Nikon D1(about $75 used) and 35mm f/1.8 DX. enlarge. This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.
High ISO Comparison May 2012
Pro DSLR Comparison 03 February 2016
Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear, especially this original Nikon D1.
Back, Nikon D1. enlarge.
The Nikon D1 is the world's first practical DSLR. There were DSLRs long before the D1, but they had five-figure price tags and worked poorly.
The breakthrough of the D1 is that it's low price ($4,999) and high speed (4.5 FPS, 1/16,000 shutter and unlimited flash sync), use of common Compact Flash cards for storage and high resolution (2,000 x 1,312) made it a no-brainer for news photography.
It's weak points were that it had horrible highlight rendition; anything more than about a stop overexposed was completely blown-out, and that it's batteries always read dead and only gave a couple of hundred shots per charge. We had to carry two or three spare with us on any job, and the batteries were big and heavy. Worse, as batteries aged, a design flaw led to a problem where the camera seems to shoot, but records a black frame instead of the image we wanted!
Works with all AF, AF-D, AF-I, AF-S, FX, DX and G lenses, as well as all AI and AI-s manual focus lenses. In other words, works with everything.
Meters fine with manual lenses, but center-weighted metering only.
200, 400, 800 and 1,600.
EN-EL4 Ni-MH battery.
I bought this Ni-MH EN-EL4 battery and it works great.
MH-16 charger. Plugs into battery. with a cord.
Nikon's D1 Specifications
Type of Camera
Lens-interchangeable SLR-type digital camera
23.7 x 15.6mm RGB CCD; 2.74 million total pixels
2.66-million effective pixels (2,012 x 1,324 array)
captures 12-bit full-color image
2,000 x 1,312 pixels
ISO equivalency 200, 400, 800, 1,600
System: Digitally stored;
1) Single frame shooting (S) mode: advances one frame for each shutter release; capture preview mode available
2) Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 4.5 frames per sec. (up to 21 consecutive shots)
3) Self-timer (Sf) mode: time duration can be set
4) Playback (Pb) mode: playback, menu setting
5) PC (Pc) mode: data transfer via personal computer
1) Auto (TTL control with 1,005-pixel CCD)
2) Manual (6 settings with 7-step fine tuning)
2-in., 120,000-dot, low temp. polysilicon TFT LCD; backlight/brightness adjustment available
1) Protect setting
2) Hide setting
3) NTSC/PAL switching,
4) Indication directory switching
1) 1 frame
2) Thumbnail (9 segments)
3) Slide show
4) Histogram indication, highlight point display and focus confirmation indication
1) Card format
2) All frames delete
3) Selected frames delete
NTSC or PAL (switchable)
1) [P] Programmed Auto (Flexible Programme possible)
2) [S] Shutter-Priority Auto
3) [A] Aperture-Priority Auto
4) [M] Manual; shutter speed/aperture adjustable in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
1) D-type AF Nikkor: All functions possible
2) D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus possible
3) AF Nikkor other than D-type: All functions except 3D Color Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 possible,
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Color Matrix Metering, 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 and autofocus possible
5) Non-CPU: Usable in  or  mode, Centre-Weighted or Spot Metering;
Note: When Non-CPU lenses are used, [A] mode is selected automatically for [P] or [S] mode, also Centre-Weighted Metering is selected for 3D Color Matrix Metering.
Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm  format equivalent
Optical-type fixed-eye level pentaprism
built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1 m-1)
eyepiece shutter provided
22mm (at -1.0 m-1)
B-type BriteView clear Matte screen III
interchangeable with optional E-type screen with grid for D1
Coverage Approx. 96%
Approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens set to infinity and -1.0 m-1
shutter speed lock
electronic analogue display
five sets of focus brackets (area)
Automatic, instant-return type
Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button
TTL phase detection
Nikon Multi-CAM1300 autofocus module
Detection range: EV -1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)
1) Single Servo AF (S)
2) Continuous Servo AF (C)
3) Manual focus (M)
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject’s status in (S) or (C) AF
One of five focus areas can be selected
AF Area Mode
1) Single Area AF
2) Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF Mode with Closest Subject Priority is available)
Focus is locked by pressing AEL-AFL button or lightly pressing shutter release button in (S) AF
Exposure Metering System
TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering with 1,005-pixel CCD
2) Centre-Weighted Metering (75% of the meter’s sensitivity concentrated on the 8mm dia. circle)
3) Spot Metering (4mm dia. circle, approx. 2% of entire frame)
Exposure Metering Range
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering: EV 0-20
2) Centre-Weighted Metering: EV 0-20
3) Spot Metering: EV 2-20 (at normal temperature, ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Meter Coupling
CPU and AI combined
Exposure compensated in ±5 EV range in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
the mark appears in viewfinder information and top LCD panel
Auto Exposure Lock
Detected exposure value locked by pressing button
Auto Exposure Bracketing
Number of shots: two or three
Compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 steps
Charge-coupled electronic and mechanical shutters
30 to 1/16,000 sec. and Bulb
flash synchronisation up to 1/500 sec.
1) Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor:
3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 when used with SB-28DX and D-type Nikkor lens
Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash when used with SB-28DX and AF Nikkor other than D-type, AI-P Nikkor lens
2) AA (Auto Aperture)-type Flash available when used with SB-28DX and lens with built-in CPU
3) Non-TTL Auto Flash with a Speedlight such as SB-28DX, 28, 27, 22s, etc.
Flash Sync Mode
1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync)
2) Red-Eye Reduction
3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
4) Slow Sync
5) Rear-Curtain Sync
Lights up when flash fully charged with Speedlight SB-28DX, 28, 27, 22s; blinks (3 sec. after flash) for full output warning
Standard ISO-type hot-shoe contact
safety lock provided
Standard JIS PC terminal
lock screw provided
timer duration: 2-20 sec.
Depth-of-field Preview Button
Stop-down lens aperture** by pressing depth-of-field preview button
** Selected aperture on [A] or [M] mode; controlled aperture on [P] or [S] mode
LCD Panel Information
Top LCD panel: Exposure value (shutter speed/aperture), exposure mode, exposure compensation, exposure compensation value, aperture/shutter speed lock, flash sync mode, focus area, exposure bracketing information, electronic analogue display, battery power, CF Card confirmation, number of shots taken, number of shots remaining, frame number at playback battery power for built-in clock, date/time
Rear LCD panel: Number of shots remaining, sensitivity, white balance mode, image quality mode, monochrome mode, CF Card status, LCD monitor status, Custom function
Via 10-pin remote terminal
Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4 (7.2V DC),
Quick Charger MH-17 (12V DC)/16/15;
AC Adapter EH-4 (100-240V AC.
The clock runs on its own internal battery good for about 10 years.
1/4 in. (JIS)
#0 Custom settings: Specify the two setting combinations of A and B
#1 Capture preview mode: Set to show captured image on LCD Monitor before sending image data to CF Card
#2 EV steps for exposure control
#3 Bracketing order
#4 Autofocus activation
#5 Anti-Vibration mode: Set to prevent effects of camera shake
#6 Focus area selection
#7 AE lock
#8 Mirror-Up: Set to clean the CCD
#9 Dynamic AF mode in (S) AF
#10 Dynamic AF mode in (C) AF
#11 Auto Exposure/Flash Exposure Bracketing
#12 Command Dial functions
#13 Exposure compensation settings
#14 Centre-Weighted Metering area: Change 8mm dia. circle to 6, 10, 13mm or average metering
#15 Time delay for auto meter-switch-off
#16 Self-timer duration
#17 LCD illumination
#18 Auto power off of LCD Monitor: 20 sec., 1, 5 or 10 min.
#19 Aperture setting during zooming
#20 Shutter release indication via self-timer LED
#21 AE-L/AF-L button
#22 Aperture selection: Change via Sub-Command Dial to lens’ aperture ring
#23 Edge enhancer: 1) Default, 2) Low, 3) High, 4) Non
#24 Tone compensation: 1) Auto, 2) Normal, 3) Contrast -,
#25 Shooting speed in (C) mode: 4.5, 3, 2, 1 or 0.5 fps
#26 Maximum number of consecutive shots in (C) mode: Choose from 1 to 21 shots
#27 LCD monitor setting: 1) Default, 2) Histogram, 3) Highlight point,
#28 Save Raw images
#29 Auto File Numbering mode
#30 Select shooting mode when disconnected from personal computer in (Pc) mode: (s) mode or (C) mode
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 157 x 153 x 85mm (6.2 x 6.1 x 3.4 in.)
Weight (without battery)
Approx. 1.1kg (2.5 lbs.)
Standard Accessories (may vary by country)
Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4
Quick Charger MH-16
AC Adaptor EH-4
IEEE1394 Cable SC-D1
Antifog Finder Eyepiece DK-15
“Nikon View DX” Browser Software
“Nikon Capture” Control Software
Optional Software System Requirements
Compatibility not guaranteed for all computers; for interface board compatible with your computer, consult the respective board manufacturer.
Microsoft Windows 95/98/98SE/2000, Windows NT 4.0 or later
Memory for Nikon View DX 16MB minimum (over 32MB recommended).
Memory for Nikon Capture: 64MB minimum (over 128MB recommended).
IEEE1394 (compatible OS): RATOC REX-PCIFW1* (98SE, 2000), RATOC REX-CBFW1* (98SE), ADS Technologies 1394DV* (98SE, 2000), Ioi Technology 1394TTO* (98SE, 2000), Sony® VAIO®* Notebook (98SE).
*Works with Nikon View DX 1.1 or Nikon Capture 1.1.2 or later versions.
Mac®OS 8.6 or later (CPU: Power PC™ G3 or later)
Memory for Nikon View DX 16MB minimum (over 32MB recommended).
Memory for Nikon Capture: 32MB minimum (over 64MB recommended)
IEEE1394 (compatible OS): 1394 board installed in Mac®, RATOC REX-CBFW2 (PowerBook G3).
It's fast. As a pro Nikon, the autofocus system just goes and goes fast.
The images suffer from poor color rendition. It usually takes some tweaking to get acceptable color rendition.
High ISOs are awful compared to modern DSLRs.
The D1 is tougher than any of the consumer cameras. The consumer cameras are anything other than the D1, D2, D3 and D4 series.
The D2HS is much faster (8 FPS vs. 4.5 FPS) and has much more durable and long-lived modern Li-Ion battery system. (The D1 uses a primitive Ni-MH system that's always dead or dieing.)
There is no MENU button.
TO set the clock, hold BKT and +/- at the same time for a few seconds until the year blinks. Set year with the main dial. Tap +/- to go to the other fields, and set them with the main dial.
TO check the time, just tap the BKT and +/- buttons then tap the +/- button to see the various fields
The clock runs on its own internal battery good for about 10 years.
To get to PLAY MENU, turn the top left dial to PLAY, then flip down the lower rear cover and then use the [L] button, as called out on the graphic on the flipped-down panel.
The D2HS is a much better, faster camera with a much better battery system. The D2HS is the best cheap deal for shooting sports today; the D1 is more of a collectors item.
More Information top
15 February 1999
Nikon announced it was working on "a new professional class, high-quality digital Single Lens Reflex Camera."
Here is the press release:
Tokyo, Japan(Nippon), 1999-02-15 ---
(Photo : Prototype (w / AI AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-105mm f3.5-4.5D IF))
Nikon has employed its long-time experience in designing professional cameras with newly developed digital imaging technology ; the result will be a unique, new camera.
Nikon is confident that this new digital SLR will offer a significant enhancement to the Nikon System, and the wide ranging needs of professional photographers.
The price objective for this new digital camera will make it accessible to a full range of professional customers and it is sure to appeal to advanced photo enthusiasts, as well.
15 June 1999
Nikon announces the D1, the world's first practical DSLR. It is the first practical DSLR because it's the first DSLR with good enough image quality for print (2.7 MP), fast enough (4.5 FPS) and priced low enough ($5,000) and functional enough to be sensible to use daily as a primary camera. It's also the first DSLR made with Nikon electronics in a Nikon body, by Nikon.
It replaced film at forward-looking newspapers.
Forget about it today, regardless of price. For the same price you can get the greatly improved D1H or D1X, neither of which are worthwhile today either. The D1 series is confined to the dumpster of history (and collectors) because its battery system is a pain, and its menu structure requires interpreting numerical custom functions. It requires a cheat sheet to decipher.
Flash exposure performance is awful.
Get one only as a landmark camera to collect. The D1 is the landmark. The D1 is the camera that replaced film at newspapers.
The D1 is unique in having a 1/16,000 top shutter speed, since its shutter is also electronic. That's how it gets a 1/500 sync speed. If you use the PC sync terminal or a non-dedicated flash so the D1 doesn't know you've got a flash attached; sync goes all the way to 1/16,000!
Here is Nikon's press release:
Tokyo, Japan, June 15, 1999 — Nikon, long and widely recognized for their world-class professional SLR cameras, have artfully combined this experience with the very latest digital technology in creating the Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera D1, which features three basic concepts — ultrahigh image quality, superhigh speed and enhanced operability.
The D1 boasts optical and digital innovations such as improved overall picture quality, souped-up consecutive-shooting capabilities and broader compatibility, all packed into a lightweight and strong magnesium body. With high resistance to penetration by water drops, the D1 is fully equipped to satisfy the demands of professional and high-end amateur photographers.
The D1 features a large 23.7 x 15.6mm 2.74-megapixel CCD for ultrahigh-definition 2,012 x 1,324-pixel images. Superior results are further ensured by the infrared ray (IR)-cutting, ultra-thin lithium niobate (LiNB) Low-Pass Filter located directly in front of the CCD, and optimal signal processing delivered by Nikon’s original algorithm.
The D1 provides 3D Digital Matrix Image Control (3D Color Matrix Metering, TTL White Balance and Tone Compensation) with a 1,005-pixel CCD for optimum results. The camera’s three intelligent exposure metering systems — 3D Color Matrix, Centre-Weighted and Spot Metering; and three auto exposure modes — Programmed, Shutter-Priority and Aperture-Priority, together with exposure compensation and automatic bracketing functions, offer precise, comprehensive exposure control. 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor, possible with the new Speedlight SB-28DX, and versatile Flash sync modes — Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync), Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync and Rear-Curtain Sync, add to the D1’s versatility.
In order to give experienced users more control over quality, the D1 incorporates versatile image quality modes. Uncompressed Image provides users with three options: Raw (12-bit)*, TIFF YCbCr (8-bit)* and TIFF RGB (8-bit). Compressed Image offers JPEG-baseline-compressed approx. 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 and monochrome mode. Add to this the four-step Sensitivity Control (ISO equivalency 200, 400, 800, 1,600) provided.
The D1’s quick start and short shutter release time lag (approx. 0.058 sec. from the time the shutter release button is lightly pressed) give users the speed to capture once-elusive moments. Super-fast data processing made possible by the newly developed ASIC enables consecutive shooting at 4.5 fps for up to 21 shots. The D1 also boasts 1/16,000 sec. maximum shutter speed and 1/500 sec. sync speed.
The large, easy-to-view LCD monitor (2-in. low-temperature, polysilicon TFT) displays the captured images, menus and histogram indications.
Features that boost convenience include the high-speed data transfer capability provided by IEEE1394, the broad data compatibility furnished by the CompactFlash™ Card (Type I/II), and the NTSC/ PAL-selectable video output, optional Interchangeable Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4 and dedicated Quick Charger MH-17/16 (compatible with MH-15 for F100). From Nikon’s critically acclaimed F5 and F100 SLR cameras, the D1 has inherited Custom Settings, which lets users create their own combination of 29 functions including the D1’s original features such as Tone Compensation and Edge Enhancer; two Command Dials; and remarkable durability.
Compatibility with Nikon system accessories, including over 80 F-mount Nikkor lenses, is another notable advantage of the D1, and is directed at the professional photographer with wide-ranging needs.
Nikon’s D1 — offering all this to deliver the quality, flexibility and operability that experienced users demand.
D1 Major Features
2.74-megapixel, 23.7 x 15.6mm-size CCD for ultrahigh-definition (2,012 x 1,324 effective pixels) images
Ultra-thin lithium niobate (LiNB) Low-Pass Filter (also cuts infrared rays) incorporated just in front of CCD
Four-step sensitivity control (ISO equivalency 200, 400, 800 and 1,600)
Multiple image quality modes: JPEG Baseline (approx. 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 compressed), uncompressed (12-bit Raw*, 8-bit YCbCr-TIFF*, 8-bit RGB-TIFF), monochrome mode
* Optional software is needed to reproduce Raw or YCbCr-TIFF images; “Nikon Capture” for Raw images, “Nikon View DX” for YCbCr-TIFF images
Versatile shooting modes; 1) Single frame shooting, 2) Continuous shooting, 3) Self-timer, 4) Playback, 5) PC
3D Digital Matrix Image Control (3D Color Matrix Metering, TTL White Balance and Tone Compensation) with 1,005-pixel CCD for superior overall picture quality
Single-blade mechanical shutter provided for smear prevention
Optimal signal processing thanks to Nikon’s original algorithm
High-speed AF system including Dynamic AF operation (same performance as F5 and F100)
4.5 fps shooting speed for up to 21 consecutive shots
Quick startup and 0.058 sec. shutter time lag
Exclusive top shutter speed 1/16,000 sec.
Flash sync up to 1/500 sec.
High-speed data transfer with IEEE1394 interface
Accelerated data processing using newly developed ASIC
Precise exposure modes; 1)  Programmed Auto, 2)  Shutter-Priority Auto, 3)  Aperture-Priority Auto, 4)  Manual
Three exposure metering systems; 1) 3D Color Matrix Metering with 1,005-pixel CCD, 2) Centre-Weighted, 3) Spot
Exposure compensation available in ±5 EV range, in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
Auto Exposure Bracketing available for two or three shots in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 step
3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor with new Speedlight SB-28DX
Five flash sync modes; 1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync), 2) Red-Eye Reduction, 3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, 4) Slow Sync, 5) Rear-Curtain Sync
29 Custom Settings
Lightweight and strong magnesium body
High resistance to penetration by water drops
Optical viewfinder with frame coverage of approx. 96%
Diopter adjustment (-3 to +1 m-1)
High eyepoint (higher than 22mm)
Eyepiece shutter provided
Interchangeable focusing screen (compatible with focusing screen for F100)
Convenient playback functions; 1) 1 frame, 2) Thumbnail (9 segments), 3) Slide show, 4) Histogram indication
Two Command Dials
Compatible with virtually any F-mount Nikkor /lens (Picture angle with D1 is
Compatible with CompactFlash™ (CF) Card (Type I/II)
Compatible with Nikon system accessories
Interchangeable Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4 and dedicated Quick Charger MH-17/16 (compatible with battery charger MH-15 for F100) (all optional)
Remote terminal (10-pin connection)
Video output switchable between NTSC and PAL
“Nikon View DX” Browser Software, “Nikon Capture” Control Software (optional)
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