Cag wrote: "The height at which someone observes something is critical to their observable limit and therefore what is possible to be seen"
you are perfectly right and our friend Tommy303 had produced some time ago the diagram (the one with Hood profile visible at various distances) based on the approximate height of a County class cruiser Compass Platform, somewhere in the mega-thread "Denmark Strait and RN Articles of War".
However, while what can be seen depends on distance, how things can be seen (details, definition, colors, etc) depends much on visibility conditions, light quality and direction, eye acumen, etc.
The photos I have seen of DS battle (taken I assume with a straight 50mm lens from a anyhow considerable distance from a moving platform) are of such a bad quality that I would not take them in much account having to judge what could be visible at that distance. I would even say that the film frames are in some way better than the photos......
To make another example, if you look at the photos taken for the damage report of PoW, aground, without any stress and being even able to place the camera on or against a support, you realize how the portable photographic equipment (camera, films, light manual estimation, etc) at that time gave really very poor results if not managed by a professional.
Just my humble opinion here, of course.