What's Falaphol?

Version 1.7.9 released at 17 October 2020, with an important memory bugfix.

Falaphol is a simple color managed 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, SL and Vario X)... 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 (typ 240 / 246 / 262)
o Leica M-D (typ 262)
o Leica M10
o Leica M10-P
o Leica M10-D
o Leica M10-R
o Leica Q
o Leica Q2
o Leica S2
o Leica S (typ 006)
o Leica S (typ 007)
o Leica S3
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 Leica X Vario (typ 107)
o DNGMonochrome (for all cameras supported by 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).

Color management

Since version 1.5.0 Falaphol is color managed (default turned off). See the settings. If you turn on color management (ICM), advised is to also select 'Use default color profile set through Windows'. If you switch that one off, you can choose any ICM profile on your system, but a lot of them might be inappropriate and give wrong results. Turn on color management if you notice too much difference between e.g. photos in Lightroom compared to the exported JPEG in Falaphol.

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.


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

Settings version 1.7.5


Falaphol 64-bit version 1.7.9.

Falaphol 32-bit version 1.7.9.

Close a running Falaphol before installing the new version, else installation will fail.

Please note: since this software is mainstream nor downloaded a lot, your browser, OS and virus scanner will make it difficult for you to install Falaphol. Since you have no reason to trust me or my website, my advice is to follow the instructions if you decide to ignore the initial Windows 10 warning. For what it's worth: the software doesn't contain malware, spyware, adware or vague third party installers through sneaky check boxes like browser bars etc., and apart from the virus scanner on my own PC, this website is also under the watchful eye of a virus scanner, through the hosting of it.

Release 1.7.9 at 17 October 2020
o Fixes a memory bug introduced by version 1.7.0, when the cache was changed. With 'use cache' on, a loaded DNG would not let go of its cached image after use. This could lead to out-of-memory errors pretty quickly (especially on the 32-bit version).

Release 1.7.8 at 17 October 2020
o Adds a 'shadow' option - see Settings.
o Fixes a small graphical bug: in the initial zooming of a photo to 'larger', a ghost image would flash in the top left corner of the photo.
o Fixes the new 'Legend' window dropping behind the application when in Full Screen mode (F11), seemingly freezing the application.
o Fixes dropping out of Full Screen mode when opening Settings or any other window.
o Fixes the way too slow update check, which could hang up Falaphol for seconds if it was set to check for a new version at startup.

Release 1.7.5 / 1.7.6 / 1.7.7 at 15 October 2020
o Fixes a bug introduced in version 1.7.0: interpolation of the down scaled formats (e.g. 1:4 or 1:2) was unnecessarily slow in color photos, due to adaptations in the rendering of monochrome DNGs. This latest version should be at full speed again.
o Fixes a bug for the S3: portrait previews from this camera were not rotated (in the preview tiles), as promised in version 1.7.5.
o Fixes a calculation bug introduced in version 1.7.5: opening a photo from a folder with many photos, would not scroll the selected photo (on the preview strip at the bottom) in view.
o Adapts the preview tiles graphically (dampened the colors and put the tiles closer together).
o Preview images of DNGs are now rotated properly (portrait photos showing upright and no longer landscape in the tiles at the bottom).
o Adds a new view option for DNG (see 'Settings') 'Decide on long edge'. When that option is selected, Falaphol will decide the fasted view size, based on the longest edge of the DNG.
o Adds a new option to the Progressive view option (see 'Settings'). You can now set the initial image size to start with (e.g. 1:4) and the size to present as end result (e.g. 1:2). This setting was previously fixed to 1:4 -> 1:1 but can now be set by you. Additionally, you can turn on 'Decide start / end on long edge', in which case Falaphol will decide the initial start and end result sizes, based on the long edge of the DNG, and still load the DNG progressive.
o Changed: when opening a non-supported DNG, Falaphol will now open as usual and show the 'not supported' notifcation in the viewer (no more separate messagebox and ending up with an empty tile strip).
o Fixes bug: when the cache was turned off, the coloring of the DNG tiles still indicated that an image was cached (the teal color), when it was really not.
o Fixes bug: when trying to zoom a damaged / not supported notification, the application could crash or show some graphical weirdness.

Release 1.7.0 at 11 October 2020
o Falaphol now supports monochrome DNGs produced by DNGMonochrome, even if the camera wasn't a Leica.
o Adds an option in Settings to turn off the cache.
o Fixes a calculation error in the zooming (from 400% to 800%), that would show up on huge bitmaps (mainly produced by the S3). When zooming in on the edges of the photo, the photo would jump. E.g.: zooming in on the right edge would cause a jump of the photo to the right, when going from 400% to 800%, ending up more to the middle of the photo. Similar for the other edges.
o Fixes a similar issue as previous point, but in the general 'zoom to mouse' functionality... That setting would sometimes fail on the right edge of the photo, zooming in on the wrong part of the photo.
o Fixes monochrome DNGs being uselessly processed by ICM (color management).
o Adapts the 32-bit version, which is nearing its limits with bitmap sizes like the S3, to not write cache if the photos are too big (this saves quite a bit of memory). If you do process S3 photos, switch to the 64-bit version - which does not have this limitation - or select the 50% setting for viewing.
o Fixes a calculation bug in the DNGs that made them slightly larger - more pixels on all sides - than intended (the crop value wasn't properly processed).
o When switching on or off lens correction in Settings, the photos will now be read in new, to show the new choice: do note that lens correction takes a very long time to process for the full photo, and even for the 25% setting... for fast viewing the big DNGs (e.g. the Leica TL2 and Q2) with lens correction 'on', a 50% (or smaller) view setting is advised.

Release 1.6.5 at 23 September 2020
o Fixes a quality issue with the cache. This issue could lead to JPEG-like artifacts showing up in a DNG, when it was read back from the cache (usually only visible at high magnification). You're advised to delete your current cache, once this version is installed, through right-click -> Settings -> Delete cache. Note that my choice for quality over smaller file size does mean the cache will be filled up quicker. You can increase the size of the cache also through settings (default 2gb).

Release 1.6.4 at 13 September 2020
o Fixes bug in the determination if any opened GIF is a moving GIF. With certain GIFs that code could lead to an error, crashing the application.

Release 1.6.3 at 7 August 2020
o Adds support for the Leica X Vario (typ 107).
o Fixes memory problem on the larger DNGs, mainly in the 32-bit version, where running two full threads in the 'progressive' setting could already be too much (specifically on DNGs that are 40mb or larger), leading to 'out of memory' errors.

Release 1.6.2 at 27 July 2020
o Adds support for the Leica S3.

Release 1.6.1 at 25 July 2020
o Adds support for the Leica S typ 006 (typ 007 was already supported).
o Fixes memory bug: with Color Management switched on, but skipping it for DNG, Falaphol would run out of memory quickly.

Release 1.6.0 at 19 July 2020
o Adds support for the new Leica M10-R.
o The thumbnail tiles now all have the same width: in stead of adapting the tile to the thumbnail image, the image is adapted to the width of the tile. These new standardized tiles are set to 4:3. This change was necessary to accomodate the next point.
o Preloading all the thumbnail images from a folder turned out to be pretty slow in folders with many images. And although the loading is done in the background, that didn't take away the time it took before they all showed up. This has changed slightly: the thumbnail images that are scrolled into view will get priority and show first, even when the total loading is still progressing. It makes for faster showing of the thumbnails directly surrounding the opened image.
o When changing the height of the thumbnails with the horizontal splitter, the selected thumbnail image will now stay in view and not jump to the first on the strip anymore.
o Fixes a bug: when sorting many thumbnail images, the images at the end of the strip could get mangled.
o A damaged or non-supported DNG will now show as thumbnail with a warning on it... makes them easier to identify in your folder...
o Orientation: although I got the DNG orientation right (I think), the JPEG orientation was missing. That's implemented in this version. JPEGs should now all be showing properly upright, if rotation is indicated in the EXIF. Thanks to Dave Perrett for providing the very usefull test images to get the 8 (!) orientation possibilities handled properly.

Release 1.5.1 at 27 April 2020
Adds ability to copy an image (right click -> Copy image or Ctrl+C), to be able to paste it into another program.

Release 1.5.0 at 9 March 2020
Falaphol is now color managed (default turned off). See the settings. If you turn on color management (ICM), advised is to also select 'Use default color profile set through Windows'. If you switch that one off, you can choose any ICM profile on your system, but a lot of them might be inappropriate and give wrong results. Turn on color management if you notice too much difference between e.g. photos in Lightroom compared to the exported JPEG in Falaphol.

Release 1.4.6 at 8 February 2020
Falaphol will now add or delete thumbnails when photos are added to or deleted from the opened folder.
Fixes a bug that could stop the thumbnails from showing, when Falaphol encountered a damaged DNG or a DNG without a preview image (this bug was already fixed in version 1.4.3, but the fix did not work properly).
Falaphol will now handle damaged DNGs better: in stead of trying to open them with the set alternative application (if any), you'll be informed the DNG is damaged and can't be opened.

Release 1.4.5 at 13 January 2020
Adds 'Show in Explorer' to the right click menu, to find the selected photo on the Windows file system.
Adds right click menu to the thumbnail strip, to 'Show in Explorer' the selected photo and to sort the thumbnails on the fly (note that the 'Show in Explorer' will find the photo that is shown, not the thumbnail hovering over).

Release 1.4.4 at 12 January 2020
Adds possibility to sort the thumbnails on date/time or name through settings.
Speeds up placing the images on the thumbnail strip after loading them.

Release 1.4.3 at 2 December 2019
Fixes bug where Falaphol could become unresponsive when it encountered a DNG without a preview image.
Adds support for the Leica M10-P and M10-D.

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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