I see no reason to buy new darkroom gear at this time. The market is flooded with top notch used equipment for pennies compared to new prices. Check b&h under 4x5 enlargers.
Yep. (Emphasis was added.)
I got my Beseler with computerized color head and three German lenses on boards (50, 80, 105), a nice grain focuser, Ilford enlarging meter, all the blueprints and instruction manuals for the enlarger and head, and a Beseler color analyzer locally for $60. I paid another $80 for a 150mm Rodenstock enlarging lens in perfect condition. I paid another $30 for two boxes full of tanks, reels, graduates, a film dryer, etc. Then I paid $100 for a tempered water bath and four tanks. For $270 plus the cost of a trip across town, I got probably $6,000 or $7,000 worth of equipment if it was priced as new.
All you have to do is patiently stalk your local Craigslist and APUG classifieds. Eventually, a deal will come up for you. The Beselers can be mounted with a drop shelf, or leaned back for wall projection.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
Fujimoto, now part of Kenko, still makes Lucky enlargers. QE45 is the same as 450M-C which I recently bought for a ridiculous price and it's good to know that parts are still being made. Hope this link works:
Humm... That C120 from kienzle looks like quite something! Anyone has a direct experience with it ?
Perhaps a German APUG member might have had some direct experience with one.
Not in reference to yourself, but on another point, I've aquired my darkroom equipment mostly second hand but some new as well. It seems rather shortsided to deny that there may be good reasons for purchasing new equipment; afterall promoting a healthy market in darkroom equipment is a worthwhile activity and insures continued availability of both major items and accessories / parts.