it is our endeavor to build sophisticated tools that allow demanding photographers to focus on the image, rather than the technicalities. guided by photographic passion, we blend innovative technology, scientific insight and rugged design to build devices that deal with the physical complexities that are an inevitable part of demanding assignments.
we are committed to designing our products for long life by using proven components and raw materials, precision manufacturing and by ensuring they can be easily serviced. each of our products undergoes a strenuous test before it leaves our premises.
carl j. koch
founder, koch photography
february 15, 2011
september 26, 2010
april 28, 2010
acadalus creator carl jürg koch represents the fifth generation of photographic innovation in the koch family, a lineage that stretches back nearly 150 years and which gave rise to the world-famous sinar line of view cameras.
in 1865 carl august koch, the younger of two sons of a successful textile merchant traveled to marseilles from his native zürich where he learned the tricks of the very young photographic trade.
as one of the few people in switzerland who knew the secrets of how to create stunning images using the latest technology, he made a name for himself as a professional landscape and portrait photographer. even today, many historians cherish his large format views of the alps and early photographs of swiss cities.
in 1879 carl august set up shop in schaffhausen where he married elise wäckerlin. he loved to explore new techniques, and even took some stereoscopic images of schaffhausen and the rhine falls in the 19th century.
his eldest son hans carl, who expanded the family business with a lab and a camera shop for the amateurs, also enjoyed experimenting with technology. in 1913 he shot an autochrome lumière color plate of his argentinean born bride käthe kübler in the rose garden in front of their studio. as a military captain, he took aerial photographs with balloons and later during world war i while flying early biplanes.
progress in photography was important to him. he presided over the swiss photographers’ association for many years, educated apprentices and held camera workshops for his amateur customers. however, in his forties, hans carl fell seriously ill and käthe had to keep the business afloat while their son carl hans, a technology aficionado of the time, readied himself for the challenges ahead at the prestigious photo technical college graphische lehr- und versuchsanstalt in vienna, at the photo studio of a french-speaking photographer and at the leica camera factory.
world war ii prevented him from having a lot of time to practice commercial photography. while he was busy setting up radio communications as an officer in the military, his wife hildegard, together with her mother in law, kept the business running under the constant threat of an imminent nazi invasion.
when returning to the studio after the war, his love for progressive technology and the inherited drive to push photography forward were spurred by the antiquated view cameras of the time. with his iron will, the support of his wife hildegard and help from his photographer friends, he pushed his invention, the first truly modular view camera system -- "sinar" -- to international success.
his son hans carl emigrated to the united states after earning a masters of science degree in engineering. he was lured to the usa by the space race. he ultimately left his technical job with an airline to aggressively expand his father’s company upon his return to switzerland. he was key to modernizing the camera system and setting up a factory able to meet the increased demands on precision and production volume for the new models. he spearheaded the constant integration of the latest available technologies into the camera system.
his wife susanne was crucial in connecting artistically with customers, sales agents and employees through photographic exhibitions, press articles, news letters, conventions and book publishing. their youngest son lorenz, a passionate nature photographer himself, followed in the footsteps of his mother for many years.
elder son carl jürg, with an american degree in business administration, traveled the world promoting digital view camera photography and inspiring new developments. among others, he initiated the development of the successful sinarcam system, an integration of sinar’s advanced shutter and filtration technology with the state of the art leaf camera backs and software. later, he took part in the joint development of the first medium format 36 x 48 mm color ccd sensor (kaf 22000 c) with the kodak company, that has become a standard for the industry.
in his well equipped studio "koch photography" he has been trying out the latest inventions on selected commercial assignments such as annual reports, product photography and art reproductions. in 2004, he devoted himself full time to koch photography in schaffhausen and together with a few daring electronic and mechanical engineers he continues to design innovative products for specialized imaging applications.
adrian strehler, ms: supplied unconventional engineering approaches with a scientific twist and encouraged the acadalus team to dive into technology if necessary.
marcel sonderegger, phd: supplied valuable hints and concepts on kinematics and electronic motor control used in the acadalus system.
philipp affeltranger, bs: driving force behind the hard- and software architecture of our modular micro-controller based electronics
patrick rennhard, bs: interface genius, math wizard and quality fanatic designed the ruggedness into the hard- and software of the acadalus electronics.
frank stähle: mechanical guru lent his technical expertise in manufacturing and engineering to ensure precision and reliability.
jeff isaacs, ba: artistic renaissance man created the acadalus logo and website, corporate look and our decent english among other tasks.
carl j. koch, mba: technical afficionado and photo fanatic coming up with the ideas for new products.
andrew hirniak: we thank for his contributions to the website concept and his critical review of prototypes.
tel: +41 (0)44 586 87 34
here's a little taste of the swiss town of schaffhausen, home of acadalus and koch photography.