Donnerstag, 29. November 2007

Core work and leopards

As some may have mentioned, I am also spending my time with Apples, especially running Aperture and recently Leopard 10.5. I do some presentations in Germany for Apple on certain events and in this connection I have found some interesting thoughts and I also have learned from this.

First - always take your chance with the first glance. Maybe 10-15 seconds. this is what you get if a total stranger of your portfolio looks at your products. Either you win right now or the fight is already nearly over.
Second: make your products sexy. definitely- the new 20" imac is probably the most sexy computer in a long time. Women love it ! While their men are still searching for "the rest of the computer" the women already make a plan how to arrange the rest of their desk with the gained space....;-)

Now what does this teach to hartblei ?

First I think there need to be even more pictures made with our lenses and people need to talk about it. The technical aspects are important, but we will recruit some more professionals and core customers using our lenses and showing their results.
I will invest as many efforts as I can for this.
Second: we will introduce a portfolio of things that will make our lenses even better. There will be special bags, cases and additional gadgets, especially a so called stitching clamp. Be shure to watch our website regularly.

But most of all we will refine the haptics even more, AND as we delivered a lot of lenses to dealer recently, these will give you the chance to take our lenses into your hands. Full metal - no plastic -just bare black eloxated technology and craftsmanship. Better than any words and advertisements.

Try it. Visit our dealers. Touch it. The lenses are there to be lended and tested.
No words , just results.

I am waiting for pictures. Either post them to Flickr:

or send them to me, we will feature them on our website. Promised !
We also invite all users of older Hartblei lenses with russian glass.
Because creativity is not limited to technology- right ?

Greetings from Munich


Samstag, 3. November 2007

Kiev is humming on activity

It´s cold outside, at least here in Kiev. But this does not keep people off from walking down the Chreschatik on saturday evening. You see the most beautiful women in the world, laughing and arguing,a lot of young people. Tomorrow I will go to a jazzkonzert, today we had some sushi and tomorrow I go shopping for some nice steaks on sunday as the shops are open, just normally. Nobody would discuss about this here. People work a lot and Kiev had a 15,3 % growth of economy last year. This year I guess it will be higher. Wages rise, the old russian cars have nearly disappeared and new korean cars dominate the streets. Apartment prices have reached NewYork city level with up to 10000$ per square meter. Kievs economy has entered the western world. The west may not know it yet, but they sell more Bentleys here as in Munich or Berlin.
I think Hartblei is just right on spot. We express something the world will understand when looking a little more closer to the former GUS countries.
Expect a lot to come from here. It may take a while until the rest of Ukraine may follow but cities like Odessa and Lvov also start up.
Not all are winners, retired and veterans have a hard time.
There is still a lot of work to do, but I´m shure this country will make it.

I´m glad I´m here, we are discussing the strategies for next year and as you all know there is another photokina...........;-)

This will be very interesting.

Greetings from Kiev


Donnerstag, 11. Oktober 2007

Misunderstandings and other questions

2 Days ago I received a private message in the German DSLR Forum, I answered this in German and I think it´s worth being blogged-so I beg for pardon- this is German inside an english blog:

Sehr geehrter Herr Schubert

"weshalb können sie sich Leisten keine Partnerschaften bzw. Vertragsvereinbarungen mit Fotohändlern zu machen, wie auch die anderen Kamera- & Objektivherstelller ?"

???: Wie sie vielleicht sehen wenn sie auf unsere Händlerseite gehen, haben wir inzwischen einige namhafte Fachhändler gewonnen, darunter die jeweiligen Zeiss Vertragshändler in Holland, Belgien Luxemburg, sowie der Schweiz, in Deutschland über die Fa.Ravenstein/Chimera, Frankreich über Artetec, weitere in Vorbereitung. Hartblei ist nun mal kein Massenprodukt wir werden im ersten Jahr maximal 60-80 Stk pro Monat bauen.

"Weshalb gibt es keine Vereinbarungen mit den deutschen Reperaturwerkstätte wie die anderen Kamera- und Objektivhersteller es machen."

???: Woher wollen Sie das denn wissen ? Wir haben eine Ersatzteilversorgung mit Zeiss vereinbart, dies ist Teil unseres Vertrages, Größere Reparaturen werden im Werk durchgeführt (wegen der Justage der Optischen Einheiten im Barrel, das machen Canon oder Nikon auch nicht anders).

"Weshalb kann man ein Ukrainische/deutsches Produkt nicht in Deutschland kaufen, statt dessen muss man diese Artikel in Atlanta (USA) bestellen?"

???: also da bringen Sie jetzt endgültig etwas durcheinander. Die Fa. Hartblei Optica ist Hersteller und Vertrieb der Zeiss /Hartblei Produkte. Diese Artikel werden exclusiv über unsere Webseiten und unsere Händler vertrieben. Die "alten" ukrainischen Produkte sind exclusiv über den Vertriebskanal zu haben über den sie auch schon die letzten 8 Jahre zu kaufen waren, nämlich Kievcamera oder direkt aus der Ukraine.

"Weshalb heißen die Objektive immer noch Prototyp?; denn wir benutzen den Begriff in normalerweise für erste Produkte zum vorführen, aber sie kommen in dieser Form meisten und, unter so einem Namen nicht auf dem Markt"

???: Dies ist Teil unserer Vereinbarung mit Carl Zeiss für die ersten 300 Stk (genau 297=3x99) und wurde von Carl Zeiss so verlangt, damit wir den Namen "Optics bei Carl Zeiss" benutzen dürfen. Ich gehe immer noch davon aus dass wir nach den jetzigen Vertriebserfolgen (wir haben jetzt 3 Monate bestellzeit bis zur Lieferung) nächstes Jahr den Vertrieb über Carl Zeiss direkt abwickeln werden, dann unter einer anderen Objektivbezeichnung.
Qualitativ sind diese Objektive inzwischen 100% fertig und ausentwickelt, wir werden aber zusätzliche features definieren und in neuen Modellen vorstellen.


Stefan Steib
CEO Hartblei Optica

Dienstag, 11. September 2007

Blue skies - Kiev in September


As I write this I´m sitting here with my MBP connected to the Hotels Lan, it´s highspeed like in Munich, I just edited all my emails, actually making my stay even more like being at home (which is sometimes NOT an advantage ;-).
Kiev is a construction area, there are numerous new houses built, the whole city is humming of energy. Hartblei gets a lot of that with all pros and cons, prices raising but also new technologies being available here in Kiev making it more and more easy for us to produce our new lenses. And then there is the human resource !
I´m always amazed of how tough and professional the new young ukrainians work. Especially many young women who learn hard and work even harder. They are intelligent, speaking a bunch of languages and are willing to make it to the top. This is a country with a big future, remember my words.
And I feel very comfortable being here, no more as a guest but being part of this.
On the 30th of september there will be parliament elections here in Ukraine.
But no matter who will win, the process of opening to the west in the Ukraine is irreversible and also no party wants to go retro. So this will be the biggest advantage for this gorgeous country, to be able to show the world what its capable to achieve.

Too pathetic ? NO - I feel already a little bit blue and yellow.

Ochin priadna Ukraina


Samstag, 1. September 2007

The full format Week !

Hello again - and wow, what a week we had. Nikon has announced the full format D3 finally calling it FX, well but a poodle still stays a poodle right ? ;-)
Canon has finally launched/announced the D1sIII which had been expected last photokina.
And then there are already pictures of the new Sony Professional DSLRs which nearly everybody expects to be fullformat also.
Does anybody remember my prediction of about a year ago in my marketanalysys (powerpoint see on our website)? It seems I was quite right.
Now what does this mean for Hartblei ?
Well People will need quality lenses to use the capacity of their Canon, Nikon and maybe soon Sony bodies fully. Lenses which do not resolve the neccessary information will simply spoil all the additional pixels and render them useless.
The demanding task of the next years for the camera industry will be to supply high end quality lenses to their already very good bodies.
In former times the glass was known to be the most important and expensive part of your camera. In the age of plastic mounted consumer superzooms this knowledge has a little dwindled away.
But demanding pros all over the world who will use these 35mm cameras as their everyday tools now, will very easily aknowledge that an investment of a good lens pays back.

It did in the past, it does today and it will in the future.
We want to put back an investment into lenses to a level of security.
Expect hartblei lenses to be very stable in Prices, usable for many years and not loosing their value for a long time.

Tha´s what we are working for and partnering with a company like Carl Zeiss who´s intentions are the same as ours.
Quality pays off - believe it !

Greetings from Munich

Stefan Steib

Samstag, 25. August 2007

Summertime - not so quiet as it seems !

Hi anybody who still believes in me and returns to this blog. I have been quite lazy the last few weeks (months?) but only with this blog, not with Hartblei.

In the meantime we have now placed demosets to all our dealers,you can go there and check the lenses out. And- quite nice also the SwissGerman "PHOTOGRAPHIE" has written a Market overview on Shift and Tilt lenses in their 09/2007 magazine, although this was not a complete test we got a nice compliment from the journalist:
"Hartblei is the new Reference for shift and tilt lenses !"
- Wow ! -

In the background we have now set up the orders for lenses with Zeiss to inshure we also can deliver enough lenses for all the people who want a Hartblei/Zeiss lens.

In this connection we also apologize to all the people who want to buy the russian lens versions. As Hartblei is a small company and our resources are limited, we do have severe problems to build both lens lines in numbers. At the moment our decision is to push the new Zeiss line and concentrate on thsi. We can take your orders (please contact Mike Fourman/Kievcamera in Atlanta) but there are delays.

We hope that this autumn the situation will be better and we will be able to fulfill all the orders we have received for the russian versions.

Hartblei Optica is only selling the Zeiss versions but as we caused the delays on the russian versions I feel somewhat responsible for that.

So here my apologies to all these customers !

Thanks for your patience.

greetings from Munich

Stefan Steib - CEO Hartblei Optica

Sonntag, 3. Juni 2007

Prices,Dealers and some other thoughts

Well after some weeks of inactivity, here I am back, some spare time to blog what happened. We have changed the prices, to react to the fact that many people requested to have a full guarantee, an inside the EU delivery and as the customs would have been added anyway we also combine that with the comfort of having the lens shipped to you - ALL included now.
That should give buyers in countries where we do not have dealers yet the same amount of comfort getting their hartblei lens as if they pick it up at their dealers places. Of course a good dealer is not to be replaced. He is the one who will help you out if you need some advice for your equipment,order a spare part or get the lens for testing in case of interest or just stop in to look for new stuff. The word service is very important to us. We hope that we have found some fine partners to supply photographers in the respective countries with our lenses and the best available service.
In the benelux this will be transcontinenta, ask for Aad Out, he is a great guy, and boy did we have a nice indonesian rice table in Amsterdam....cheers Aad !!!
In Switzerland we have 2 partners, one is the Sinar distribution company Tekno in Zurich, with Matthias Wagner, they know their stuff very well.
Then there is ARTE-TEC S.A. Stephan Weber in Delemont, he will be serving France and "Swiss Romande", he will also supply a french translation for the Hartblei website soon. As it happens to be, he also runs a company in Ukraine/Sewastopol and we can probably join some forces to build even better Hartblei products together.
Then there are our new bags(to be seen on the website very soon) made by munich Designer Ute Linck- -to present and protect our lenses in a very unusual way.

It´s a lot of work, people support our project and this is the place to say thank you for this.
Not to forget about Carl Zeiss and all the friendly people in Oberkochen who helped me when I needed them. Balschoi spassiba !!!

Greetings from munich


Dienstag, 8. Mai 2007

Kiev in Snow- the cold east !

last week I stayed in Kiev for 5 days. While in western Europe the summer was already ruling, in Kiev the temperatures dropped to nearly zero. On Thursday the 3rd there was even snow falling in the morning. But this City has so much to warm you up - you can visit the opera, the cheapest seats go for 30 Uah-thats about 4,50€ . Culture for the people, a leftover from old communist times, very appreciated. You can see the Ukrainian state ballet and fabulous artists singers, maybe not wellknown in Germany but real first class in their kind.
On the 1st of may Kiev was on the move, flags where waving everywhere, but not in a way of revolts that some may have the impression when hearing about Ukraine today. Instead it was more like a celebration of old times, red flags showing the pride on things that happened long ago. if you want to see some pics of this I´d want you to point to my flickr site . there is also a hartblei group on Flickr  everybody with a hartblei lens is invited to post your pics there.

Greetings from Munich

Dienstag, 24. April 2007

Pressrelease is out and spreading

Yesterday afternoon we kicked off the german Pressrelease. It has already spread to several other sites and was obviously taken very well by journalists. Of course I´m curious how it will work in the long run, means printed matter and other contacts for us.
We have now a dealer/s in Switzerland and France and I hope in Austria  and Italy soon.
There is a nice request on lenses and sets to go directly, dealers have ordered sets.
I think we will make quite a nice start. Now I still have to translate the whole website into english which is a lot of work, as well as the pressrelease which will be launched in english in a week or so.
I´ll be in Kiev from the 30th until the 4th of May, so if anybody wants to contact me then, please use my ukrainian Mobile number.

Still tired - but the show must go on


Freitag, 20. April 2007

We are online !

Ladies and Gentlemen -

I hereby proudly announce the availability of our new site.
After blood,sweat and tears, after endless talks with Zeiss, my business partners, with our reference customers and whoever else was involved into this launch - it´s done !  or

Special Thanks to Mark , my Friend who has done the webdesign. I will now fall into my bed and sleep for 2 days, so if anybody wants to contact me, do it next monday..........;-)


Mittwoch, 18. April 2007

It´s wednesday night and time for lunch......

am de dum de dum..........

Well, yesterday was Apple day, as a consultant I did what is most important: I listened to my customers, showcased Aperture for Apple and found out what Photographers would like to do. Namely do Photography more easily and get better tools to be creative and productive.
I guess this is also the reason I´m here, why Hartblei did this and why we work so much for this idea. From my career as  a producing "imager", I know that quality is something our customers expect automatically. But creativity is the song that makes you smile and shoots young photographic newcomers into the olymp of stardom. But now many companies tell you, you have to invest around 35 grands  and up to be able to take professional looking shots with medium format or viewcameras and backs. Not to speak of all the lights, your studio setup and all the other costs. And suddenly creativity shrinks to the numbers on your bank account. I say this is not fate. Take a look at the sample pics I have just placed on our website. The Lamborghini motor you find there, was shot by our customer Marc Stantien with a Nikon D2X and our Hartblei Prototype 4/40 TS. Shure you will still need a lot of light, a lot of work and plenty of knowledge and talent to do this, but at least there are about 25 thousend $ which do not have to be financed 
for a camera, a back and lenses. There IS an alternative. Save the money for yourself and for the other 10k$ buy a decent 35 mm Digital Body and the set of 3
of the new Hartblei lenses. This should do a lot for your mental health, 
your bank account and will make you sleep much better. 
Because somehow, most people preferre not to have these talks at banks, 
you know what I mean ?

With kindest regards to all Bankers worldwide


Montag, 16. April 2007

To blog or not to not a question

well-here I am. I´m blogging. Actually I have not much time for this as we prepare the launch of our new Hartblei website. A lot of pictures need to be sorted, cropped, placed, marked with text and uploaded. My Webdesigner goes mad with my 5 minutes text changes (my specialty!). The site grows like the internet Hype of 2000. Originally we wanted to do a small and fast Site, just to inform our customer about the most necessaryy things. Now.....the site is still fast. But we are digging into all the things that we have left aside for some time. How to launch an old Pricelist, ok lets write a new one. Wouldn´t it be nice to have a customer testimonial page, well if we have one, why shouldn´t we invite several ?.............
As you may guess if you have done this by yourself, this is the Black hole of work, the riddle of the lost nights, sleepless in Munich, just without Meg Ryan.
But as I write this there is light on the horizon. We have finished the structure now, the german part is nearly ready, there needs to be a translation to english, we still have to implement........ Launch should be wednesday or thursday..........ahhhhhh

Close to Madness