Top of camera controls (right) cont.

Metering Mode

The dial on the side of the viewfinder sets the metering mode, it's another locked control requiring a press of the center button before the dial will turn.


Colour matrix metering

Selects 3D colour matrix metering which uses a 67 x 15 (1005 pixel) CCD to calculate the best exposure for the frame. 3D colour metering is only available with D-type lenses where the range information is used in conjunction with metered light, with other lenses this reverts to colour matrix metering.

Nikon are now famous for the accuracy of their matrix metering system, and the D1 is no exception, metering par excellence.

Center Weighted Metering

The camera uses the entire frame for light measurement but assigns a greater weight to an area in the center of the frame (indicated in the viewfinder by the circle). (Known as Center Weighted Average Metering on other cameras). The size of the circle used to define the "center" of the frame can be set through a custom function.  

Spot metering

The camera measures light only in a circle 4 mm in diameter. This is tied to the currently selected AF area point unless dynamic AF or a non-CPU lens is used when it defaults to the center of the frame.

Lens compatibility / Focusing / Exposure / Metering modes

The lens compatibility table below is copied from the D1 manual and provided here as reference material.

Lens Focusing Exposure Mode Exposure Metering Mode
Auto Focus Manual P S A M Matrix Center Weighted Spot


D-type AF Nikkor, AF-S, AF-I Nikkor
(3D colour)
PC Micro Nikkor 85 mm F2.8D   2       3 3
(3D colour)
3 1,3
Teleconverter 4
5 5
(3D colour)
Non D-type AF Nikkor (except lenses for F3AF)
AI-P Nikkor
AI-type Nikkor
AI-modified Nikkor
Reflex-Nikkor 7
PC-Nikkor 7
  2     8 9   8 8
AI-type Teleconverter   5       10 10
Bellows Focusing Attachment PB-6 11   5     12 12  
Auto extension rings (PK 11A, 12, 13, PN-11)   5      

1 Metering area corresponds to selected focus area (see �Camera Settings: Metering�).
2 Without shifting and/or tilting.
3 The camera�s exposure metering and flash control system do not work properly when shifting and/or tilting the lens, or when an aperture other than the maximum aperture is used.
4 Compatible with all AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses except the AF-S 17�35 mm f/2.8D IF-ED and AF-S 28�70 mm f/2.8D IF-ED.
5 With maximum effective aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
6 With maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster.
7 Some lenses can not be used (see below).
8 Exposure determined by presetting lens aperture. AE lock must also be performed before shifting.
9 Exposure determined by presetting lens aperture. Exposure must also be determined before shifting.
10 Exposure compensation required with some lenses (refer to instruction manual provided with teleconverter).
11 Auto Extension Ring PK-11A, 12, or 13 required.
12 Exposure determined by presetting lens aperture on bellows. Release shutter after exposure metering.

Nikkor lenses which can not be used with the D1

  • TC-16A AF Teleconverter
  • Non-AI lenses
  • Lenses that require the AU-1 focusing unit (400mm f/4.5, 600mm f/5.6,
  • 800mm f/8, 1200mm f/11)
  • Fisheye (6mm f/5.6, 8mm f/8, OP10mm f/5.6)
  • 21mm f/4 (old type)
  • K2 ring
  • ED 180�600mm f/8 (serial numbers 174041�174180)
  • ED 360�1200mm f/8 (serial numbers 174031�174127)
  • 200�600mm f/9.5 (serial numbers 280001�300490)
  • Lenses for the F3AF (80mm f/2.8, 200mm f/3.5, TC-16S Teleconverter)
  • PC 28mm f/4 (serial number 180900 or earlier)
  • PC 35mm f/2.8 (serial numbers 851001�906200)
  • PC 35mm f3.5 (old type)
  • 1000mm f/6.3 Reflex (old type)
  • 1000mm f/11 Reflex (serial numbers 142361�143000)
  • 2000mm f/11 Reflex (serial numbers 200111�200310)

Front of camera controls

On the front of the camera are two controls, first on the right side of the lens is the depth of field preview button, pressing this button stops the lens down to the selected (or metered) aperture allowing the photographer to preview the depth of field of the final shot (obviously the viewfinder view becomes dimmer when the lens is stopped down). On the left side of the lens mount is the focus mode selector (modes defined below).

Focus modes


Manual Focus

Focusing is carried out using the focus ring on the lens, the focus indicator on the viewfinder status bar can be used to compare the chosen manual focus with that calculated by the cameras auto focus system. '>' - subject is further away than the current focus distance, 'o' - subject is in focus distance, '<' - subject is closer than current focus distance.

S Single servo AF (focus priority)

Auto focus begins when shutter release is half-pressed, if the subject isn't moving then the focus will lock as long as the shutter release continues to be held. If the subject was moving the focus will track the moving subject until it stops or the 'o' focus lock indicator is displayed in the viewfinder.

Continuous servo AF (release priority)

The camera focuses continuously as long as the shutter-release button is half-pressed and will track any moving objects. In this mode release has priority over focus which means the camera will take a shot as soon as you fully depress the shutter release button whatever the current focus status.

It's worth noting that the D1's auto focus abilities are excellent, with AF-S (Silent Wave) lenses focus is silent and very, very fast. With "normal" lenses it's a little noisier and not quite as fast (for the motor to wind to each position) but focus ability stretches all the way down to some of the darkest situations I could find.. Despite not having an auto focus lamp the D1 manages to focus sharply, almost every time.