I have been using Velvia since its introduction and I really like the saturated colors and sharpness which add depth to landscape. I know that many many color photographers think the same. However in light of recent developments in imaging, I've been wondering about this choice.
The developments I have in mind is digital printing. It seems that with the exception of a few notable and very skilled printers (such as Burkett or Fatali), most other color photographers, including Muench, N eill, Crammer, etc... have switched to Lightjet printing. I have also done so four years ago, and I am convinced by the advantages of this technology.
If you print digitally, you can enhance color saturation and contrast as much as you want. True, the original transparency might not look as good, but unlike in 35mm where it is often what you show to clients, in LF, the transparency is just the "score" to be played.
What you need is a film which records as much information as possible. With this respect, a film like Astia is much better at maintaining shadow/highlight detail. Besides, the extra speed is very useful for the landscape photographer to combat wind blur or reciprocity failure. The paradox is that although we all use tripods, we need the extra speed for LF much critica lly than in 35mm where one doesn't stop down so much ! Velvia is sharper, but again, this might be more relevant to 35mm. With the large chunk of film that we use, this doesn't seem so critical either.
What do you think ? Do you see any compelling reasons to stick to Velvia in view of the above ?