Well, I did a test using the Ilford Ortho. There is no fogging, and I checked the safelight and it has just a 15watt bulb in it. Which is apparently appropriate, so maybe I am just getting sensitive or something. Perhaps the selenium toner is getting to me....
Anyway, I shot two sheets in my backyard and rated it at 25. I had to go all the way down to f/32, so in the future I will probably use the ND filters so I can open up and get it all "soft".
I developed in D-76 1:1 with inspection. Seems to have worked. The red of the chili pepper lights is definately filtered out.
Interestingly, the lower hummingbird feeder is also red, but I guess it had enough highlights and transparency to be a bit more lit up. The other feeder is a mix of blue and reducing red.
Anywho....any comments? Like I said I want to get that plate look as much as possible, and I think if I opened up a bit more, and maybe even used a lens that vignetted a bit, I could get what I want. I have an old Kodak lens from a Brownie that covers 4x5. Should be worth mounting and seeing what i get.