This article is based on what I have been observing and researching on my own during past two years of fashion week. I am not here to strike a debate on if Nikon is better or Canon is better. I am not sponsored by any of the brands. (I spent my own money to buy gears for testing). I just hope that through this information, you can measure where you stand and what you need to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

Gears really depends on the shooting style of a photographer and what a photographer wants to capture. Flagship body exists because of 12 fps continuous shooting in sports events to capture that right moment that you are going to depend your life on that one second window.

Bodies to Consider for Canon or Nikon shooters

  • Canon 1Dx II
  • Canon 5D Mark IV
  • Nikon D5
  • Nikon D810

I shot in Canon 5D Mark III with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens for two years and when I hit my limit of “I fucking need a camera that captures that one split seconds,” I started to look into both flagship models offered by Canon and Nikon. Reason being is that with 5-6fps or so offered by 5D or D810, I continuously missed that perfect step shots and when I knew I missed my shot, I had to run back, and re-position to shoot again. In this process of correcting my mistake, I would easily lose my composition and come up with photos with less impacts and unwanted backgrounds. I did try to work around it by pre-calculating steps but I just got fed up by my 5D Mark III was not able to shoot what I want to shoot.

This is where I started to learn that camera is an equipment where you need to pay a lot of price for that 5~10% improvement. I spent about $6000 for both DSLR and lens, but when you try to cross the line of flagship models, just their body starts at $7000 and you go, “FML how am I suppose to come up with this cash.”

In most cases, if you are a Canon user, you would go for 1Dx II considering how many L lenses you invested in. But because I like changing things around, I switched to Nikon D4s. (One version below Nikon D5).

Lenses for Canon Users

  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM

Fucking amazing lens. This lens was my work horse and got me landed on my jobs in fashion weeks. It is super Sharp, has an ultra fast focusing speed (MUST for street fashion), and an image stabilization. Do NOT cheap out and get non-Image Stabilization version or one with F4 aperture, you will waste money and come to this lens eventually. I highly recommend this lens for the first lens until you figure out if you want to use for prime lenses.

You can learn more about this lens here.

  • Sigma 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | A


This lens is the “Fixer” of Canon EF 85mm F/1.2L II USM.  As many photographer’s know how slow the auto focus is for Canon counterpart, when Sigma released this lens, it made all that problem go away. Fast auto focus cream machine and it comes at almost half price of what Canon offers. However, it’s is heavier(weighs 100g more) and bulkier(looks like you have a hand canon on your camera). But it is quickly becoming a standard lens in fashion weeks for Canon shooters.

Lenses for Nikon Users

  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f2.8G ED VR II


Like Canon 70-200mm, this is the Nikon version of it. I personally have not used this lens but if you are looking for a work horse zoom lens in Nikon, this lens is a good start before you consider 85mm prime. You can still create creamy background with zoom lenses due to depth of fields when using telephoto lenses so the results are great.

You can learn more about this lens here.

Masters who use this lens.

Tommy Ton

  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G


This is one of the reason that I switched to Nikon. Auto focus is super fast and the king of creme bokeh. It just melts the background like you sprayed acid on it. Also, it weighs significantly less(almost half) than Canon and Sigma counterpart so you get less strains when carrying it around all day. Combined with Nikon D4s that I currently carry, it is really well balanced. Think no more, just get this lens for 85mm standard as a Nikon shooter as we all do.

You can learn more about this lens here.

Masters who use this lens.

Adam Katz Sinding –


So this is current gear setups suggested for shooting in telephoto style.

I will cover gears for wideangle lenses in later dates.





  • Canon’s official website
  • Nikon’s official website
  • Sigma’s official website
  • Ken Rockwell’s website