Which Filter is Best for Black and White Photography?

When it comes to black and white photography, there are five main filter colors that are commonly used: red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Each one lets its own color of light through and blocks other colors to varying degrees. For instance, a red filter allows red light to pass through, but blocks most green and blue lights. Ultraviolet (UV) filters are especially useful for black and white film photography, as they help create a sharper image and reduce the opacity caused by sunlight.

The yellow and green filters are beneficial as they darken the tones found in blue skies, making the clouds stand out. This is done by keeping green areas clearer. UV filters also incorporate QuartzLine's remarkable 16 coating layers, which are designed to be both oil-proof and hydrophobic. This helps to prevent dust and sand from scratching your expensive lenses when taking pictures in a desert environment.

Advantages of Color Filters for Black and White Photography

If you're serious about black and white photography, a selection of color filters is a great addition to your kit.

Yellow filters are good for separating shades of green and can be used when photographing plants to increase foliage contrast. Red filters produce such an extreme effect that they can make the photo look like it was taken with an infrared filter. Polarizing filters eliminate glare and reflections, which is especially useful when taking pictures through glass or in lakes. The power of digital post-processing allows us to do much of what physical color filters do with software instead of with hardware. Editing digital photos isn't usually destructive: you can play with the effects of different color filters, redo and undo them, and choose the one you like best.

But when it comes to black and white photos, ND filters allow shutter speeds to be extended for longer periods of time. Color filters use the same filter threads and construction as any other circular filter mounted on a lens. As color filters literally remove light from the image, you need to adjust the exposure accordingly. Like red filters, they can be used to reduce the appearance of fog and haze, as well as to darken skies and emphasize clouds.


In conclusion, there are many types of filters that can be used for black and white photography. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of photo you are trying to take.

It is important to consider all of these factors before deciding which filter is best for your needs.

Clément Vermeulen
Clément Vermeulen

Freelance pop cultureaholic. Lifelong internet geek. Avid problem solver. Subtly charming bacon scholar. Proud zombie fanatic. Passionate tv fanatic.