That's been my experience too. Jupiter's features tend to be low contrast.
Yes, Jupiter is awash in low contrast detail that rolls into view during times when seeing is steady and disappears at the slightest flap of a butterfly's wings. Observing Jupiter is observing its low contrast detail. It has higher contrast detail, too, like the equatorial bands themselves, the GRS, eclipse shadows, etc. Interestingly, in my understanding and experience, Jupiter's low contrast detail tends to fade at some point at higher magnification and smaller exit pupils while the high contrast detail remains (and the limb is still sharp). I believe this occurs on our eye (afocal) and not on the focal plane because we're observing he same fine image we saw at lower magnification where detail is much easier on the eye.
Actually, most of Saturn's cloud structures are low already bright low contrast at all magnifications, so they are more difficult to see anyway. So, Saturn can take some magnification without significant degradation, especially the rings. Mars has bright low and high contrast detail, too. The latter can take magnification, too, and I believe Mars is a little brighter per unit area than Jupiter. Bright high contrast detail can take magnification a little better than low contrast detail. Good optics and no obstruction help a little but seeing rules all who observe through the atmosphere above us, and the proper magnification is important along with a scope prepped for observing. An 8" is a capable scope at the right magnification.
So is a 6" aperture. Below I cherry picked on of my better observations of Jupiter near the zenith in good seeing through a 6" at 240x. My 8" is noticeably better resolved. It's not like this stuff jumps out at you. It takes a while for detail to briefly roll into view and you have to be there to see it when it does. It takes a good while, maybe 30 to 45 minutes, to see everything we can see even in better seeing conditions and before Jupiter's rotation causes it to change significantly. Color takes some skill because it's low contrast and just a shade or two from grey scale in small apertures, but we can learn to discern faint differences in hue.
The sketch is embellished in terms of contrast and color saturation, so others do not have to work as hard as I did. You should not have to "observe" a sketch, but that would be cool and more realistic if we did.
Edited by Asbytec, 25 November 2022 - 05:46 PM.