Sigma 28-300mm Compact Hyperzoom with New Canon 60D

edited March 2013 Posted in » Canon Lens Talk
I just got a new Canon 60D. My husband had a lens he bought at a thrift store several years ago, which I had never seen. It was in the original box, looks almost unused and even has the eggsheal packing insert. It turns out to be a Canon AF mount Sigma 28-300mm Compact Hyperzoom Aspherical IF 3.5-6.3 SLD Glass for Canon AF. It fits on my old D60. On the old D60 it tries to focus, but none of the focus points (only 3) light up at all. The viewfinder is very dark, it wants long exposure (even when pointing outside) and won't fire. My old camera was not working correctly (hence I was finally able to buy the 60D) so I'm not sure if it is the lens or the camera.

Is this very dark look through the viewfinder normal for this focal length/aperture? Was this a quality lens? I'm a little afraid to mess up my new 60D by trying it on there. Can it hurt my new camera?

I also bought a Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM, but I haven't taken it out of the box. Will this lens also have such a dark viewfinder even though it is a Canon lens (I assume a more recent build)? I will post another question about this long lens (my new Canon) versus a much more expensive Tamron f/2.8 zoom.

Thanks for any help on this old lens and what I should expect with these long zooms.


  • Howdy @BarbaraM - Congrats on the new 60D! To answer your questions...

    1. I'm not sure why the lens would have "darkened" the viewfinder, I'm guessing it had something to do with your camera not working properly.

    2. The Sigma 28-300mm is considered an "all-in-one" lens, meaning it can zoom from wide to telephoto. Generally speaking "all-in-one" lenses are great for composing a wide range of subjects and scenes, however, the sharpness is usually average and they're designed to be used outdoors in bright light...not indoors or in low light.

    3. It should be compatible (autofocus and metering) with your 60D, as long as the mechanics of the lens are still in good shape. No you won't ruin anything by attaching it to the body and giving it a test run.

    4. Wow, that is a great price for that lens. Yes, it's completely compatible with your 60D.

    5. Long zooms that have apertures between f/3.5 to f/6.3 will generally perform poorly in low light, especially when shooting subjects that move. In those situations, you would want a lens that has an aperture between f/1.2 to f/2.8. Lower apertures allow more light into the camera which gives you faster shutter speeds at lower ISO's...which translates to sharper shots with less image noise.

    Hope that all makes sense and happy shooting! :)
  • edited March 2013
    Yes, thanks for the info. I've been reading your site all day! I even (accidentally) commented on an old Facebook posting before I was done editing it. I was prompted to comment by an answer you gave to someone that mentioned the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3, which I had been looking at before purchasing my camera. Below is my info:

    "I just got a new 60D. I'm a little late to the party, but I saved some money. While researching cameras, I had been very interested in the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD LD Aspherical IF Macro Zoom which is currently on Amazon for $449. When I bought the camera I was seduced by a $250 price a Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens and purchased that.

    I already have a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 IF XR LD DiII SP lens that I want to keep for indoor work that will work great for indoor video, but love the idea of the 18-270mm for convenience when I know I won't easily be able to change lenses. Also the Tamron 18-270mm has an f/3.5 instead of the f/4 on the Canon 70-300mm (I understand the 1.6x factor, but I listed the lenses as they are). I have a 580EX flash. Also have a Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Macro 0.5m. It works okay, except the loose barrel keeps extending, and I know there is some dust inside the lens."

    I am a heavy Photoshop user and do lots of fine color correction on facial tones. I love to shoot candid, available-light photos of children/parents involved in their activities. I will also shoot some limited sports outside. I shoot lots of details indoors and outside if the lighting makes it dramatic. Even given the incredible price I got on the Canon, should I return it and go for the Tamron? Its versatility is very enticing. Instead of returning it, what are the best options (where) to sell a new lens?

    I also want to thank you greatly for your work here. Are you an educator in your other life? ;) What is the best way to help you meet your goals (where can I like, share or link to)?
  • @BarbaraM - Thank you for your kind words!

    Regarding the Canon 70-300mm and the Tamron 18-270mm, they are really two different animals.

    The Canon 70-300mm has better sharpness throughout it's zoom range and faster focusing, while the Tamron 18-270mm has the convenience of capturing everything from wide landscapes to distant subjects/scenes.

    For a true beginner who isn't sure what type of photography they're interested in, I often recommend the 18-270mm because it gives you the ability to be creative with your composition.

    However, if you compare it to lenses that are designed for specific situations or subjects, it often falls short in the performance and image quality department.

    If you're primarily shooting motionless subjects and scenes (like landscapes, flowers, etc...), then the Tamron might be the better choice for creative freedom.

    If you're interested in capturing subjects that move (kids and pets playing outdoors, birds, etc...) then the Canon would be the better choice.

    As you mentioned, I would stick with your Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 for low light situations. You'll get much better performance and image quality compared to both lenses.

    As for ways you can show me kindness, any form of flattery (likes, shares, word of mouth) will do. ;)

    Happy shooting!
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