No other film is sharper, no other film is more finegrained, no other film resolves more lines per mm (up to 800 l /mm)… The film achieves grain free enlargements of up to 2,5 meters diagonally. This equals mathematical about 500 Megapixels.
— product description from Adox CMS 20 II website.
I’ve got a 5,000 ✕ 10,000DPI dedicated 35mm film scanner and Adobe’s new Super Resolution tool. Though even this combo won’t give a 500MP image, it’ll take us pretty close to this insane number through the course of this little experiment.
Many of the pixels you’re about to see here are made up via various computer interpolation tools. The scanner is stretching the image in one dimension, and the Super Resolution tool will be adding completely fake pixels it thinks belong in the image.
The photo in question was taken on my Voigtländer Vitessa A — a 64-year-old German camera with the Ultron 𝒇2.0 lens.
Neither the scanner nor the lens has what it takes to get the full potential of this film, but let’s see where it gets us anyways. Remember: it’s a 35mm film, exposed with an ancient lens.
At 100% crop on a 13-inch high-pixel-density monitor, there’s no discernable grain, as expected.
I can still barely see any grain in the image on my screen, despite enlarging it 4x. Let’s go deeper.
After enlarging the image by the factor of eight, I’m not sure if there’s any more detail than when it was 4x. But there’s still plenty of pixels as this is 3,100 ✕ 2,063.
Finally, at 7% crop, I’m beginning to recognize Adobe’s “fake” pixels. They look like tiny swatches of patterns stitched together. This isn’t great on its own, but I would not be mad if I saw this much detail looking at a huge poster up-close.
A drum scanner or a darkroom print is likely to reveal a lot more detail than this. Perhaps a sharper lens would help — although the Ultron seems to be holding up remarkably well after all these years.
There’s no doubt that Adox CMS 20 II is blowing most digital sensors out of the water with its insane resolving power. And that’s just 35mm.