We propose and demonstrate a widely tunable optical filter, realized by angle tuning a volume holographic grating. The volume holographic grating selectively drops a narrow portion of the signal bandwidth into a fiber while passing through the rest of the signals. The demonstrated 1510- to 1590-nm tuning range covers the entire erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) C band, with small bandwidth variation and low insertion loss (<1 dB). Group delay, polarization-dependent loss, and polarization mode dispersion are measured and investigated for optimizing the filter characteristics. © 2004 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.