Using the D1

Discuss Nikon E2, E3 (incl. Fujix DS-505, 515 and 56x models), the original Nikon D1 and other discontinued Nikon DSLRs. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
Anssi Krooks
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Using the D1

Post by Anssi Krooks » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:43 am

Inspired by Jarle's "Shooting with the NC2000e" I decided to take the 1999-classic D1 for a spin in the dark and wet cityscape. I mainly purchased the D1 for uv and ir work and actually hasn't used it for "normal" photography. I used ISO 800, AWB and my 'bread and butter' lens 17-35/2.8 on all shots. Raw files were converted using Raw Therapee, which managed to remove horrible banding noise on some shots quite well.

As a camera the D1 isn't so much different from newer cameras, even from D3. Actually mirror slap and shutter noise seem to be lower than in D2 and D3. However, image playback is really slow and you are not able to zoom pictures on cameras screen. And actually focusing speed with "screwdriver" lenses is faster than D2/D3-series, with 35-70/2.8 and 80-400 VR difference is huge.

After this experiment I'm convinced to use my D1 more on shoots that doesn't require more than web images. However the jpg quality seems terrible so maybe I'll add D1H to my little collection. ;)

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D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

Webmaster
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Re: Using the D1

Post by Webmaster » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:56 am

Anssi Krooks wrote:However the jpg quality seems terrible so maybe I'll add D1H to my little collection. ;)
Yes, the D1 is still a very capable camera, and the D1H is even better. I hope to find a nice, cheap D1H myself.

The main issue with these things is the lousy batteries (compared to later models). Apparently, cheap third party batteries (sold on eBay and elsewhere) are better than the original Nikon batteries (which are old and outdated these days anyway).

BTW, I don't think shooting in low light conditions (and/or high ISO) is the best way to judge JPEG image quality. Still, a raw file will obviously provide more information and better image quality than a compressed JPEG.

Jarle

Anssi Krooks
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Re: Using the D1

Post by Anssi Krooks » Sat Jan 05, 2008 4:54 pm

Webmaster wrote: Yes, the D1 is still a very capable camera, and the D1H is even better. I hope to find a nice, cheap D1H myself.

The main issue with these things is the lousy batteries (compared to later models). Apparently, cheap third party batteries (sold on eBay and elsewhere) are better than the original Nikon batteries (which are old and outdated these days anyway).

BTW, I don't think shooting in low light conditions (and/or high ISO) is the best way to judge JPEG image quality. Still, a raw file will obviously provide more information and better image quality than a compressed JPEG.

Jarle
I got three batteries with my D1 and newer Insmat-ones gives me about 200-300 shots which isn't so bad performance. The older original Nikon sometimes makes plain black frames, issue well known with D1. I'll recell it if I plan to use the D1 more often.

These shots were made in raw-format and I made comparisons between raw and jpg when I bought this camera with the base sensitivity. Of course one reason for lousy jpg quality is the NTSC-color profile (Newer The Same Color ;)) which should be converted to sRGB for web usage, but especially hilights tend to burn quite easily in comparision to newer Nikons.
D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

AvanEijk
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Post by AvanEijk » Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:28 pm

I love the D1...
This is an example made with the my D1 in a low-light situation.

Image

Thechnical data: Camera Model: NIKON D1, Lens Focal Length: 50,00 mm, Lens: Nikkor 50 mm 1.8 D, Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec F-Number: F2,8 ISO: 1600

Best regards,

Bram

AvanEijk
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Post by AvanEijk » Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:14 pm

And here another example....
As you can see... i like "silvertoning".

Image

Technical data: Camera Model: NIKON D1, Lens Focal Length: 50,00 mm, Lens: Nikkor 50 mm 1.8 D, Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec, F-Number: F3,5, ISO: 1600

Time to pick up my E3S for a walk...

NIKON KIU
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Post by NIKON KIU » Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:58 pm

I haven't used my D1 for at least a year, better dig it out.

I have 3 batteries for my D1, all Nikon EH-4, they still hold charge.

Kiu
Lets talk Nikon

Ross_Alford
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Why do you think D1 series prices remain relatively high?

Post by Ross_Alford » Fri May 30, 2008 11:40 pm

I just missed out on another D1 on eBay. It sold, no battery, untested recently, for $US220 or so. With charger, tested, they go for about $300. D1x still seems to sell for about $800. I have not been following the D1h so not sure but I think it is intermediate.

Why are they so high? As a collector, I want a D1 for historic value, and I would be happy to get a D1x or D1h to fill in the series, but I certainly would not buy any of them if I was looking for a camera for serious photographic reasons, when a D40 (new for about D1h price) or D70 or D100 (used, can be found for about D1 prices) or D40x or D60 (ca D1x prices) take far better images by any measure, at no greater cost. I guess the only even faintly possible practical reason might be the D1h's shooting speed, if I was a poor student and really wanted max possible frame rate with a very limited budget.

If they were all being bought by collectors, E series would sell for much more, since they are the Nikon I and M of the digital world in terms of production (the QV is more like a very low serial I). So that cannot be it.

Of course, yes, they are built like tanks as compared to the plastic models, but are people really buying them for that over convenience and image quality? Or is it purely image in the sense of status ("I have a PRO camera")?

Not moaning, I am willing to wait and the chase is part of the fun, but honestly puzzled. Also not putting down the cameras, I love these cameras, but IMO, the genuine value of the D1 and D1h to anyone but a collector is rapidly approaching zero, or maybe $100 as something you buy for your nephew who is showing some interest in photography, and the D1x should be at the $300 mark, or maybe a bit more for ruggedness, but on the other hand, lower image quality and convenience than D100/D70, no about 300.

Obviously, I'm wrong, but why?

I'm very interested in what others think.

Cheers,
Ross

nikonnl
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D1?

Post by nikonnl » Sat May 31, 2008 7:46 am

Ross, I think the D1 is a sturdy camera for those that don't want or are not able to pay thousands of euros for a new camera. I have the three D1's (D1, D1X & D1H) and it is still a pleasure to work with them. If you want decent images up to A4 all D1's are OK. They take nearly all Nikkor lenses ever produced and on ebay you'll find cheap but strong 'no-name' batteries for low prices. I think it all depends what do you want to do with a camera or what kind of pictures do you want/need. If you compare the colors produced by the D1's with e.g. a Nikon D100 or D70, I prefer the D1-colors. I also think that we are still in the early stages of digital photography. There is still a lot to do in the development of the sensors, software, capture formats, etc. Look at the fast succession of models (not only Nikon) and software upgrades!
Regards,
Nico
www.nicovandijk.net

Ross_Alford
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Post by Ross_Alford » Sat May 31, 2008 12:47 pm

Hi, Nico

Thanks for replying. The point about the lenses is a good one. My main camera for taking pictures (as opposed to collecting) for the past 3 years has been, and will continue to be for at least another couple of years, a D2x, and it is very nice to be able to use AI and D series lenses, which I have a bunch of, with proper metering etc. I had a D70 before that and the lens limitations were frustrating. Also the point about the simple enjoyment of using them; I have not used D1 series cameras but I imagine they are much like the D2x, which is a real pleasure to use.

I guess I tend to forget that not everyone wants lots of pixels. Before digital came along I used 6 X 9 cm for landscapes because I like to be able to make big prints. I used 35mm for macro and other images, and always aimed for high enough quality to be able to print even those at about A3 size. I don't always print that large, but I like to have the option. I never got seriously into digital until cameras hit 5 to 6 mp, because below that they could not handle that size well with many subjects. Even at 6 mp with the D70 it is a close call with some subjects, while others work really well. I imagine a D1x would be about the same. 12 mp leaves some room for cropping, and leaves open the possibility of even larger prints.

Clearly, that's not nearly as important to many others, and I guess that's the reason the prices have stayed up. I was hoping it was more complicated so we could have a longer discussion :-)

Cheers,
Ross

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D1?

Post by nikonnl » Sat May 31, 2008 1:49 pm

Hi Ross, I am very well in for a discussion on this topic. First: for what do you need a camera. If it's for fun, any film or digital camera will do. If you have to illustrate text a digital like the D1's will do, as all newspapers and weeklies etc. do not print above 300 dpi. There 3 Mp is enough for a decent print. If you want a nice presentation a Hasselblad slide show is still better than any PPP (power point presentation) via any beamer. Second: it's the pixel race, that makes people crazy. Most consumers think that a 10 Mp. camera delivers better pictures than a 5 Mp. camera. Nobody is talking about the size of the pixel. If you count all pixels in square mm. of a D1 you'll come to the same square mm. of capture surface as in many actual Coolpix cameras with 6+ Mp. In fact the D1 has 10.2 Mp., but not all are used. Third: I can travel from A to B in a 75 Hp Peugeot or in a 500 Hp XXX; I can listen to my records via a 2x20 Watts tube stereo set or a 5x500 Watts surround dolby blabla-set. In other words, what do you need and what can you afford to pay. The joy remains the same, if you have a sense of perspective. I'll leave tonight for the Bievres Camera Fair in Paris. I'll take some pictures with the D1H. Stay tuned.
Regards,
Nico

Ross_Alford
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Post by Ross_Alford » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:39 am

I do agree entirely, I certainly don't think that more pixels = better images, but as a general rule, more pixels does = more ability to make large prints, as long as we are still discussing DSLRs. Point-and-shoots are different; the present crop of 12 MP ones with visible noise and noise reduction even at the lowest ISOs are certainly over the top and although I have not used one, I suspect they actually do not show any real improvement over, say, 8 MP ones. However, so far, DSLRs don't seem to have hit that point, and I find it very frustrating and limiting to get a beautiful image that cannot practically be printed larger than A4. That can often happen with lower resolution cameras. For me, I guess that part of the joy is in being able to present my best images in a form that shows them off, and large prints work for that, so I was not really happy until I got to 12 MP. As I also said, though, that is sufficient; I do not expect to switch from the D2x anytime soon, even though there will probably be a 24 MP D3x later this year, and a 20 or so MP D400 a year after that...

That definitely is a personal point of view. I am not a professional photographer, and can see that if you are, and are shooting images for a particular use, it makes sense to fit the tool to the job. And, in the final analysis, to each his or her own.

Enjoy Bievres; I would really like to get to that sometime. Please do let us know anything of DSLR interest you encounter.

Cheers,
Ross

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bievres

Post by nikonnl » Wed Jun 04, 2008 6:05 pm

Hi, Bievres is always a very interesting place to be. Again very interesting items for sale, but no early digital gear. Bievres is a two-day affair (sat-sun) in the middle (park) of a small village/suburb of Paris. Dealers and visitors from many continents (!) are offering a very nice atmosphere and items from the very first daguerreotypes, Voigtländer's first camera, up to the latest digital hard- and software. All in a cosy French 'laissez-faire' mood with good food and drinks. We were lucky with the weather. Some were dumping Coolpix cameras for 99 euro or D40-kits for 299 euros, but in Europe - unfortunately - there aren't many collectors of early digital cameras. This year Bievres offered a lot of items of the period 1870-1935 and many MF equipment. But although there were workshops on Adobe Photoshop etc. most dealers offered old stuff. A pity that most visitors and dealers are old and grey. Where are the young generation collectors? If you want pictures I can post some.
Regards,
Nico
www.nicovandijk.net

Stan Disbrow
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Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:56 pm

Hi,

FWIW, I'd say that if you're looking to shoot, as opposed to collecting, then go for a D1H over the original D1. I had both when I was shooting motorsports, and the D1H was better in every aspect vs. the D1. ;)

Later!

Stan
Amateur Photographer
Professional Electronics Development Engineer

Ross_Alford
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Re: Using the D1

Post by Ross_Alford » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:59 am

Well, after years of trying to get a bargain D1 series on eBay, I finally scored something reasonable, a D1x with several batteries, charger, AC adapter, all rubber intact and not bad cosmetic condition, all working fine, for about $A380. I settled on the D1x as model of choice because it has (just) enough resolution to make prints of the size I like, and it has such an interesting sensor. Have been having a good time fiddling and taking some moderately worthwhile photos with it. Images have a quality all their own, probably due in part to much greater horizontal than vertical resolution in the original raw file. Developing raws with dcraw and no rescaling makes for interesting results, showing what the image really looks like...

Cheers,
Ross

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Re: Using the D1

Post by nikonnl » Mon Nov 24, 2008 5:46 pm

I think you have made a good deal! I like all three D1's. They are sturdy, delivering good images and you can use all lenses ever made, even RF with LTM via an adapter.

Good luck with yours.
Regards,
Nico

Image
D1/D1X/D1H/D2H/D2X etc.

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