A flat-field grazing incidence spectrometer operating on the spectral region from 1 to 10 nm was built for research on physics of high temperature and high energy density plasmas. It consists of a flat-field grating with 2400 lines/mm as a dispersing element and an x-ray charged coupled device (CCD) camera as the detector. The diffraction efficiency of the grating and the sensitivity of the CCD camera were directly measured by use of synchrotron radiation at the BL-11D beamline of the Photon Factory (PF). The influence of contamination to the spectrometer also was characterized. This result enables us to evaluate the absolute number of photons in a wide range wavelength between 1 and 10 nm within an acquisition. We obtained absolutely calibrated spectra from highly charged ion plasmas of Gd, from which a maximum energy conversion efficiency of 0.26% was observed at a Nd:YAG laser intensity of 3 × 1012 W/cm2.