..used condensers are often cheaper, but that shouldn't be the main reason you choose it. There're tonnes of literature on the difference between a condenser and diffuser, search them easily at photo.net.
Basically, the modern and well made diffuser can produce as contrasty and as sharp images a condenser traditionally can. If you're a perfectionist, you need to swear by a condenser (and you need to get that top of the range, stable with consistent light source etc). To get the 'rich blacks' and 'sharp' image that a condenser can offer, there're many considerations, including the way you shoot, develop and printing them. Unless you enlarge big beyond 12x16 or 20x24, I bet the slight difference won't matter too much, of course unless you're a perfectionist, again.
.. regarding ease of use, there's no doubt a diffuser offers better and faster work flow. Be it a color or VCCE (it's a godsent) head, beats any condenser which require you to slot that vc filters in/out, indirectly leading to 'print shake' problems. You might compromise by using a 'below the lens' filter system, so it's a compromise. You'll understand the 'pain' when you do a great deal of split grade printing, dodging and burning. Oh yeah, not forgetting those ugly scratch and dust you have to put up using a condenser...
.. after saying so much, for simple use as you claimed, just grab any used enlarger that's for sale and you should spend quality time printing, rather than worrying the 'unimportant' differences.
ps:I've owned and used condensers and diffusers and my current enlarger is a 4x5 VCCE, great tool. Have fun.
here's more ( i hope )
I assume you are in Singapore ?
go down to the National Library
borrow the book "Post Exposure" by Ctein
( there's a copy at Woodlands branch, i just returned it)
will cover more then you need to know
"The Negative" by Ansel Adam
also covers enlarger selection / building / setup etc
read this 2 and you will have massive info overload
enough to give lectures on these topics : )
My current set up ( still setting up )
is a used Durst Lab1000 with a condenser head & a
modified colour head.
Also note many condenser head can be modified to diffusion
head by inserting a piece of frosted milk glass inbetween the
light source and negative
wat to look out for when selecting an enlarger??? Any checklists?
i'm printing only 135.And is Diffuser or Condenser enlarger is more practical? Read that diffuser enlarger are more easier to use ...