I have the hard silver PLM since I use it primarily for dog show formals mated with a regular silver umbrella as a fill. The nice thing about the PLM is that you can position it above and slightly behind for macro work with flowers and get some translucency if you dial down the front strobe. Must admit, I guessed at the level of the strobes and when I viewed my first image I loved the colors and the saturation. So, I left it where it was and enjoyed getting in as close as possible with the tubes. A true macro lens might give me slightly better magnification and certainly a bit more sharpness but the combination of the tubes with very sharp primes works pretty well for me.