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The 10 Best Lenses for the Nikon Z30 Camera

Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Rajib Mukherjee
24 October, 2022 • Updated 13 days ago
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Best Lenses for the Nikon Z30
The Nikon Z30 is an entry-level APS-C mirrorless camera and the latest entry into the Nikon stable.

This 20.9-MP DX-format CMOS sensor-powered camera is designed for content creators. Vloggers, bloggers, and live streamers will find this mirrorless camera an essential part of their content creation kit. This small powerhouse of a camera can shoot at 4K and capture 30p (full width and no cropping) and full HD at 120p.

However, there is no in-body image stabilization – only digital video image stabilization. There are some hits and misses with the Z30, but this discussion is about the best lenses to ensure you get the most out of this camera. So, let’s get started.

Related Post: Best Lens for Nikon Z9

QUICK OVERVIEW

Products Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.9
120
120
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S MacroNikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro
  • Stepping motor autofocusing technology
  • Full-time manual focusing override
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1100
  • Stepping motor autofocusing technology
  • Full-time manual focusing override
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $1100
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4.8
+150
+150
Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR SNikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
  • Fast f/2.8 aperture across the focal length
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2800
  • Fast f/2.8 aperture across the focal length
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $2800
Check price
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MOST REVIEWED
4.6
+200
+200
Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VRNikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Programmable control ring
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Programmable control ring
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.3
+70
+70
TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon Z
TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon ZTTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon Z
  • Designed exclusively for Z-mount APS-C camera systems
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.4
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
  • Designed exclusively for Z-mount APS-C camera systems
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.4
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100
Check price
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Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

Features

  • Designed for DX-format Z mount camera systems
  • Stepping motor powered AF system
  • Zoom range of 18-140mm
  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Effective 7.5x optical zoom

The NIKKOR Z DX 18-140mm f/3.5-6.3 VR feels compact and solid in the hands. This is a zoom lens with a focal length of 18-140 that translates into a 35mm equivalent of 27-210mm. The lens has been designed for crop sensor Z-mount camera systems like the Z50 and the Z30. The lens will also work with the full-frame Z mount camera systems, but only in DX crop mode.

This lens’s ideal use case is for shooting travel and everyday photography. The 7.5x zoom range gives you enough reach to stay back and shoot from a distance, which you often do when traveling. Even in simple shooting scenarios, this lens is better than something like 16-50mm or any smaller primes.

The maximum aperture of f/3.5 drops to f/6.3, which isn’t exciting news for someone shooting in low-light conditions, where the lens will definitely struggle.

The lens comes with vibration reduction technology which helps it to steady a shot, especially when shooting at slow shutter speeds in low light situations. This is a necessary feature when pairing the lens with the Z50 which has no image stabilization built in.

The construction of the lens includes 17 elements arranged in 13 groups. The lens is made of plastic. Even the lens barrel is made of plastic. Also, there is no weather sealing on this lens. However, as noted above, the lens does not feel cheaply built.

On the barrel, the lens has two rings. The first one is a programmable ring that comes by default set as a manual focusing ring. However, you can set it to work as an exposure compensation dial, an aperture-, or an ISO control ring. The second ring is the zoom ring which is also very easy to operate and well-damped.

The lens comes with no focus breathing issues. If you turn the focusing ring, whether zoomed in or zoomed out, there is nothing that I could see to be bothered about.

Performance-wise the lens is very sharp in the middle when wide open at f/3.5 and 18mm. Corners appear slightly softer. Stopping down the lens improves corner sharpness and the performance at the middle of the frame.

If you want to pick the lens for videography. Check out this guide: Best Nikon Lenses for Video

Pros
  • No focus breathing
  • Long zoom range of 18-140mm
Cons
  • Maximum aperture drops down to f/6.3
  • Plastic lens construction

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

Features

  • Stepping motor powers autofocusing
  • Vibration reduction
  • Programmable control ring
  • Aperture of f/4.5
  • Rounded seven-blade aperture diaphragm

This lens perfectly pairs with the Nikon Z30 and complements the other kit lens, the 16-50mm. The effective focal length of the lens is 75mm to 375mm and therefore offers a huge telephoto range. The excellent optical zoom range means this lens is suitable for a little bit of birding, wildlife, and other types of photography where a longer focal length is required. However, one big issue with this lens is that the maximum aperture drops to f/6.3 when fully zoomed in.

The construction of the lens includes 16 elements arranged in 12 groups. It has one extra-low dispersion element for suppressing color fringing and chromatic aberrations. The lens features a super-integrated coating to ensure that it can withstand the effects of ghosting and flares, improving color rendition and contrast.

The lens features a collapsible design, but the barrel extends quite a bit when the zoom ring is twisted.

One of the significant disadvantages of this lens is that it has no weather sealing. Therefore, this is not the kind of lens you would love to take outdoors, especially in inclement weather. Additionally, most of the materials used in manufacturing these lenses are plastic, and even the lens mount is made of plastic. This is likely not a lens that can sustain a few knocks and bumps along the way.

Autofocusing on the lens is powered by a stepping motor. This technology is quieter and smoother than traditional SWM autofocusing systems and is very useful for shooting videos. The lens features vibration reduction. Vibration reduction is rated at five stops, giving an incredible advantage when hand-holding the camera and lens.

There is a programmable control ring on the lens barrel. This ring is set to function as a manual focusing ring by default. However, according to your requirements, you can reprogram this ring to work as aperture control, ISO control, exposure compensation control, or any shooting functions.

The aperture diaphragm is made up of seven diaphragm blades. Although not the best in bokeh production, this lens provides reasonable bokeh.

Pros
  • Collapsible design
  • Built-in vibration reduction technology of 5 stops
  • Programmable control ring
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Maximum aperture drops down to f/6.3 when fully zoomed in
  • The front element extends quite a bit when zooming
  • Plastic lens mount
  • No weather sealing

Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S Macro

Features

  • f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • 4.5-stops of image shake correction
  • Stepping motor autofocusing technology
  • 1:1 magnification ratio
  • Full-time manual focusing override

A macro lens is an absolute joy to work with simply because there is no shortage of subjects. You’re limited by your imagination when working with a macro lens. Plus, a macro lens doubles up as a 105mm prime, perfect for shooting portraits. But why limit yourself to just that? A macro lens is suitable for shooting weddings, products, and a multitude of other genres. 

It must be kept in mind that on a Z30, the effective focal length will become the equivalent of 157.5mm on a 35mm format.

The f/2.8 aperture can capture a lot of light in most shooting situations.

The Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S offers a 1:1 magnification ratio. That means a subject gets reproduced life-sized onto the sensor.

The construction of the lens includes 16 elements arranged in 11 groups. This includes three extra-low dispersion elements and aspherical lens elements. The front element of the lens also comes with a fluorine coating. This ensures that the lens is easy to clean when smudges or smears and moisture form on the front element of the lens.

The lens mount is made of metal. Additionally, at the rear of the lens, there is a weather-sealing gasket that promises the lens is capable of withstanding the vagaries of nature.

A customizable ring on the lens is configured as a manual focusing ring. However, that can be reprogrammed for any shooting setting, including aperture or ISO control.

The lens features 4.5 stops of image shake correction. Hand-held shooting is a lot easier thanks to this feature.

A dual-motor multi-focus STM system powers autofocusing. The stepping motor is a slower but very accurate autofocusing mechanism and one that’s ideally suitable for video shooting. The lens also has a full-time manual focusing override. Additionally, multi-focusing systems are better when suppressing chromatic aberrations and color fringing.

The lens suffers from focus breathing as the lens focuses. The optical zoom changes and travels in and out as the lens’s focus is changed. But considering that this is a macro lens, this is quite normal.

Pros
  • Great focal length for shooting portraits
  • 4.5 stops of image shake correction (VR)
  • True macro lens with life-sized reproduction
Cons
  • Massive focus breathing

Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S

Features

  • Fast f/2.8 aperture across the focal length
  • Image stabilized
  • Weather-sealed construction
  • Programmable control ring

The 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S is a fantastic piece of equipment that produces excellent images in most lighting situations. The focal length covers several standard focal lengths for portraits and other genres. It covers the 85mm, 105mm, and 135mm focal lengths and is thus an excellent lens for shooting portrait photography. But why limit yourself to portrait photography alone? This lens is a perfect tool for shooting wildlife and birding as well. The lens is compatible with the Nikon Z teleconverters TC 2x and the TC 1.4x. So, you can easily convert your 200mm to 400mm, albeit with two stops of light loss.

Even without the teleconverters, when mounted on a crop body like the Z30, the lens will provide an extended focal length. The crop factor of 1.5x makes this a 105-300mm lens – good enough for a wide variety of shooting situations.

This highly complex design constitutes 21 elements arranged in 18 groups. This includes six extra-low dispersion elements, one fluorite element, and one short-wave refractive index element. Together these elements are responsible for suppressing the chromatic aberrations. Additionally, these elements include two aspherical elements as well.

On top of that, the lens features ARNEO and nano crystal coatings that take care of ghosting and flaring, which tend to be issues for wide aperture lenses, especially when working in difficult lighting conditions.

Vibration reduction is Nikon’s version of image stabilization for hand-held shots. This technology comes in handy when shooting in low-light situations, especially with long lenses, which are prone to image shake when held hand-held.

Nikon has used its multi-focus system for AF in this lens. The system uses two separate AF drive units that are synced to deliver a fast, accurate autofocusing performance. Additionally, the system uses a stepping motor technology that’s smoother, quieter, and dead-on accurate. The system is ideally suitable for shooting videos because autofocusing is smooth

And if you feel the need to tweak the focus manually, the lens comes with a full-time manual focusing override. The internal design of the focusing system ensures that only the internal lens groups move during focus. This means the overall barrel length remains the same throughout.

Optically, the lens is very sharp throughout the focal length and wide open. This is one of the sharpest Nikon lenses that you will come across.

Pros
  • Constant aperture across the focal length
  • Image stabilized
  • Excellent build quality
  • Superb optical performance
Cons
  • Very expensive

Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2

Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2

Features

  • Aperture of f/2
  • Compact design
  • Lightweight design

This compact lens is designed for the Nikkor Z mount system and optimized for full-frame cameras. However, you can mount this lens onto a DX-format Z-mount camera with an influential crop factor of 1.5x. That will make the effective focal length 60mm.

The 40mm prime is a compact design comprising 6 elements arranged in 4 groups. It includes two aspherical elements that are purposed for suppressing spherical aberrations and distortions and, at the same time, improving the overall sharpness of the images.

The lens elements have been treated with a super-integrated coating that suppresses flare and ghosting and improves the lens’s color contrast and color fidelity.

This is essentially a plastic made lens and one that’s exceptionally lightweight. Even the lens mount at the back of the lens is made of plastic. There is no image stabilization on the lens. However, the lens does not need image stabilization for all practical purposes. As long as you shoot with a shutter speed of above 1/40 sec, you will not need VR.

Coming down to autofocusing, the lens features a stepping motor technology autofocusing mechanism. As stated above, stepping motor technology is much smoother than the traditional SWM motor. This is also very useful for shooting videos.

The lens has a programmable control ring, which is set as the manual focusing ring. However, you can reprogram it to control the other shooting settings, such as aperture, ISO, exposure compensation, etc.

The lens’s aperture diaphragm comprises nine rounded blades—the more blades, the higher the chances of a round bokeh design. The 40mm prime does not disappoint in that sense.

This lens is ideal for shooting weddings, group shots, everyday photography, street photography, and anything and everything in between. The biggest USP of the lens is the fast wide aperture of f/2. With this fast wide aperture, the lens can collect a lot of light in any situation. Although not as fast as some of the f/1.4 lenses discussed here, this is still one of the fastest lenses in the business.

The focus ring is very responsive, and when it’s turned, the focusing motor responds. There is a tiny bit of focus breathing that I have noticed in the lens. The lens does zoom in and out when the focusing ring is turned.

Pros
  • Lightweight lens design
  • Fast wide aperture of f/2
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Plastic lens mount
  • No image stabilization
  • No weather sealing

Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 Z Lens for Nikon Z

Viltrox AF 23mm f/1.4 Z Lens for Nikon Z

Features

  • Aperture of f/1.4
  • Designed for crop sensor cameras

This is a prime lens with a focal length of 23mm. The lens’s image circle is optimized for the smaller APS-C cameras of Nikon using the Z mount. The highlight of the lens is the fast wide aperture of f/1.4. This is a stop faster than the f/2 lens that I discussed above and that means this lens can work with half the amount of light that the Nikon NIKKOR Z 40mm f/2 lens can. That’s an incredible advantage.

The lens is suitable for many photography genres, including street photography, weddings, group shots, architecture, landscape, and anything and everything in between. This is a great everyday lens that you can leave on your camera and never have a reason to take it off. Although not the best focal length for shooting portrait photography, you can capture environmental portraits with this lens. Make sure that the subject is placed at the center of the frame and that there is sufficient space around the subject to work with.

Because this lens is optimized for the small image circle of APS-C lenses, a crop factor is involved. The effective focal length becomes the same as a 35mm lens in a 35mm format.

There are 11 elements arranged in 10 groups. These include two extra-low dispersion elements and two high refractive index elements. The lens has been treated with an HD nano multi-layer coating that has been used to ensure that the images aren’t affected by flares and ghosting.

The lens feels a bit bigger in the hands than it looks in the images. However, the essentially plastic-made design does not infuse a lot of confidence. There are areas where cost control has been done, and that’s quite evident. For example, the lens mounts are also plastic – quite a rare feature. Also, there is no weather sealing on the lens. This lens will not survive a torrential downpour or exposure to a dusty environment.

Autofocusing on the lens is powered by stepping motor technology. As explained in this discussion, stepping motor autofocusing technology is smoother and quieter than older SWM technology. Additionally, during autofocusing, only the internal focusing elements move, which ensures that the lens does not change its barrel length.

Pros
  • The wide aperture of f/1.4 is superb to use
  • Easy to handle
  • Very lightweight lens
Cons
  • No weather sealing
  • The lens mount is plastic
  • No image stabilization

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

Nikon NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR

Features

  • Features image stabilization
  • Very lightweight
  • Offers a decent focal length of 16-50mm
  • Extra-low dispersion elements
  • Aspherical elements

This lens has a petite design that offers a zoom range of 16-50mm. Since the lens is designed for DX-format Z mount camera systems, a crop factor is also involved, making the lens a 35mm format equivalent of 24-75mm.

The maximum aperture drops down from f/3.5 to f/6.3.

Let’s take a look at the construction of the lens. First up is the number of elements in the lens. There are a total of 9 elements arranged in 7 groups, making this one of the most straightforward designs in the business. These elements include an extra-low dispersion that suppresses color fringing and chromatic aberrations. Also included are four aspherical elements. These contribute to suppressing spherical aberrations and distortions.

On top of that, the lens features a super-integrated coating. This coating ensures that the lens can withstand the effects of ghosting and flares, especially when working in difficult lighting conditions.

There is a control ring provided on the lens barrel. Normally this lens ring controls the focusing aspect of the lens. However, this can be reprogrammed to control any other shooting parameter.

The lens is made out of predominantly plastic. Even the lens mount is made of plastic, proving that corners have been cut when designing this lens. There is no weather sealing on this lens, meaning there is no way that you can expose this lens to bad weather or dusty and dirty conditions.

This isn’t a lens that will give you satisfactory results in low-light conditions. The lens’s maximum aperture drops down significantly, which means in low light conditions, this lens will struggle a bit. Considering this limitation, if you work around it, you can still get good images, especially when working in good light.

The lens features a stepping motor-powered autofocusing mechanism. In test conditions, I have noticed that the lens focuses reasonably fast. However, true to the design mechanism of stepping motor autofocusing systems, this lens is a little slower than the standard SWM autofocusing mechanism.

The lens features vibration reduction rated at 4.5 stops and offers a steady shooting experience when hand-holding the camera and lens. Vibration reduction is extremely useful when shooting in low light conditions where the lens would have otherwise struggled because of the small aperture.

Pros
  • Very lightweight design
  • Image stabilization is built-in
  • Collapsible design for ease of travel
Cons
  • The maximum aperture does not stay firm across the focal range
  • Mostly plastic
  • No weather sealing

Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 XF Lens for Nikon Z

Viltrox AF 13mm f/1.4 XF Lens for Nikon Z

Features

  • Weather sealed design
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.4
  • Excellent build quality

This is a Z-mount APSC format lens designed for the smaller image circle of DX format Nikon cameras. This 13mm lens offers an effective focal length of 20mm when mounted on an APS-C camera. The lens is suitable for a wide variety of shooting genres, including but not limited to street photography,

The main USP of the lens is the fast f/1.4 aperture that lets in a lot of light when working in any condition. Especially in conditions where there would typically not be enough light to work with, this lens is convenient. It captures up to one-stop additional light when compared to an f/2 lens. That in itself is an incredible advantage for any photographer.

The lens has 14 elements arranged in 11 groups. These include 4 ED elements that suppress color fringing and chromatic aberrations. The lens appears very tough from the outside. It seems to be made out of metal for the most part, including a metal lens mount.

However, there is no image stabilization on the lens. Considering that the Z30 does not come with an image stabilization system for the still mode (there is a digital image stabilization system for video mode), this can be a problem. You must shoot at a minimum shutter speed of 1/20 sec to ensure no image shake creeps into the photos.

The aperture ring moves very smoothly and does not have clicks on it. That means it’s great for cinematographers to change the DoF in a shoot, but it’s not the best for still shooters. Still shooters tend to prefer the clicked version to know when the aperture changes.

The metallic manual focusing ring is large and turns very smoothly. The best thing that I noticed is that focused breathing is negligible, and this is something that video makers will like. The autofocusing motor is an STM-powered technology. It’s very silent and very accurate. The test shows that autofocusing is very smooth and instantaneous.

Pros
  • A very inexpensive lens considering the fast wide aperture
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.4
  • A well-built with a solid feel in the hands
  • Weather-sealed design
Cons
  • No image stabilization
  • Aperture ring is de-clicked

Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 Z Lens for Nikon Z

Viltrox AF 56mm f/1.4 Z Lens for Nikon Z

Features

  • Designed for the Z mount APS-C camera system
  • F/1.4 aperture
  • Effective focal length of 85mm
  • Stepping motor powered autofocusing mechanism
  • One ED element
  • One HR element
  • Nine-blade aperture diaphragm

This lens offers a focal length of 56mm which, converted to the 35mm format because of the crop factor, becomes 85mm. Thus, this is a fantastic lens for shooting portraits if you’re on an APS-C camera. The medium telephoto focal length is perfect for several shooting genres, including where a tighter composition is required.

The bright f/1.4 aperture further assists the performance of the lens. Thanks to the bright aperture, you can capture much light even when working in less-than-perfect lighting conditions.

The construction of the lens is very good. The lens is made out of metal components for the most part. Although there is no weather sealing, the lens is built well. The lens mount is made out of metal and feels solid. There is also a USB port to ensure that the lens firmware can be updated from time to time.

There are a total of 10 elements arranged in 9 groups. These include one high refractive index element that helps suppress spherical aberrations and improve the sharpness of the images. One extra-low dispersion element also takes care of color fringing and chromatic aberrations.

Coming down to the lens’s autofocusing capabilities, the lens’s autofocusing technology is powered by a stepping motor mechanism. This system is very precise, and it’s very smooth as well. You also get a full-time manual focusing override that allows you to tweak the focus at any time by turning the focus ring. It is to be noted that this system uses an internal focusing design. Internal focusing ensures that the barrel length does not change as the lens focuses in and out.

The lens’s aperture control ring is de-clicked. De-clicked aperture rings turn smoothly compared to rings that click. There are advantages and disadvantages to that. First, if you’re a cinematographer using this lens to shoot videos, you would love that the aperture ring does not click, which means there is a smooth transition between aperture points. However, if you are a still photographer, you will dread the smooth transition because there is no audible guide that tells you when the aperture changes.

The focusing ring is very smooth and offers good feedback when you turn the focusing ring.

Pros
  • The effective focal length is perfect for shooting portraits
  • The fast aperture of f/1.4
  • USB port for upgrades of the firmware
Cons
  • No weather sealing
  • De-clicked aperture ring

TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon Z

TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 Lens for Nikon Z

Features

  • Designed exclusively for Z-mount APS-C camera systems
  • Features Sonnar optical concept
  • Maximum aperture of f/1.4

The conical TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 lens has a very simple design and one that contains 7 elements arranged in 6 groups. This is a manual focusing lens and one that comes with no image stabilization.

The lens features a Sonnar optical concept that improves optical sharpness and promises low distortion.

The lens feels entirely constructed out of metal and feels pretty solid in the hands.

This manual focusing lens can focus on subjects that are just 11 inches away and it turns easily. Speaking of manual focusing, we noticed that the lens has some amount of focus breathing. Turning the lens’s manual focusing ring results in the image zooming in and out.

The aperture ring at the front of the lens is very thin, and it has a clicked design. Photographers will love it, but cinematographers will not.

Let’s look at the performance of this tiny lens. Wide open at the center of the frame, the lens is soft and the corners are even softer. The contrast is also not impeccable. These issues are especially notable at f/1.4.

If you stop down the lens, corner brightness becomes a bit better, but the sharpness does not improve significantly and is still not satisfactory. At the center of the frame, however, brightness and sharpness both improve. Corner sharpness only improves when you stop the lens to f/4. At that f-stop, both brightness and corner sharpness feel great. The center of the frame is again better than the corner throughout the test range.

Overall this is an inexpensive lens you can buy as a standby for casual projects.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • The aperture ring clicks at every f-stop
  • Wide, fast maximum aperture
Cons
  • Manual focusing lens
  • No image stabilization
  • Focus breathing
Rajib Mukherjee Avatar
Written by
Rajib Mukherjee
Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. The first time he ever clicked an image was with an Agfa Click IV back in 1984. A medium format film camera. From that auspicious introduction to photography, he has remained hooked to this art form. He loves to test and review new photography gear. Rajib travels quite a lot, loves driving on Indian roads, playing fetch with his Labrador retriever, and loves photography. And yes, he still proudly owns that Agfa Click IV!