras have all been point and shoot. I really love taking pictures and I want to bring it to the next level. what are your thoughts? 

  • chrismarquardt

    A new camera will never make you a better photographer, it’ll only make your pictures have more megapixels (or make them sharper, or give them better contrast, …). 

    My number one suggestion before you invest in any new gear: learn, learn, learn. Find a photo club, ask a pro photographer, take a workshop. That’ll catapult you up to become a good photographer so much faster than any piece of gear ever will.

  • chrismarquardt

    True, bridge cameras are an interesting hybrid though, depending on sensor size I’d probably count them into the compact camp or into the DSLR camp.

  • Martin

    there is a whole lot of high-tech in the tube that will hit us one of the next months and years…
    quite interesting!
    love your show – keep the good work up!
    Cheers Martin

  • James Borden

    does anyone know of a program to allow me to find out how many actuations my 7D has?

  • Steve from LA

    Hey Chris. Been enjoying your podcast immensely. I’ve got a new camera (Pentax K-5) and I’m thinking about adjusting, or fine-tuning, the auto focus on the body to make it focus more accurately with my existing autofocus lenses. Can you talk about the best procedure for checking the AF on the lenses and making adjustments on the camera body? Thanks.

  • chrismarquardt

    I don’t know the answer to that, but how about sending in an audioboo about it (see above) and I can put it on the show, maybe someone else might know the answer.

  • Bruce Haseley

    I just finished fine tuning each of my lens to my Nikon D300s and D800 bodies. It was not a difficult process. I used a Focus Pyramid. It costs $25.


  • Chris from Detroit

    Hello Chris,

    Chris from Detroit Michigan here.  To escape the winter blues, I am getting ready to take a cruise.  This is the second voyage to the islands and as the ship sails by, I would like to get some good shots of the landscape.  My question is: What is the best way to take pictures from the deck of a ship with my DSLR?  I’ve tried to use a monopod as well as supporting myself against a wall and it seems as though I get too much camera shake even on the large cruise ships?  Any thoughts?

  • Don Bryant Thompson

    I thought you guys were working on a real pinhole camera. Never heard back from you if it was something that actually really happened. Did that ever happen? 

  • chrismarquardt

    Sometimes projects hit a snag. This one did, but it’s by far not over yet, just takes a bit longer. Once it’s there, you’ll definitely hear about it.

  • Frank Monaldo



  • Frank Monaldo

    Dear Chris,

    Of course, your picture this week is illustrating a case of a narrow dynamic range, perhaps two stops.  However, it is my assumption that the numerical dynamic range, the number of bits representing brightness in the image is not dynamic.  Is this true? If I have a narrow range of brightness in the exposure, will I have all the information contained in only a narrow range of bits.  By way of example, if  I have 8-bits of numeric dynamic range (real sensors have more) with possible brightness ranging from 0-255, could an image such as the one you have here have values within the range of say 128 to 136, hence only 8 possible levels? I guess seeing these discrete levels would formally be referred to as quantization noise.

    Thanks for any response, love the show.

    Frank Monaldo,
    Laurel, MD USA 

  • chrismarquardt

    Frank, thanks for your question. If you post it together with the episode at or if you call it in via Audioboo or as a voice message on 206-202-3757 you’ve got a much greater chance of making it on the show ;)

  • I5h

    Hey Chris, great show. My question is about shutter speed. The other day I was doing long exposure and ran across a shutter speed that I never noticed before, it’s the x325 which is right after the bulb mode. I use a D600 and a D7000 both have said shutter speed. So what is it used for? Is it the same as 1/325? Is it high speed shutter sync? I tried it but didn’t notice a difference but then again I didn’t have a flash with me. Thank you in advance. Ish

  • Dan

    Dear Chris,

    I have recently found your show on Stitcher and I am now an avid listener. I like a lot of the ideas you present and the photos you share online. I am considering upgrading to a new Canon standard zoom lens for my T2i camera, to be used primarily for travel photography. I usually shoot in the 24mm – 80mm range, and going down to 18mm is very helpful once in a while. I am considering the following lenses: Canon EF 24-105, Canon EF-S 17-85 and Canon EF-S 18-135. What are your thoughts on these lenses if you had to select only one of them when traveling light?

    Thank you and best regards,

  • chrismarquardt

    During daytime you shouldn’t really get camera shake with a current camera unless you work with really small apertures or very long shutter speeds.

  • chrismarquardt

    The only one of these three that I used is the 24-105, I like it. You might want to ask the same question in the community at – great bunch of people there!

  • chrismarquardt

    I’m not a Nikon user, so I have never seen that. Have you checked your camera manual?

  • Mark Alderson

    Hi Chris,
    Love the show, I listen to the podcast while i’m driving back and forth to work, you make a great traveling companion!
    I’m interested in you opinion of the 70-300 L lens that you took to Japan with you. I have the EF 70-300 IS USM, and i like it a lot, but I have been thinking about stepping up to a L type telephoto, either the one you got or the 100-400 L. Are you going to do an informal review of the 70-300 L? The price range seems to be good for that model, but it is very similar to the one I have. Better glass and quicker focusing I’m guessing, do you have an opinion? Thanks!

  • leah camara – Rhode Island USA

    how do I find the episodes here on you website? Just downloaded your podcast but can’t find the episodes to follow along with the picture you are talking about. Looking for 589.

  • chrismarquardt

    Click the Home link above, this will take you right to the episodes.

  • jj

    What’s the easiest way to find out what the photo theme of the week is? Thanks!

  • Pentalive

    Hi Chris, And all other topflorians!

    I am moving back to Windows from a period of Linux use.. I am looking for recommendations for Free / Libra / Open Source software to index and arrange my photos. I use Gimp for darkroom functions. The windows explorer (Winodw’s built in file manager) does a lot, but I think tagging pictures and reading/sorting by exif data would probably be helpful too.

    My camera is a Kodak ZD710. JPG only – no RAW.

  • chrismarquardt

    Care to ask that question via Audioboo or phone? This way it’s easier to get it on the show. See

  • Vern

    Hi Chris, Love the show. It make me want to go out and take more photos. I have a question. I have a Canon 1100D DSLR. I found out recently that it does not have mirror lockup. The only workaround appears to be live mode. I was wondering if using live mode causes any additional noise in the photos, considering the ISO would be set the same. Thanks for your time.

  • chrismarquardt

    Great question, care to ask via Audioboo so I can answer it on the show? See above for instructions.

  • Vern

    Sure. Just sent it. If I did it right..(first time) thanks again.

  • James

    What developer do you use for your large format b&w film? It’s been decades since I developed medium (2 1/4″) format b&w film. I used to use D-76 1:1 one shot. It’s good to know that you still appreciate old school.

    I had the good fortune to take a few classes by Al Weber. I learned more from him then anyone else.

    Enjoy your vacation and hope to see your 4×5 b&w posts.

  • chrismarquardt

    I use anything from Rodinal to HC-110 to D76, depending on if I want to push, pull or treat it with a stand development, and on what kind of result I want. Black-and-white is very flexible in both the way you handle it when shooting and the way you develop it.

  • Dave h8fl

    Just got lumix 14-140mm lens. I have something to share about the gx-1 built in flash and lens hood. Lens body causes a shadow at 14mm setting. At 18mm lens hood blocks out part of the image. Then very noticable at 14mm. Should have seen this coming but im getting old.

  • Dave h8fl

    I used ID-11 by Ilford many years ago. Liked the results

  • Hartmut Sieg

    Chris ( just decided against German because this may be of interest to others), what do you know about Digimarc watermarks? They are embedded into yellow (50%) and the rest into the remaining CMG channels, alternatively into blue (50%) and the rest RG with RGB pics? This obviously will distort the colours in a flat coloured picture with little R and G. Any idea how to couteract this effect?

  • Mark Nicholson

    A parent of another player took several pictures during a game and had a setting on their camera that allowed for just the blue colors to come thru. I briefly spoke with the parent and asked about the pictures. They advised there was a setting on their camera that allowed them to do it. Do you have any idea what the setting may have been that would allow you to do this?

  • Mark Nicholson

    I have a Rebel T4i and would love to know if I can do this with my camera.

  • GaryTheBrave

    I have a Nikon that allows me to choose individual colors. It works in both still and video mode. I liked using it during fall colors. I was planning to post one but all my photos are larger than 2 MB.

  • Kay

    My son is a budding photographer and studying photography in college. He wants us to buy him an expensive camera that’s not in our budget. Can you recommend a reliable website that resells gently used camera equipment? Thank you.

  • James

    Hi Chris,
    I’ve started playing with pinhole photography with my Canon EOS (APS-C). I managed to make a hole about .4mm in brass shim (about .05mm) but it is not perfectly round but relatively burr free. I will try to get a drill to make a better hole. Have you ever drilled a pinhole? I think that .3mm is about right for the APS-C format. In daylight my exposure is about 1/4 sec with iso 3200. Digital sure beats film with the instant feedback for experimenting.
    This is a picture of my pinhole and a 1/64″ scale at the same magnification and a tomato using the pinhole.

    I don’t have the means anymore, but my favorite media was medium format b&w film printed on double weight fiber paper.

  • EvaLena

    OMG, what unbelievable great photos everyone here is taking. I LOVE photography, and thought I was doing pretty good with my Canon7D, but after looking at these pictures……………………….I feel quite intimidated.

  • Henry Vowles

    Hi there, I have also recently been to Nepal! Admittidly not near Mt. Everest, but I really enjoyed the amazing scenery. It was great for photography, but I was ill prepared, not having a tripod or much knowledge of HDR (which i took most of my photos in!!). Despite this I though rally enjoyed the trip as you will.
    Hope you like the photo

    Thanks Henry ( +HenryVowles – Google Plus)


  • Peter Ritter

    Hi Chris, I finally arrived in digital photography with my recent K3 and a RX100. Nevertheless I´d call myself a “digalogue” photographer as I still shoot (OM 4Ti plus gear), process b&w-film and scan the pics.
    And here´s the question to you and the TFTTF community: Are you aware of or can you recommend a technical device (scan?) to produce contact sheets from my b&w negative strips as we did it in the past using the enlarger/paper/chemistry in the dark-room? – I´d really appreciate your advice as this would speed up the selection process of the best b&w shoots tremendously!
    Thanks and cheers from Rosenheim, Germany.

    P.S. During last X-mas season I became a fan of your show and downloaded your first ebook, which is well done. Most presumably I´ll purchase your LR5 webinar as well in the near future. You´re doing a good joB!

  • Deb

    Heading OS for 3 mths – I hav Nikon 5100 & want to know what lenses to take 2 maximum – kit 18-55 f3.5-5.6, macro 40mm f2.8 , AF 50mm 1.8D, I also have a 70-300 but it’s to heavy to lug around. Plan mostly street & scenery pics – NB I am amateur – advice would be greatly appreciated – with thanks in advance – Deb

  • chrismarquardt

    Hi Peter, thanks for your question. I’d love to answer it on the show, so it would be tremendously helpful if you could ask it in audio (phone or audioboo). Details on how to do this are at

  • Peter Ritter

    Hi Chris, thanks for your reply. I finally managed to record my questions via audio boo yesterday night in some strange manner under the user name “loewe12008″. Ciao, Peter

  • chrismarquardt

    Thanks! Hm, I’m not seeing it. Did you tag it with #asktfttf ? If not, please send me the link to the audio comment.

  • Peter Ritter

    Well, did it again tagging it with #asktfttf. my alias at audio boo is loewe12008 :-)

  • Greg Anastasi

    Hi Chis

    Just thought I’d let you know that AudioBoo is a train wreck on Android. I tried and tried but AudioBoo won’t even play back a recording and the reviews are mostly bad. I will try and record it on my phone and email it.
    Cheers Gr

  • Alistair

    Greeting from Gingin Western Australia

    My father has a really old home movies shoot on 8mm movie film? What I would like to do is to photograph each frame, with my Canon 5D3, and make a movie out of this.
    How would I go about this, before the movie is lost to time? For best results what kind of set up should I buy?
    The movie is of Stephenson Rocket train of 1829. The train travels towards a river, stopping at a low bridge to lower it’s chimney then it drives into the river, after some logs where chained on to the side of the train…… Yes I have never seen any movie like this also… And it’s not on YouTube!

  • chrismarquardt

    Thanks for letting me know. As an alternative you can simply record a voice memo on your smart phone and send that in via email.

  • chrismarquardt

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know all the details about Nikon’s cameras and lenses, so I’m probably the wrong one to answer your question. Generally your set sounds fine though for street and scenery.

  • chrismarquardt

    Got it and will edit one of the two versions out. Will be a couple of weeks until I get to it. Would answer here, but it’s too involved for just a couple of lines.

  • chrismarquardt

    Have you tried I’ve bought used gear from them in the past and can recommend them.

  • chrismarquardt

    This is something that I would do in post processing (e.g. in Lightroom). I’m sure there are cameras that can do it too, but I’m not aware of which ones can.

  • chrismarquardt

    I don’t use Digimarc and I haven’t looked into this yet. Counteracting a watermark probably means making it useless though.

  • chrismarquardt

    This sounds like an awful lot of work with a custom-made digitization rig. Also film implies tons of pictures that later on will require alignment, potentially manually. Sounds like a huge time sink to me, I’d probably google for services that digitize old film and have them take care of it.

  • Jay Weber

    Favorite lightroom 5 book?

  • Brian

    Love your show, listening from Salt Lake City Utah. Looking for a wide angle lens to use with Nikon D7000. I am looking at the Nikon 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED. I remember you mentioning on an earlier show a Tokina lens, possibly the Tokina 1-16mm f2.8?

  • Peter Ritter

    Hi Chris, I really believe that you have a lot to tell about my Q as I´ve learned in the meantime – that Monica (Nahlinse) does practice the same hybrid exercise of “digalogue” photography. – I am really looking forward to your comments in one of the next shows of TFTTF or Happy Shooting. Have a nice weekend, Peter

  • Jeff Bleam USA

    I have a book but hands down Chris’ Video Workshop!

  • Mikaela Rose

    I love taking pictures, but none of them look anything like the professional photos I see. Whats the secret? I want to take clear, bright photos of people, such as weddings and engagements. Do I need to have a wide angle lens? Any advice you can give me will be appreciated.

  • JulieB

    Looking for some advice on a dslr purchase. I’ve done some research and narrowed my choice down to 2 entry level cameras which are bundled with some lenses and nicely priced. One has less MP (18), better zoom lens (55-300 mm), but slower fps (3.7). The other has more MP (24), but comes with less zoom (55-200 mm lens), and faster fps rate (4). I’ll be using my camera mostly to capture my kids sporting events. IYO, which is more important, more zoom since I’m snapping pics from the sidelines/stands, or more MP so I can keep clarity when cropping the shots I can’t get as close to?

  • Ellice

    Hello Chris!!
    I was wondering if you would possibly be able to enlighten me on some tips regarding travel photography. Basically, I’m going to be travelling/backpacking around the US with my Canon 60D and aiming to travel light (as light as a DSLR and multiple lenses can get) therefore preferring not to take my MacBook, while still desiring the ability to access and share my images. Do you have any experience with (for example) the Toshiba Flashair? Compliments for your work!

  • Joanne B

    Hi Chris,

    I was in Florida on holiday last November and my daughter and I were taking pictures of the beautiful sunsets on the beach (with my iphone 4s no less). I had them developed at Costco. The sunset pictures turned out spectacular. Really, really nice. So nice that I have friends asking for a copy. I even had them blown up to 12 x 18 and they still look great! When I was looking at them I kept thinking there was a difference in the pictures and comparing one to other trying to find what was causing the thought….that’s when I noticed (and here’s the crazy lady part) the clouds are formed in such a way that they look like eyes with the sun shining all around them. I am not kidding!! Some people see it right away others can’t until you show them the shapes. It is really wild. I think I can make some money off of them. I have registered a copyright on the best one and called it Eyes of the Lord (not very original buy hey I’m a newbie!).
    When I was showing them at a party I found out later that two gentlemen took a picture of my picture. One of them trying to press a $50 in my hand and take the picture then and there. The other wants to be my partner in marketing it!! Thank goodness I had my wits about me and said no to both.

    My question is how do I go about getting this picture out there without compromising the money it could make?


  • Alistair

    Greeting’s Chris

    I have brought myself a nice little present, a Canon 24-70mm F2.8ii to go with my 5D3. However this lens come’s with a tiny petal lens hood, making the massive lens front look very venerable.
    So I have been looking at Hoya 82mm UV & IR Cut FILTER to protect the front of this lens. It’s been said that this filter will do nothing but remove haze and improve the clarity of my photo’s.
    Chris having been to Mt Everest, a place I would like to travel to myself, do you know any other trekker that has used this filter to clean out the distant haze from photo’s high up in the thin mountain air? Or would this do nothing but be cheep insurance on the front of my lens? Non of my other lens have UV filters.. What are your thought’s?

  • Shuuterlag

    Hi Chris,
    I was trying to read this post on your old blog, but it’s GONE ! Any chance of posting it in full somewhere else please?

    Just a quick reminder.. there is no someday

    Thu, Aug 8 2013 07:40
    Live your life now. As in right now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not when you retire. No, live your life right now.

    Why? Read this
    Christoph Marquardt

  • John Tremblay

    regarding the video assignment (Great day in Harlem). Here’s the lesson for photographers, and I think this has worked for me in the past: In this case, Kane was new/green as a photographer. He was so obviously not the center of attention and had a difficult time in dealing with all of these celebrities. He did so perfectly. He worked with them and he worked around their distractions. He somewhat became an invisible background and was able to get a ton of fantastic candid shots. While he was extremely lucky in that he ended up in the right place at the right time, and that all of these musicians were not distracted or intimidated by the camera because of each other, he did a great job of working in and around the group. This is perhaps something that photographers can forget over time. Yes – you have a schedule and you have to run the show, so-to-speak, but you also need to know how to let the subject relax and be natural.

    Nice video, great music.

  • Sam

    how to photograph a photo of doors.i work for door company my boss told me to take photos of doors,now i have one flash,but i have flash glare.can any one help?