Apparently the references given above are not working to make the point, so tonight I shot another demo. This is again using the methodology described at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 164#101164, where a lens's image gets captured in two ways: once by direct projection onto a camera sensor, and then through a 10X objective so as to mimic the effect of having a lot more pixels on the sensor.rjlittlefield wrote:I agree, bring on the pixels. See HERE for an experimental demonstration that an f/11 lens resolves enough detail to require almost 50 megapixels on an APS-C sensor. Or HERE to show stressing the resolution of a 36 megapixel D800E with a reversed Componon-S enlarger lens purchased for $110, shipping included.
The camera in this case is a Nikon D800E, full-frame at 36 megapixels, with no anti-aliasing filter.
I think you won't have any trouble guessing which is direct projection and which one mimics having a lot more pixels.
OK, now that you're suitably impressed with how much it would help to have some more pixels to use with this obviously top-notch lens, let me fill in a couple of additional details.
The lens is an EL Nikkor 50 mm f/2.8, set at f/5.6, and running just a hair over 1:1 (effective f/11).
We're talking here about a lens that can be purchased routinely for around $50 on eBay, and which has a well deserved reputation for being not very sharp around 1:1.
Nonetheless, it handily outresolves 36 megapixels, capturing around 4 additional elements in this USAF resolution chart.
4 elements is a ratio of about 1.59:1, and that's on each axis. So, 36*1.59*1.59 = 90 is the corresponding number of megapixels that might stand a chance of capturing all the detail from this not particularly good lens.
Additional technical details: Images processed from NEF using the raw converter in Photoshop CC 20141204.r.310 x64 with default settings for smoothing and sharpening. Single frames selected at best focus from a series that was focus-stepped at 0.003" = 0.075 mm. Continuous illumination, shutter lockup plus 25 seconds exposure to kill shutter vibration, ISO 200. The false color is a form of Moiré associated with fine light/dark patterns projected onto a Bayer sensor.