Holga - Using Coloured Filters

2013-05-10 20

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

Credits: 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
Credits: yarn

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.

Credits: yarn

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

written by yarn on 2013-05-10 #gear #tutorials #red #black-and-white #bw #yellow #camera #orange #drama #filters #filter #tipster #ilford-hp5 #120n #holga #film-noir

We’re fizzing with excitement to introduce our latest Kickstarter project: the Lomo’Instant Square. We’re talking about the world’s first analogue camera to produce square-format Instax pictures. It features a 95mm glass lens for super sharp photos, an advanced automatic mode that takes care of exposure, all of Lomography’s signature creative features — and a compact, foldable design. The Lomo’Instant Square has launched on Kickstarter. Come join the fun and back us on Kickstarter now to save up to 35% on the planned retail price, and scoop all sorts of extra treats. Be sure to snatch up the deals before they run out. Be there and be square!


  1. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·


  2. biondapiccola
    biondapiccola ·

    I love your pictures. :)

  3. guanatos
    guanatos ·

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

  4. abecd
    abecd ·

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

  5. raylemon
    raylemon ·

    Thanks a bunch! nice photos :)

  6. slobill
    slobill ·

    Have to give this a try soon too.

  7. adamo-75
    adamo-75 ·

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

  8. frau_inga
    frau_inga ·

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

  9. af-capture
    af-capture ·


  10. glynchan
    glynchan ·

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

  11. bsdunek
    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!

  12. asharnanae
    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 :)

  13. yarn
    yarn ·

    thanks for the feedback everyone, glad you liked the article :)

  14. kangiha
    kangiha ·

    beautiful shots, great article, Cheers!

  15. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

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

  16. yarn
    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

  17. lomographer-88
    lomographer-88 ·

    nice :)

  18. photobarbie
    photobarbie ·

    Lovely photos! Looking for a step up ring right now!

  19. lomovibe
    lomovibe ·

    You can also use neutral density filters, especially if you're using color film and don't want the color cast.

  20. wganz
    wganz ·

    I just did this. It worked OK. Was not joking about "can take a bit of force". Will try using a 45 to 49mm step up ring on the 35mm Holga then post the results.

More Interesting Articles