Super 8 Sound film is generally the lowest quality film we see. It's not the film though… it's the cameras of the day.
In the dying days of film in the late 70s and early 80s, the format was in a fight for life versus the new age of video tape formats. To be able to compete with their market in decline, very cheap products flooded the market, resulting in poor quality imaging.
Grainy, ‘contrasty’ - there were a range of issues. People who had been unable to afford the home movie boom, were suddenly now able to, and were on the whole poorly educated about videography, film types, lenses, filters, correct use of light, how to shoot etc.
And so all these years later, we have a challenge trying to deliver a good transfer from Super 8 Sound.
Compared to colour Standard 8mm film from say the 1940s, we tend to expect without even looking at the film that it is going to be good. Rich colours and great light makes it a pleasure to work with. The explanation for this is that only very high quality, expensive products were on the market, and people paid a lot of money for the equipment and so they really learnt how to use it well. It really wasn’t for the novice user.