I've lost my mind and am planning on building a darkroom while the rest of the world is abandoning them in droves. The main reason for doing this is that in ten years it won't be possible and I will regret never having done this. I have a question about enlargers and VC B&W printing and would appreciate some help from the folks here.
I am contemplating getting a new enlarger (don't ask, others get it on with their secretaries or get a sports car, I'm going to get an enlarger, go figure). I am thinking about either an Omega LPL 4500-II 4x5" Variable Contrast (VCCE) Black & White enlarger or a Beseler 45V-XL enlarger with a dichroic head.
I only plan on doing B&W printing, mostly 4x5 negatives but maybe some 8x10 contact prints. I don't plan on doing any color printing as the chemistry looks like a pain. I like the looks of the Beseler, it kind of has a brick s___ house look to it and seems well-regarded by folks here. The question is how much of a pain is doing VC printing with a dichroic head instead of a VCCE head? My understanding is that it can be done with dichroic head but one has to adjust the total exposure after changing the contrast by adjusting the individual colors of the head. The VCCE head lets you adjust the contrast but keeps the total exposure constant. VCCE seems like a nice feature but the Omega looks a little flimsy and people don't seem to rave about them here. Some folks here seem downright hostile about Omegas.
So the question is whether the more solid Beseler with the dichroic head is a better way to go or the Omega with the VCCE head. I'm only going to do this once and so don't really want to spend the next thirty years wishing I had the other one. Your input is appreciated.