The F90 is about 7 mm shorter than an F100 but otherwise about the same size.
I used mine for climbing as well. At that time we lived in London and went to the alps about 3 times per year. And yes they can take a beating. I stuck the 28 MM lenses and went to town. It certainly feels much lighter than the F 100. Superb travel camera.
The N90s and the N6006 are my favorite film cameras for photographing children and animals.
The N90 is as much of a tank as my F4S is. I truly was sad when I sold all but one body (had 3) when the F5 came to the house.
An underrated workhorse of a camera. I know I have recommended it to anyone who asks me about getting back into film cameras.
The only issue I have with the F90x is the loud motor wind. If it was more subdued, it would be the perfect camera... and I'd buy like 5.
I agree the motor is very loud, but I don't care. When I used my N90s alot, there was no question as to who was taking photos and when the photo was taken. Which can have it's advatages and disadvantages. If I need to be quiet, I bring something quiet like an FA or FE. Quiet as a mouse without the big winders on them.
May I suggest there is a mental "advantage" to a loud winder? At least with older folks for sure. Nobody made that much noise unless they were "a professional" and had a pro camera too.....
For my work, (especially when I'm working street or very quiet documentary), noise is a major factor. I've shot similar scenarios with two different cameras (one with an Olympus OM4 and the other with an F90x/N90s). The Olympus OM4 barely makes catches people's attention. The F90x, with it's wild film scream and thumping of it's chest, turned ALL heads when I was shooting from a distance. Yikes!
I totally see where you're coming from, SafetyBob, about being loud and it being a mental "advantage" ... don't think I've thought about it that way. I'll have to maybe thing about it. I knowJoe Buissink had F90x/N90s's and I don't think he ever complained about the noise. (I had originally typed Joe McNally... wrong Joe!).
I have one N90S and one F90X. They cost very little but are capable cameras with many useful features. I use them mosty with manual focus lenses. The focus confirmation is handy and the ability to change focusing screens is useful for macro and telephoto work. If you want the equivalent of many megapixels, put in a roll of Ektar 100.
I bought a lens off 'the auction site that must not be named' and when it turned up, the rear lens cap was actually a F90. I didn't need it, but I ran a few rolls through it and really liked it. They are a complete bargain at the moment. I saw one at a camera fair with the rubber cladding falling off but otherwise working perfectly for £15. I'm sure they were close to a thousand pounds new. They are a bit noisy though...