High Resolution in B&W Film

Full Portrait Eyes Left Eye

Left Eye Left Eye Left Eye
4 Mega Pixil Digital35mm B&W Film35mm Color Neg. Film
A Direct Comparison of the Eyes from Each of the Three Pages from This Series

NegativeOne of the objectives of photographers and the industry over the years has been to achieve the highest possible resolution for the relatively small format of 35mm film. I read the articles in the photo magazines and I was concerned about getting the best possible resolution from my cameras and film. This photograph was made about 20 years ago under a late afternoon, open blue sky. The film was Kodak bulk film labeled Kodak Safety Film 5062, but I believe the box was labeled Plus-X. Plus-X had an ASA rating of 125. I used Kodak Microdol and followed the instructions for fine-grain processing. The camera was a Pentax Spotmatic with the standard 55mm lens.
The black and white images were scanned from the original negative with a CanoScan FS2710 film scanner. The negative image was done with software. The image of the two eyes was scanned at high resolution then reduced to this size with software. The image of the left eye was scanned at the highest resolution of the scanner (5997 dpi) and then reduced to the displayed size by software. I have made an 11x14 inch enlargement of the image and there is great skin texture detail and the individual hairs are very sharp. It helped that I had the depth of field at its optimum.

Pinhole Photography - An old pinhole photograph is compared to a modern 35mm photo of the re-created scene with an explanation of the process for making a large-format pinhole photograph using photo enlarging paper.

Photographic Perspective - Our experience with photography gives us the impression that the focal length of the lens will create a particular perspective in the resulting photograph. However, the photos shown here illustrate that it is camera-to-subject distance, not lens focal length that makes the difference.

Stereo Photography - A stereo photo pair is displayed with instruction for viewing in 3-D by the "cross-eyed" technique. There is also a brief account of my experience with stereo photo systems and links to several excellent and comprehensive sites on stereo photography.

Film Resolution - A portrait of a young woman and enlargements of her eyes demonstrate the degree of resolution I was able to obtain with B&W 35mm film.

Bridal Portrait - A portrait of a young bride and enlargements of her eyes demonstrate the degree of resolution achieved with 35mm colorprint film.

Digital Portrait - A portrait of a young woman using a 4 mega pixil "point and shoot" Minolta DiMAGE digital camera. Indoor with on-camera flash and all automatic. The overall image was cropped a little from the original, resized, and saved at about 70% in ArcSoft. Then the eyes were cropped, resized, and saved at 70%.

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Reposted 4/12/06

Jocelyn Johnson, former Hamilton Standard suit engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas.