Mercedes-Benz Documents the Return of Instant Film

Mercedes-Benz – yes, the automobile manufacturer --  has shared a nice video featuring The Impossible Project and their quest to bring instant film back to the marketplace.

As the video explains, six years ago IMPOSSIBLE started with a factory and little else. The company was able to redevelop the necessary processes and materials to produce instant film. They now offer 600-type film, SX-70-type film, and even 8x10 black and white instant sheets.

IMPOSSIBLE’s head-honcho, Stephen Herchen (CTO, COO), provides an explanation of the development processes. With the help of some beautiful illustrations that remind me of an old camera manual, Herchen walks the viewer through the various chemical and physical processes that must happen for the photograph to be created.

This film features great imagery. It’s a high-end feel. Honestly, I was waiting for a Jon Hamm voiceover and a speeding car heading off into the sunset. It just feels right. Props to the production team, as they did a darn good job with this piece.

A few quotes from Herchen:

  • “When you are seeing something analog, there’s a whole other dimension to it.”

There certainly is; I think we will all agree with this. However, I wish he hadn’t said this great line after mentioning that our world is increasingly digitized. People like digital photography, too. Just skip the digital comparison, and let us discuss how cool the pictures look.

  • “As people are looking to understand why there’s still a fascination with the analog instant photography, some of it is probably wrapped up in that personal nature of it.”

I think he could have said, even more definitively, that photography has a personal nature to it and the instant photograph fulfills that void between memory and magic.

  • “It is very similar to a living system. It’s an incredibly elegant, elegant thing.”


If you are interested in analog instant photography, you should take 4 minutes to view this film. If you’re the nostalgic type, it’s going to give you that fuzzy feeling hearing Herchen talk with such conviction about why IMPOSSIBLE is carrying on with manufacturing instant film.

On the other hand, if you want to study some slick camera moves and composition, check out the camera movements at :40 to :55, 1:15 to 1:22 and the closing shot beginning at 3:48.

For more information on IMPOSSIBLE, check out their website at

Aaron Ottis's picture

Aaron is a photographer living in the Midwestern United States.

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I've been consistently disappointed with the price and quality of project impossible. I've had a couple batches of film just simply not come out or take 20 minutes to develop. I went the fuji instant camera and have loved it.

Mine are hinging up in my office and my colleagues smile when they walk by. Love them.

How did they get a photo of a person in the sea to develop in the middle of a city? doesn't the photo develop as soon as the photo is taken?

i wanna see the camera that spits out a 8x10 photo.