What's Falaphol?

Falaphol is a simple photo viewer for Windows, designed to show the most common formats - and Leica DNGs as fast as possible - keeping the photo at the same zoom level and position when switching between different photos (an infuriating omission in some viewers), and zooming in and out with the mouse wheel, relative to the mouse pointer (by choice).

Falaphol is designed on and for Windows 10, but also works fine on Windows 7 (most likely also on Vista / Windows 8, but was not tested on those platforms).

Falaphol doesn't do slideshows, albums, stories or add music. I consider it a simple photography tool for quick viewing and a bit of comparing, for me personally most useful because of the DNG addition.

Falaphol can handle JPG, JXR (JPEG XR), TIFF, PNG, BMP, ICO, GIF, Moving GIF and for some people (like myself) most importantly: DNGs from Leica cameras (as fast as I could get it possible).

Opening DNGs is slow, because they're raw. They need to be interpolated, expanded to 16-bit, gamma corrected, tone-curved and last but not least, converted to the right colorspace and transferred to bitmap. Then some cameras rely on the fixing of distortion, which also can eat away quite a bit of time. And to complicate: DNGs nowadays are huge in size. Obviously, the bigger they are, the more time it takes (in general, a doubling in dimensions takes four times longer to process). The S, S2 and Q2 are quite problematic in that respect.

Falaphol has a few tricks under its virtual hood to make this process less painful:

o Uses the fastest - but not so great quality-wise - bilinear interpolation algorithm.

o In the settings you can request a 1:2, 1:4 or even a 1:8 version... for viewing M9 / M10 / M files I think 1:4 is fine, and a lot faster... Q2 owners (huge files) might consider the 1:8 setting to be okay... there's also a neat trick setting: 1:1 progressive. That one starts with a fast 1:4 image and then loads the 1:1 in the background, allowing you to view other photos in between.

o You can skip applying the tone curve... makes for less vibrant images, but is faster.

o You can skip applying lens correction on cameras that use it (CL, Q, Q2, T and SL)... shows more distortion, but is a lot faster.

o Results are cached... if you don't change the settings in between, a next time around the viewing will be even faster.


Falaphol currently supports DNGs from:

o Leica M8
o Leica M9
o Leica MM
o Leica M (type 240 / 246 / 262)
o Leica M10
o Leica Q
o Leica Q2
o Leica S
o Leica S2
o Leica SL
o Leica SL2
o Leica T [see note down below: the T DNGs do not play nice with Windows 10 if you have the Adobe DNG Codec installed]
o Leica TL [see note down below: the TL DNGs do not play nice with Windows 10 if you have the Adobe DNG Codec installed]
o Leica TL2 [see note down below: the TL2 DNGs do not play nice with Windows 10 if you have the Adobe DNG Codec installed]
o Leica CL
o DNGMonochrome

And the formats: JPG, JXR (JPEG XR), TIFF, PNG, BMP, ICO, GIF and moving GIF.

Note that I'm testing with photos from pre-production cameras (my photos from production cameras are limited to the Leica M9 and the Leica M-D (typ 262)). Sometimes the firmware changes before Leica releases the final product, which can lead to Falaphol not recognising the camera. If you have problems with photos that are from a camera in the list, shoot me an email (see bottom of the page).


On the Adobe DNG Codec and the Leica T, TL & TL2 DNG

You can also try the Adobe DNG Codec, which does seem to work quite okay with the older Windows photo viewer (called 'Windows Photo Viewer'), but on my system doesn't do anything for DNG when opened with the Windows 10 photo viewer (called 'Photos'). In 'Photos' it still only shows the embedded preview. It was another reason I decided to take matters into my own hands. For Falaphol you do not need the Adobe Codec on your Windows 10 system. On Windows 7 the DNG Codec might be the smarter solution.

Problem with Leica T / TL & TL2 DNGs: For some reason the Leica T DNG (in all varieties) crashes the Windows 10 metadatahandler.dll if Adobe DNG Codec is installed. The crash occurs in the Open dialog of Falaphol (only on Leica T / TL & TL2 DNGs): Falaphol will suddenly close, without warning, after clicking on such a DNG. Falaphol has a work-around implemented, but that one only works if you run Falaphol under Administrator rights. Another work-around is to make sure the Preview pane on the right of the Open dialog is closed, before you select the DNG. If the Preview pane is open, you can close it by clicking the 'Hide preview pane' button at the top-right of the Open dialog window. Opening Falaphol directly by double clicking on a T / TL / TL2 DNG or selecting 'Open with...' and pointing to Falaphol, poses no problem and works fine. This crash is limited and connected to the Preview pane of the T / TL & TL2 DNG in the Open dialog (right click in Falaphol -> Open...) in combination with the Adobe DNG Codec. Uninstalling the DNG Codec is also a solution obviously - the DNGs will then no longer show up in the Preview pane, so the Preview can no longer cause the crash - but that might not be an option if the codec is used by other applications.

Screenshots



DNG from a trip to Hiroshima, Leica M-D... underneath thumbnails of all the DNGs in the same folder...








Settings version 1.0.0



Download

Falaphol 64-bit version 1.4.2.

Falaphol 32-bit version 1.4.2.




Release 1.4.2 at 9 November 2019
Adds support for the Leica SL2.

Release 1.4.1 at 4 November 2019
Fixes bug where a non Leica-DNG in any opened folder would spoil the thumbnails by covering up the first few in the row.

Release 1.4.0 at 2 November 2019
Fixes memory leak that could lead to an 'out of memory' error, mainly in the 32-bit version.
Adds several improvements regarding memory management.
Fixes bug where some photos would open off-center, when opening a second time through right click 'Open...'.
Fixes bug where Falaphol would slow down when opening a photo from the same folder multiple times, especially when the folder contained many photos.

Release 1.3.3 at 2 November 2019
Falaphol is now able to display JPEG XR files (extension 'jxr').
Fixes a bug where switching between similar sized photos could lead to no photo showing (until you zoomed).
Fixes a bug where changing the background color (through settings) would spoil transparancy if an ICON image was being displayed.

Release 1.3.2 at 1 November 2019
Falaphol is now able to display ICON files (extension 'ico').
Fixes a bug where the zoom logic was different (in the 'relative to mouse pointer' setting) between zooming within the viewer (with the mouse pointer outside the photo itself) and zooming with the mouse pointer hovering over the preview images.

Release 1.3.1 at 30 October 2019
Fixes a small bug when moving with the mouse in and out of the main photo, noticable only on moving GIFs.
Sets the right internal version number, which was still set to 1.2.0.

Release 1.3.0 at 30 October 2019
Falaphol is now able to display moving GIFs.
When in grayscale mode (new since 1.2.0, only for DNG) the upscaled preview image - shown right before the full image is loaded - is now also shown in grayscale (no more jump from color to grayscale if the image is a color image)

Release 1.2.0 at 27 October 2019
Adds option to render DNG in grayscale (see settings, under 'Render DNG in', which is default set to sRGB). Note that this setting only applies to DNG and that a color preview will be shown first (if the image is a color image). The setting has no effect on Monochrome DNGs or JPG / PNG / BMP / TIFF.
Changes the 'Fit' behaviour: when in Fit-mode, a newly selected photo will now respect the position of the previous one (in either horizontal or vertical direction).

Release 1.1.1 at 21 October 2019
Fixes graphical issue with some DNGs, where the upscaled preview image was slightly larger than the final result, leading to a small jump of the image when fully loaded.
Fixes issue with the SL DNG, which caused the preview image to be too small in height (this led to a similar jump as in previous point).
Fixes 'About' window falling behind the main window when selecting 'About...' in Full Screen mode, leading to a freeze (you could get out of it with the space bar).
Adds the 'Center' option to the right click menu.

Release 1.1.0 at 18 October 2019
Adds option to change the background color through Settings.
Improves zooming: no more blinking between the different zoom states and faster mouse response.
Fixes some problems with zooming that only showed up on Windows 7.

Release 1.0.3 at 15 October 2019
Fixes calculation bug when switching between photos in 'Fit' mode.

Release 1.0.2 at 13 October 2019
Small graphical improvement in the zooming.

Release 1.0.1 at 12 October 2019
Adds support for the Leica TL and Leica TL2.




... falaphol is freeware and does not contain adware or spyware...





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