Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
Do you own this already or are you planning to buy it? $262 for an empty box seems pricey. If it is not pricey, then spend the extra $300-350 for either the dichroic or VCCE module.
I already own it. I brought the enlarger from eBay for relatively good price ($350) even considering it had the B&W module. I wasn't aware that the B&W module was offered though as it seems uncommon compared to the dichroic color or VCCE modules.

Quote Originally Posted by jeroldharter View Post
Integrated filtration in the light source is better than below the lens filters. The settings are infinitely adjustable within their ranges. There is no possibility for introducing image degradation by dust, scratches on filters, or vignetting the image with a below the lens filter holder. You don't have 12 filters to keep track of and keep clean and dust free. Turning the knobs is a minor nuisance, but I call that my workout for the day and feel satisfied with myself.
My choice was between buying a filter set (say $70 for the Ilford set with holder) or a different filtration module. B&H sells the modules but they are expensive (over $550 for the color, similar for the VCCE). As I'm a beginner, based on this thread I decided to buy the Ilford filter set. I'll keep my eye out for a different filter module and I realized I can also see the difference by experimenting with smaller negatives on the Durst AC 707 Autocolor enlarger. The Durst needs a small repair first though.

Last night, I finished reading the Variable Contrast Printing Manual and it too addressed my questions. One interesting thing not mentioned here was that it suggested putting the filters at most 1.5" from the enlarger lens surface for under-the-lens filters to avoid impact on image quality (at least I think I have that right, I'll double check this evening).