Back in 2005, Fujifilm announced it was discontinuing production of its popular Fujichrome Velvia for Professionals (RVP 50) due to difficulties in getting hold of some of its key raw materials. Like many photographers, we were a bit distraught over this news as it was one of our all-time favorite films. We horded what we could and then reluctantly moved on to less green (and blue and red, etc.) pastures. But other photographers, thankfully, that were less complacent than we, pleaded, begged, and possibly even hounded the company (Fujifilm uses the more polite “requested” in its release), to put the film back on the market. To its credit, Fujifilm listened and responded.
“We have been able to develop some substitute raw materials and new manufacturing technologies, which allowed us to re-start production of Velvia 50,” states Lori Franco, Corporate Communications, Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation. “The quality and characteristics of the new Velvia 50 will very closely mirror the previous Velvia (high color saturation, fine grain, image depth, and vivid color reproduction). It is anticipated that the new Velvia 50 will reproduce image color at an almost identical level to the previous Velvia 50. The re-introduction is a direct response to demand from our customers and a reflection of our commitment to Silver Halide based photography.”
Needless to say, Fujifilm has made many photographers very happy with the re-introduction of Velvia 50. We shot our first roll this week. Does the film closely emulate that of its predecessor? We think it may have surpassed itself . . . the blues seemed bluer, the greens more green, and then some. Of course, it could just be delirium (though we doubt it), as we are simply thrilled to have it back. The new Velvia is available now at selected retailers around the U.S. For additional information, go to www.fujifilmusa.com/pma.