Some perspective on this idea that 36MP in 35mm format makes unprecedented challenges on lens resolution --- not for users of fine-grained monochrome film.
By my reckoning, Kodak T-MAX 100 film has distinctly higher resolution than a 36MP sensor can give (yes, even a monochrome or Foveon one), as measured by MTF 50. My reckoning is this:
- T-MAX 100 is 125 cycles/mm (lp/mm): see http://www.kodak.com/global/en/professional/support/techPubs/f4016/f4016.pdf
page 14, and http://www.normankoren.com/Tutorials/MTF1A.html
- it takes a bit more than 2 pixels to resolve a cycle (Dr. Nyquist say so), and even more allowing for demosaicing of information from a Bayer CFA
- at a conservative 2 pixel per line pair, one would need 4 micron pixel pitch to match 125 cycles/mm
- 4 micron pixels in 36x24mm format would give 9000x6000 = 54MP.
So "Film still rules" and all that hype. And this is without playing the game of looking at extinction resolution or the Rayleigh criterion or such, which would give:
about 200 cycles/mm, <2.5 micron pixel pitch, > 14,400x9,600, > 140MP.
More seriously, this suggests that if your lenses were worth using films like Kodak T-MAX 100 with, they will not be totally embarrassed by the D800, or even the D800E.
And people even use T-MAX 100 in 4"x5": I wonder how the lenses hold up to that resolution torture?