7 Best Lenses For The Nikon Z30 (…and 3 to avoid)

The Nikon Z30 is a compact mirrorless camera that is designed for someone who shoots stills and video and wants a compact kit. If that sounds like you then you’ve got the right camera and these lens choices are going to be perfect.

If you want the short version, my top pick is the Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8 this lens works perfectly with the Z30. It’s compact, has a versatile focal range, and the f/2.8 maximum aperture is great for shooting video.

But if you want more info and other options, keep reading…

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Top Pick

1. Nikon Z 28-75mm f/2.8

This lens is an affordable version of the pro-level 24-70mm f/2.8 and gives you nearly the same image quality in a much smaller and lighter body at less than half the cost which makes it the perfect Z30 companion.

The 28-75mm f/2.8 lens in the Z mount lineup is quite impressive. It packs a wide max aperture into a compact body and still delivers exceptional image quality.

While it does lag behind the much more expensive and larger 24-70mm f/2.8 Z lens in terms of pure sharpness and image quality, it’s the size and cost that vaults this lens to the top pick on this list.

Also, the biggest benefit of the bigger and more expensive version is the sharpness around the edges of the frame even at wide apertures. But if you’re using this lens on a crop sensor camera like the Z30, then you probably won’t notice any difference.

There are a lot of similarities to the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 for Sony cameras. So much so that it seems likely that Nikon collaborated with Tamron to adapt the lens to its Z-mount lineup while maintaining the Nikon branding. However, it happened, it’s a great option for Z30 shooters.

If you add the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8 lens below then you have the perfect combo of lenses for the Z30 that covers a huge focal range with an f/2.8 max aperture. This makes for a perfect small and lightweight kit for vlogging and stills shooting.

Compact Option

2. Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8

This compact 28mm lens has a nice wide f/2.8 max aperture and its size pairs nicely with the compact Z30 for a great lightweight combo.

This might be my personal favorite lens to carry around with me on a regular basis.

It’s small and lightweight enough that pairing it with the Z30 makes for a very small kit that is perfect for everyday shooting.

On the crop-sensor (DX) camera the focal length equivalent is 42mm which puts it close to having a nifty-fifty on a full-frame camera. This is a great focal length to carry around while traveling, shooting street photography, or just going out with friends.

I especially like this lens for vloggers. It’s the lens I use to shoot a lot of the video content for Photography Goals. The image quality is great and the focal length is perfect if you don’t want to be too far away from the camera while you’re talking.

Best Prime

3. Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S

With an equivalent focal length of 52.5mm on the crop sensor camera, this is the lens that every Z30 owner should buy once they realize the kit lens isn’t getting it done.

The 35mm f/1.8 is the lens I recommend for almost anyone with a crop sensor camera as the next one to get after they get frustrated with their kit lens. It’s inexpensive and compact. Plus, the f/1.8 aperture opens up an entire world of possibilities compared to most kit lenses.

The big factors for choosing this as a great next step are the aperture and cost. Of course, the Z-mount version is more expensive than most 35mm f/1.8 lenses but still on the lower cost end.

The f/1.8 aperture is often a massive difference for anyone that’s never used a lens with a wide maximum aperture like that before. It will allow you to experiment with shallow depth of field as well as shoot in low light.

If you plan to use your Z30 for everyday photography like photographing your kids or get-togethers with friends and family, you’ll be thankful to have the option to use f/1.8, especially in indoor situations. You’ll find that indoor lighting is often far darker than you perceive it with your eyes.

So if you want a little more low light capability than the two options above, then I highly recommend checking out this 35mm lens.

Versatile All-Around

4. Nikon Z 24-70mm f/4

The second version of the Z6 has improved focusing, an exceptional sensor, and dual card slots while the Z mount means you’ll have some of the best lenses on the market available to you. It also has a price tag that won’t break the bank.

I put this lens on the list because it’s a versatile all-around lens, similar to the 28-75mm above. It has a smaller max aperture at f/4 but better sharpness across the frame and optical performance in general. It’s also around the same price as that lens but comes in slightly lighter in weight, but not by much.

This is a good option if you don’t see yourself needing the f/2.8 aperture very much and want improved image quality. For instance, if you plan on using this zoom lens for landscape photography, then the image quality is far more important than the wide max aperture and you’ll enjoy having the extra 4mm at the wide end.

I would also recommend this lens over the 28-75mm if you plan on using it on a full-frame camera in addition to the Z30. This lens has better sharpness and less chromatic aberration around the edges which will show up more on full-frame than the crop-sensor Z30.

Best For Landscapes

5. Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8

This lens is a great companion to the 28-75mm above and shares the same great quality in a small and compact package.

This lens is the wide-angle companion to the top pick above. It’s lighter, more compact, and less expensive than the other wide-angle Z mount options. These things all make it a solid option for your Z30.

The reasons it works well with the Z30 are the same as the top pick, just with a wider angle of view that is perfect for the landscape shooter.

You’ll save on the cost of the lens, but there are compromises with cost as you would expect. However, these compromises are minimized when used on a crop-sensor camera like the Z30.

While this lens is quite sharp overall, the place where it falls short of the other wide-angle Z-mount options is around the edges.

But here’s the good news…

Because this is a full-frame lens, your Z30 is only going to be using the center part of the lens…where it’s at its sharpest. So you’ll get the benefit of a very sharp lens, lower cost, and compact design…and you can still use it on full-frame Z bodies if you upgrade in the future.

If you’re looking to build out the perfect Z30 kit…I highly recommend combining this lens with the 28-75mm f/2.8 lens above to cover a large focal range without adding much weight to your bag. This combo may be one of the best travel kits you can put together.

Telephoto Pick

6. Nikon Z 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR

This lens gives you a lot of reach in a very compact package that pairs well with the Z30, especially if you don’t find yourself shooting in low light too often.

This is the only dedicated crop-sensor (DX) lens on this list for a couple of reasons. First, Nikon doesn’t have many DX options in their Z lineup. Second, many of their full-frame lenses (like the ones above) are light, compact, less expensive, and pair perfectly with the Z30.

I think you get a lot more value for your money when you go with one of these options rather than a dedicated crop-sensor lens that is often of lesser quality (if the F-mount options are any indication).

So why this lens?

The 250mm long end of the focal length in this lens can be very useful for a variety of different situations that suit the Z30.

If you are taking advantage of the excellent autofocus system on the Z30 to shoot your kid’s sports, then having a 250mm reach is going to get you up close and personal with the action. The shots you get will blow away the cell phone photos of the other parents and even shots from those all-in-one superzooms.

This lens will also work great for casual nature photography. The f/6.3 aperture at 250mm won’t be great in low light but for daytime hikes, the focal range can be great for capturing wildlife that you might run into.

Best For Portraits

7. Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 S

The Z version of the popular 50mm f/1.8 is a lens that should be in the bag of every photographer that likes to photograph people.

The Nikon Z 50mm f/1.8 has all of the same benefits as the 35mm version, but if you are shooting a lot of portrait photography, then the 50mm will be a 75mm equivalent on the Z30 which is a perfect focal length for portraits.

By using a longer focal length, you’ll be able to stand farther away from your subject while still filling the frame. This adds something called compression in photography, which helps to give a more flattering look to people.

Of course, the longer focal length also can be somewhat limiting for everyday use. So keep that in mind. This lens is great as a second or third option for the Z30 while the ones at the top of this list are more versatile and good for everyday use.

Also, don’t forget that you can use many of the F-mount lenses on this camera with the adapter, so check out my breakdown of the best Nikon lenses for more options.

Lenses To Avoid

The truth is that there really aren’t any bad Z-mount lenses. Nikon hasn’t opened up the specs to third-party manufacturers to create their own lenses and they’ve done a great job at making high-quality lenses even at the lower price ranges.

But there is one I really can’t recommend…

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

As kit lenses go, this one is one of the better ones, but if you didn’t get one with your Z30, then I think you can spend your money on better options. This lens comes in at $309.95 MSRP if you purchase it separately.

I think you’ll get far more value for your money with the Nikon Z 28mm f/2.8 that’s the same price or by spending $500 more for the Nikon Z 28-75 f/2.8 lens.

Nikon Z 24-70 f/2.8 S

This lens, and the next one, aren’t on my “avoid” list because they are bad lenses. In fact, they’re too good.

This lens is just a complete overkill for a camera like the Z30. You won’t see much benefit from the slightly improved sharpness compared to the top pick and the size, weight, and cost of this lens just don’t make it a good Z30 companion.

Save some money and go with the lenses above for your Z30 and save this lens for when you upgrade to a high-resolution, full-frame Nikon mirrorless camera.

Nikon Z 14-24 f/2.8 S

This lens is probably too much lens for all but the top-end, high-resolution Z cameras. It’s expensive, large, heavy, and requires specialty filters. That last thing actually makes it more difficult to use for shooting on-the-go vlogging videos like the Z30 is designed for.

Go with the smaller and less expensive options on this list instead, like the Nikon Z 17-28mm f/2.8.

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