What Camera Gear Does Scott Schuman A.K.A. The Sartorialist Use?

by Buffalo Bob on September 7, 2011

Photographer: Scott Schuman, a.k.a The Sartorialist

Specialty: Street/Fashion Photography

Favored Camera/Lens Brand: Canon

Scott Schuman, who runs the astoundingly popular Sartorialist blog, is one of the biggest names in fashion photography today. Starting out photographing pretty people in unconventionally-fashionable outfits on the streets of New York City, Scott has moved on to shooting ad campaigns and editorials for names like DKNY, Gant, GQ, Vogue Paris, and Interview.

Here’s an amazing video of Scott in action:

So what does Scott use to capture the latest styles on the streets?

Scott’s camera is the $2,600 Canon 5D Mark II. (read on for cheaper alternatives!) While most reports indicate that Scott’s primary lens is the $1,600 Canon 50mm f/1.2, examining EXIF data on his images tell us that Scott is a huge fan of the even-more expensive 85mm f/1.2.

The benefit of a fast medium-telephoto prime lens like the 85mm f/1.2 is that you can achieve a very shallow depth-of-field, which helps you isolate the subject and obscure background distractions. Prime lenses also tend to be cheaper and sharper than zoom lenses.

If you look at Scott’s photos you’ll see a sharp fashionista in front of a soft, blurry background. That’s where that 85mm lens comes in. Thankfully, you don’t need to spend $2,000 on a lens to get the same look.

So how can you get the Sartorialist look without spending the huge bucks?

Well, if you have a full-frame camera like a Canon 5D or 1DS series camera, you can pick up Canon’s 85mm f/1.8, which is an incredible value for $399. It’s literally a fifth the price of the f/1.2 version, but it’s just as sharp and actually focuses much, much faster. So you’re getting faster focusing, and 90% of the optical performance, for 20% of the price. Nikon shooters should check out their equivalent model.

And if you’re shooting a crop-sensor camera like a Canon Rebel, 40D/50D/60D, or 7D, check out the 50mm f/1.8 (just $110!) or f/1.4 ($379). On those cameras, these lenses will be equivalent to an 80mm lens, which pretty much matches the 85mm lens Scott favors.

Now if you’re interested in shoot Sartorialist-style street fashion and don’t own a camera at all, I’d check out the Canon Rebel T1i. That kit’s enough to get you started, though it would help to grab a 50mm f/1.8 lens to get the dreamy, shallow-depth of field look present in Scott’s images.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

bmichael March 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Nice this is good stuff. That 50mm 1.8 is such a good deal.


Some one November 27, 2012 at 9:02 am

Thanks for the post! Now I need 50mm f/1.8 ($250) for my Nikon D5000!


Huangkongxuan January 5, 2013 at 3:30 am

canon EF24-70mm f/2.8 IIUSM Lenses price


Paul Fan February 12, 2014 at 11:10 pm
Joao Fezas Vital February 15, 2013 at 4:42 am

the plastic fantastic works great except for.. the 50mm look that he gets with his 1.2L I mean on my 600d’s crop sensor I would need something like a 28mm or 35mm to get that look, and those canon primes are expensive as hell!!


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