Jim, what's really painful is watching $5000 subtracted from your bank account and sent off to SIGMA Photo. Believe me, that's a hard one to pass.
The 3x T/C arguably, just gets you closer ... to get something for your trouble. If you are lazy and cannot be troubled to just walk up and blast away with your basic lens (whatever it is), that's a different matter entirely ... and YOU of all people should realize it. Why do you plague me with such errant observations?
Personally, I do not carry T/Cs in my sling bag. They are in the backpack and ready for use, if need be on a big trip or whatnot. With the glass I sport, it is rare to need better than 500mm, except when birding.
My sling caries the 17-35, 28-75 (mounted), 70-200 or alternately 80-400, and the awesome 200-500mm, on special occasions. I also have three flashes, the HVL-F56AM, HVL-F58AM and the HVL-F20AM Compact flash w/ extra recharged battery sets.
In the top flap and front pocket I have a couple of cables ... USB to camera-USB, Timer release, and camera-USB to Video. It seems like a lot, but when you stop to figure it out, it really covers a good piece of the action, day or night, and when you are ready to "pinch off" a shot to a PC or video display. It is a "grab&go" satchel, like they use in Iraq, only al Queda usually has other stuff in theirs.
The leaves the PRIMES in the backpack, along with the 1.4x, 2x, & 3x T/Cs and 0.45x T/C widener lens, MACRO ring flash and lamp, the remainder of cables and the tripod. I just need to remember the Sherpa when I head out with all of it.
Don, you spend the most money on a regular basis of anyone on these boards, yet you do not reap the benefits of your purchases because you continually do stuff like this.
Seriously, what's the point of spending money on photography gear if you:
1. Don't know how to use it, and;
2. Cripple it so severely?
You might as well top up your investments, or go on vacation, or pay down your tuition costs or something you'll actually get use out of.
CDI ... you bored or something?
I suppose you take a pocket P&S with you on yours, right?
So why do so many people on this forum rag on those who experiment with their equipment? One of the true fun things about photography is experimenting. Look at something in a new way. Try something different to see how it works. So what if falls flat. Sometimes it takes multiple failures before you have success.
Okay, so yeah Don's shot of the basket ball court was very soft in detail. But hey, he tried it. We would never know how soft or sharp such a combo would be unless someone tried it. Who knows with a bit of tweaking and different combos, he might well be able to produce a comparatively good quality image, for oh say about 1/3 the price of a $5K+ piece of glass. And guess what, at the end of the day there's a much wider range of uses in that combo than the single $5K+ lens.
Or, think of it another way. Some of the pros say you're lucky if you get one great image out of every 10 taken. This was a 1 in 10 experiment. Don's still got 9 more tries.
Darin ... that was right out of the camera without any post-processing. It does sharpen up a bit ... but you are correct ... it was a demo shot. Even I had to know what I could EXPECT from the combo.
Thanks for the support, buddy. It can be a struggle to use ALL this glass, sometimes. The pile can be daunting .... LOL
No, it's a image of a polar bear ... as requested. ;)
It was taken with the TAMRON SP AF 180mm f/3.5 Di LD MACRO, hence the tight DOF.