The Extreme Silver PLM™
concentrates and bounces the light from the flash unit, resulting in extraordinary efficiency (16 times as much output as softboxes). It produces a tightly focused, narrow shaft of light with sharp, grid-like falloff for long distance lighting and high drama fashion effects, still with great shadow wrapping for closer work. The bright, highly reflective silver fabric creates a look that is legendary among fashion photographers: extreme specularity, sparkle and pop combined with the shadow softness of a huge gridded softbox and the perfect catchlights formed by the 16-rib near-circular design.
The Extreme Silver PLM™
has a bright silver interior and black exterior to eliminate light spill and lens flare. It is available in 51-inch, 64-inch and 86-inch sizes in either the on-axis speedring mounted version or the 8mm umbrella shaft mounted version:
- On-Axis Speedring Mount: The speedring allows perfect alignment of the PLM™ and the light axis for Paul C. Buff™ or Elinchrom flash units with no shaft protrusion on the back side of the light. This model includes both the speedring with built-in spill kill and the adaptable 7mm umbrella shaft for conventional, off-center mounting.
- 8mm Umbrella Style Mount: This model opens quickly and easily, mounting like a conventional umbrella for easy setup. The shaft is double reinforced for strength and fits any flash unit with a standard 8mm umbrella mount. The shaft is shorter than conventional umbrellas for minimal protrusion on the back side of the unit. The off-center umbrella mount results in slightly off-axis light and PLM™ alignment, but this is not difficult to compensate for. The 7UR Umbrella Reflector can be used on Paul C. Buff™ lights to eliminate side spill.
As the PLM™ system is such an important and wildly popular light modifying system, it has often been imitated. But as the original creators of the PLM™ system, we have learned the important nuances of color balance that the copycats haven’t. Our fabrics are custom made for Paul C. Buff™ and are not available to competitors. As a result, all configurations of PLM™ introduce less than +/- 150K color temperature shift and under +/-2 units of Green/Magenta tint. Certain knockoff copies introduce up to a 600K color temperature shift and up to 16 units of Green/Magenta tint (see examples here
Arc Shape and Face Evenness:
The shape of the PLM™ arc has a profound effect on the quality and precision of the projected pattern. Dramatic improvements in arc shape were made from our original PLM™(V1) to the second generation (V2). Virtually all knockoffs copied the original V1 shape and produce inferior patterns. (We have now dropped the V1/V2 designation and refer to all current models simply as PLM™.)
Not only must the design produce an even projection of light, it is of utmost importance that, when viewed from the subject position, the light radiate equally from the center to the perimeter of the fabric. If it does not radiate equally, the shadows and catchlights do not take full advantage of the large light source size and they can become distorted and uneven. With the Extreme Silver PLM™, it is physically necessary for the light to appear from the subject view as 16 radial spokes. This creates the high specularity and punch, and also results in some multiplicity in the shadows. Since the spokes are even from the PLM™ center to perimeter, the quality of the catchlights and shadows are optimized (see examples here
Focusing/Positioning with the 8mm Models:
When mounting the 8mm umbrella shaft model PLM™ on your flash unit, position the umbrella so that the front open edge of the umbrella is parallel with the flashtube on the faceplate of the unit. For aiming, tilt the PLM™ very slightly upwards from the horizontal position in order to compensate for the flashtube being a bit below center (the back panel of the flash unit will be angled slightly downward). The best way to get the positioning correct is to look into the umbrella from the position of the subject and look for the entire umbrella surface to be lit evenly. Critical focusing is not needed.
The PLM™ is additionally available in Soft Silver and White models.
See the Compatibility Tab to learn more about using the PLM™ umbrellas with the various PLM™ accessories.
86-inch Extreme Silver PLM™ on an Einstein™ E640 Flash Unit
|Output at 14 feet:
||f32 (ISO 100)
||5750K (+150K Color Shift) Tint 00
86-inch Extreme Silver PLM™ with the WFDF White Front Diffusion Fabrics on an Einstein™ E640 Flash Unit
PLM™ Physical Dimensions:
|Output at 14 feet:
||f8 + 8/10 (ISO 100)
||5450K (-150K Color Shift) Tint 1G
51 inches (across the arc, tip to tip)
43.75 inch diameter (across the open face)
27 inches collapsed
64 inches (across the arc, tip to tip)
54 inch diameter (across the open face)
33.5 inches collapsed
86 inches (across the arc, tip to tip)
73 inch diameter (across the open face)
44 inches collapsed
Speedring Cage Assembly for On-Axis Flash Unit Mounting:
The speedring mount models arrive with a speedring cage assembly that allows on-axis faceplate mounting for either Paul C. Buff™ flash units (extreme silver models PLM51U-S, PLM64U-S and PLM86U-S) or Elinchrom flash units (extreme silver models E-PLM51U-S, E-PLM64U-S and E-PLM86U-S). This on-axis mounting is only available for Paul C. Buff™ and Elinchrom flash units. To use the PLM™ system with flash units made by other manufacturers, you will need to use the traditional umbrella-style mounting option provided with this model or purchase the 8mm model instead.
Traditional Umbrella-Style Mounting:
The 8mm umbrella shaft models (PLM51U-S-8MM and PLM86U-S-8MM) may be used with most flash units, fitting most brands except for Elinchrom branded units. The 8mm models may be used on units accepting umbrellas with mounting shafts up to 8mm in diameter. The speedring mounted models additionally arrive with a 7mm umbrella shaft for traditional umbrella mount, fitting flash units that accept umbrellas with mounting shafts up to 7mm in diameter.
86-inch PLM™s are not recommended for use with ABR800 AlienBees™ Ringflash or the retired ZRM1 Zeus™ Ringmaster due to weight and leverage.
The Extreme Silver PLM™ umbrellas may be used with the WFDF White Front Diffusion Fabrics (PLM86-WFDF, PLM64-WFDF and PLM51-WFDF). The Extreme Silver PLM™ is NOT intended for use with the Black Front Spill-Kill Fabrics or the Black Outer Cover Fabrics.
For Buff lights, the optional Umbrella Reflector 7UR
is recommended for the control of side spill light on 8mm umbrella shaft models and on the Speedring mount versions when converted to 7mm umbrella shaft style mounting. The 7UR is not recommended for Speedring Mount PLM™ versions when the speedring is used, as side spill control is already incorporated in the speedring assembly.