A friend of mine called me the other day, quite excited about the return of Velvia 50. This got me temporarily excited, too, until I tracked down the following press release from Fuji (I underlined my concerns):

Press release:
Fujifilm Professional is delighted to announce that the company is planning to re-launch Fujichrome Velvia 50 into the UK market.

Production of Velvia 50 was halted at the beginning of 2005 when vital raw materials used in the production of the emulsion became unavailable. The re-launch of Velvia 50 is a further illustration of Fujifilm's continued commitment to the production and promotion of professional film.

Russ Gunn, Fujifilm Professional Product Manager, made this comment: "We have received many requests from photographers to restart manufacturing, as they had used Velvia 50 for many years and consider it unmatched in terms of quality and character. One of Fujifilm's main priorities is to nurture the culture of photography, so we have been reviewing the possibility of restarting production."

Gunn continued: "In response to these requests our research and development teams have been working hard to develop substitute raw materials and new manufacturing technologies that enable us to restart production of this famous emulsion. We are planning to re-introduce the new Velvia 50 in the spring of 2007. The characteristics of the new emulsion will mirror that of the previous product. Many photographers were understandably upset when we were forced to withdraw Velvia 50, and we are delighted to be able to announce its re-introduction."

The only other information I've been able to find is that the new film will most likely be labeled "Velvia II." Will this be film, with new "raw materials", be the same as the original Velvia 50?

(And, Roger, I agree with you 100%. I'd give almost anything for a freezer full of Fuji 50.)

Doug