This is just a short demo showing how no matter how much you zoom you can’t cause a container ship to rise back up from over the horizon.
It was a very calm day in the Pacific, and the gentle breeze kept the mirage down to a minimum so you can see how drastic the horizon against the boat changes from shore to the hilltop overlook.
My camera was roughly 5-6ft above the water when down by the shore. I believe the gazebo on the hill I shot video from is about 90ft above the water. I can’t say for sure how far the cargo ships were moored off shore but estimated based off direction and comparing how much they faded compared to the shoreline in the distance.
If you want to reproduce what I did here’s links to the lens and camera I used, the lens can be found for pretty cheap, as can a camera that can mount it.
Olympus OMD EM5 mk-2 = http://amzn.to/2cgg0gj
Panasonic 45mm-200mm lens = http://amzn.to/2cu69Q4
Benro Tripod = http://amzn.to/2czx7rx
Nikon Coolpix P900 = http://amzn.to/2cu5IoQ