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Converting a Mole Junior 412 Fresnel – UPDATED July 28 2019

Update: July 28 2019

I have recently used this modifier in combination with others. All of the effort it took to convert this Hollywood spotlight into a strobe has been well worth the time and effort.

Update October 25 2018

I recently conducted a studio session using my Mole Richardson Fresnel. I continue to be impressed with the quality of light it produces along with the versatility of focusing.

The Fresnel in it’s fully flooded position.
Fully flooded as the key light camera right. Gobo behind the talent with haze in the air. Not done in post but in studio.
Using it as a prop in one of the sessions.

Update October 14 2018

I was able to use my Mole Richardson Fresnel during a client dance session. I have been excited about using the Fresnel for dance since the light it throws is just delicious. I combined the Fresnel light with some Saberstrip v2.0 lights which use the Flashpoint eVOLV200s. In this case I just used a single xPLOR600 even though I have a 1200ws head in the Fresnel. I didn’t need the power of 1200ws for this job.

This is how I had set up for the dance sessions. I toggled lights on and off from my R2Pro trigger.
A portrait I created of Savage and Alison who are the teachers of the dancers. Fresnel is key light camera right. Saberstrip is my hair light.

I realize that many people chase ‘soft light’ but I have found that the light thrown by a Fresnel is more acceptable to my client base for quite a few types of sessions. For my blog post about the Saberstrip v2.0’s which I consider a revolutionary modifier I used in conjunction with the Mole Richardson, you can click here.

UPDATE May 14 2018

I recently conducted a client publicity session using my converted Mole Richardson 412.

Works well for close in head shots. Strobe in fully focused position.
Full body shot, strobe in fully flooded position.

UPDATE 4-21-18

I was finally able to run a session with both the converted Mole Richardson and my gobo light modifier where I use Rosco size B gobos. The Mole Richardson performed brilliantly. Since I was in studio I did not use both AD600s, but rather a single one. Barn doors were used along with a light modifier I am not allowed to display or mention. I used it as a fill for these shots.

Canon 1DXII ISO 100 1/250th f4.0
Canon 1DXII ISO 100 1/250th f4.0
Canon 1DXII ISO 100 1/250th f4.0

UPDATE 3-31-18

The final tweaks have been made to my now converted Mole Richardson Junior 412 2000w tungsten spotlight into a strobe. I have installed a Flashpoint 1200ws strobe head into the unit along with a 9″ reflector as well a diffusion bulb cover. I love the look large Fresnel lenses offer for light and plan to use this not only for portraits, but for dance. The modifications I’ve made allow me to convert the Fresnel BACK INTO a tungsten light. The design of the light is genius. By simply removing four machine screws the entire guts of the light simply drop out.

Simply removing the tungsten bulb, reflector mirror and power supply is all I had to do. Then I fabricated a mount and limiting arm to mount the 1200ws strobe head. The hole in the upper right allows me to push the connector through the box.
I covered the hole by using a garbage disposal rubber cover.
The Flashpoint 1200ws head. If I don’t need 1200ws I simply hook up one xPLOR600 strobe body. The 9″ reflector fits perfectly in the housing.
You can see the dual elements in the 1200ws bulb here. I have the head in the “Spot” or focused position in this shot.
To ensure the light is as smooth as possible I’ve installed a frosted glass cover over the 1200ws bulb.
On the front and back of the Fresnel are mechanical levers which allow me to move the light from Flood to spot. Here it is n the Flood position.
As you can see the light is now in the Spot position.
Here I wanted to see how sharp the shadows are produced by a Fresnel.
Testing the Mole Fresnel as the key light with a gobo for background pattern of light and an Aputure Fresnel for fill.
Bob without any fill light.
Bob with fill light from the Aputure Fresnel mated to an eVOLV200.
All done and ready for my first shoot. Total cost: 327.52 USD for a 10″ Fresnel that accepts a modern strobe.

UPDATE 3-29-18

I wanted to try the converted unit outdoors using the barn doors and HSS. Still more refinements, but I believe this will make a valuable tool in my lighting kit. Both images shot at 1/2500th f2.8 ISO160

600ws head being used.
Barn doors configured as a vertical slit. Fully flooded zoom position on the modifier.
Barn doors open wide as to not affect the light. Mid focused Fresnel. Love the ultra sharp shadows Fresnel lenses produce.

Original Post March 27 2018

I’ve been in love with the light a Fresnel throws. As a young man I marveled at Hollywood glamour portraits produces by film and Fresnel spotlights. I purchased and have used two Aputure 4.5″ Bowens mount Fresnel modifiers with much success. But I longed for a larger version of a Fresnel. So I researched models over 8″ in diameter. The only ones I could find were the Elinchrom FS30 and the Broncolor Flooter. 3k and 4.5k respectively in price. There are some new LED Fresnel lights that are great, but I wanted a strobe. So….

I purchased a used Mole-Richardson Junior 2K Fresnel Tungsten Light, 10″ Lens – 412 off of Craigslist and am converting it to accept a strobe. It’s going well and when the project is finished I’ll be posting how I did my conversion as well as some test shots. I’m excited to say the least as it’s going way better than I expected. I wanted to have the ability to switch from my 600ws head to my 1200ws head when needed. I love choices. One of the great design elements of this classic unit is the ability to switch it back to its native tungsten configuration. AND Mole Richardson sells a LED conversion kit that only takes four screws to install. The unit is designed so well. No wonder so many film studios used these things!

My total cost to convert it to accept a strobe including the cost of the unit? 315.00 including the barn doors! 


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Really neat !
I think I’ll try to duplicate this.
I’m not too handy so hopefully it turns out okay.

Did you think it’d work on a 1k ( upside would only be ~14lbs versus the ~27 lbs of the 2k so it’d be more portable…downside is only 6″ fresnel lens instead of the ~10″ ).

I have a 485W LED Fresnel that is good for video but for stills it can be overbearing so strobe would be way more beneficial.

Sorry I didn’t specify, we have so much of the same stuff/taste.
It’d be the Xplor 1200 W ext head as well (or could be the 600W ext head or an Einstein if that makes a difference) .

It doesn’t make too much of now because I found a really good deal on the one you mentioned so I’ll have a project when it comes. I’m kinda shocked that a company didn’t come along and offer something like this, you may want to pitch the idea to relamp or parabolix or mole

Mike the alternatives I investigated prior to converting the Mole Richardson 412 were by Elinchrom and BronColor. 3 and 4.3k are the closest I could find to a 10″ or larger Fresnel head accepting a strobe.

The Impact one is a good deal if you don’t need/want a large lens.

What did you rig up the mount with ?

I’m currently thinking of gluing the following ( ) to the small post that the original reflector sat down on.

I probably wouldn’t be able to convert it back to a hot light but mine was a little beat up and I have little to no interest in using it as a hot light, I can buy another if I wanted a hot light.


I used the same spigot as that one but bolted it to a piece of steel bar. You can see that in the first photo in this post. I felt glue to be insufficient.

Credit where credit is due:

I love using my Mini and Midget Moles for portraits but never thought about a mono in a big one to stop dancers. Got a very nice 412 from Pyramid Films on your coast. I’m old and slow so sticking with Einsteins & Digibees, Was worried about CC XCVR in 412 housing – no problem. Few more tweaks and then studio test drive
And btw, I live on my my Omni. Give me a sock & grid, boom on cine stand and you can do lots.

I owe you for the idea. Maiden voyage with Mole 412 & Einstein :

Did promo session for Jazz Company after, Circus theme. Left this as key with Buff umbrella adapter, 80 watts gave me f8 with Spot. Gelled gobo on background with the Photogenic Pattern Maker /SP Systems ( box, color wash on back. When client approves, I’ll share a blog post here.

Tip of the hat and a real example of combining a converted Mole Richardson 412 and the SP/PGPM/Smith Victor gobo projector.

Mole on camera axis with an Einstein inside. Gobo projector on Digibee with a 1/2 stop frost diffusion (no pyrex cover on flash tube) & primary yellow sandwiched in gel holder camera left. Flagged red wash on background camera right. Flagged & gridded green on boom, high camera left. Me on ladder.