The only thing I've used the APHS film for is to make enlarged negatives for Pd printing.
Yes, it can be very contrasty, that's why I develop in dilute Dektol 1:9, which although contrasty, still gives me continuous tone.
I believe some guys have used it in camera at an ISO of 3-6...you may want to check out Jim Galli's site or email him. He has used this film in camera.
Don't know if any of this helps, but thought I'd at least offer...let me know what you end up doing!