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On a 24x36 it can't be (that's only about 84 'dots' per inch).

What you're not realizing here is that film has a definite resolution limit as well, and it's a lot lower than you seem to believe it is. As measured on that site I linked, a very high quality film like Fuji Provia 100F has a 50% MTF of about 45 line pairs per millimeter.

In effect, this means that your 24 x 36 print of a really excellent film and lens combination is about 90 DPI, not much better than your example. Of course it's analog, so the results are blurry rather than jaggy, but the information content is the same. If blur looks better than hard edges between pixels, you can use a printing algorithm that softens the pixel edges.

This is also just pure resolution, and completely ignores the issue of grain, which is present in film, and absent in digital photography.

Can't say that I've ever seen an 8MP blow-up, so can't comment beyond noting that I've read a few times that ISO100 film is the equivalent of 30-40MP (I usually split the difference and quote 35).

Which is likely a number a film snob just pulled out of the air. 35 MP implies a sensor of about 7200 x 4800. That's far above the MTF of any lens you'll find for a 35mm camera. It doesn't matter if it's a film or digital body, any lens you might use will blur detail well above that point.

Now, if you were talking medium format, that'd be different.

- Gus
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