Here we are again. I am making progress 🙂
I created several version of a reference image with different exposure.
I drawn the building blocks of the halftone pattern, from minimum to max thickness, and saved them as PNGs. I imported everything in a photo mosaic software and imported the results in Photoshop, where i blended them together. the effect is close, yet I still hope there is a way to achieve this only in Photoshop.