By providing superior localization and immobilization, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is capable of delivering millimeter spheres of dose to intracranial targets with submillimeter precision. Several authors have proposed new SRS solutions to dramatically reduce beam penumbra to hundreds of microns. These solutions require new quality assurance methods capable of penumbra measurement at the micron scale. This article examines the capability of a digital microscope, with translation stage and associated software, to resolve dose gradients in Gafchromic EBT film at this level. To produce very steep penumbra, films were irradiated in phantom beneath pinhole collimators using lower energy x rays (100 kVp, 300 kVp, and Iridium-192) and minimal geometric penumbra contribution. For film analysis, a method was developed which improved the signal to noise ratio by finding the center of the irradiation spot, generating several radial dose profiles and averaging these to obtain the final off-axis dose profile. Optical density was converted to dose using a calibration curve. The experimentally determined off-axis dose profiles were compared with MCNP Monte Carlo simulations which replicated the irradiation geometry and served to validate our measured data. The measured 80%-20% penumbral widths were 46 microm +/- 26 microm (100 kVp, 2 mm field size), 69 microm +/- m 27 microm (300 kVp, 2 mm field size), and 241 microm +/-31 microm (Ir-192, 1 mm field size). These penumbral widths agreed with Monte Carlo simulations within experimental uncertainty. Our findings suggest that reading Gafchromic EBT films using a digital microscope with translation stage is suitable for the quality assurance of very sharp penumbra able to resolve gradients to within at least 30 microm.