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Holga - Using Coloured Filters

Ever wondered how to use coloured filters for your black and white holga shots, and what effects they have? I have the answer for you

Photo by yarn

For a long time, I was frustrated with the lack of control on my Holga; I could only really shoot properly in one lighting condition which was dictated by my film speed – ISO 100 for sunny weather and ISO 400 for overcast or shade. I found that using coloured filters allowed me to use a 400 speed film no matter the weather.

Coloured filters have the effect of increasing contrast in your black and white photos, at the same time they also reduce the amount of light hitting your film. By using this idea you can use ISO 400 film in cloudy weather, or simply pop a filter on when the sun is out to give you nice contrast and a properly exposed image.

What you’ll need:

  • Holga camera (120 or 35mm both work fine)
  • 46-49mm step up ring
  • 49mm coloured filter (orange and red work best)
  • 49mm lens cap (optional)

Simply screw the step up ring into the front of your holga lens – it can take a bit of force but it gets there eventually. Your filter can then screw directly into the step up ring as shown in the photo above.

When it comes to choosing a coloured filter I suggest getting either a yellow, orange or red filter; each of these increase contrast in different amounts and create beautiful, dramatic photos.

  • Yellow filter – slightly increase contrast
  • Orange filter – moderately increase contrast
  • Red filter – significantly increase contrast

If you’re stuck in shade or overcast weather simply take your filter off and shoot as normal; your ISO 400 film should work perfectly.

I hope these tips are helpful to all of the Holga shooters out there, they’ve definitely worked for me :)

written by yarn


  1. adi_totp



    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  2. biondapiccola


    I love your pictures. :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  3. guanatos


    WOW it's amazing what you can do with some filters!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  4. abecd


    Nice! now i wish i got a holga._.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  5. raylemon


    Thanks a bunch! nice photos :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  6. slobill


    Have to give this a try soon too.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  7. adamo-75


    Thanks for the article!! Great pics, i am going to give it a whirl ;D

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  8. frau_inga


    Great shots! Now I want filters too..... ;)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  9. af-capture



    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  10. glynchan


    Thanks for the tip! It's really useful, can't wait to try it.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  11. bsdunek


    I bought the Holga filter holder and both sets of filters. The plain ones and the ones with the hole in the center. I'm just trying them now, and haven't gotten my film back yet to see how they work. I like your article here!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  12. asharnanae


    I've got a few different filters recently that I just haven't had the time to try out, nice to see what some of the effects might be :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  13. yarn


    thanks for the feedback everyone, glad you liked the article :)
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  14. kangiha


    beautiful shots, great article, Cheers!

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  15. robotmonkey1996


    If you don't like someone, use a blue filter. Every zit and pimple will stand out like a galaxy of ugly.

    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  16. yarn


    hahaha i'll keep that in mind. i guess a blue filter would be good for enhancing the look of freckles though which could be cool
    over 1 year ago · report as spam
  17. lomographer-88


    nice :)

    over 1 year ago · report as spam

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