General Info.












Alpine Astronomical  is pleased to introduce the ultimate large aperture planetary instruments to the US - the Lazzarotti Optics Gladius tubeless Cassegrains.   The Gladius is the result of Mr. Lazzarotti's long pursuit to perfect the high-resolution telescope.  The combination of world-class optics, open tubeless design, and no-compromise mechanics results in an instrument that achieves the theoretical limits of what a large aperture telescope is capable of.  If your interest is high-resolution observation and imaging of the planets and moon, there is no other telescope that can consistently deliver this level of performance - particularly in such an amazingly compact and usable package.  We've found the Gladius CF 315 to be as easy to mount and handle as a 6" APO, with 2X the resolution, 2X exit pupil size (no more floaters!), and 4X the light.


Each instrument is carefully assembled and checked out by the head of optics (and well known planetary imager), Mr. Paolo Lazzarotti.  The optics of these instruments are produced to exceedingly high tolerances, and certified to 1/25 wave RMS or better as a complete system.  



NEAF 2007

Gladius CF 315 on a 10Micron GM2000

Forli (Italy)

Mr. Lazzarotti with Gladius CF 315

Lazzarotti Optics is now producing an innovative series of telescopes for discriminating observers and imagers who need the very best toolClick to enlarge for planetary observation and imaging.

Itís called the GLADIUS.

The GLADIUS features a classical DALL-KIRKHAM optical system exclusively designed to deliver the very best performance for HIGH RESOLUTION imaging, both visual and digital.

With guaranteed 1/25 λ RMS corrected optics (or better) and a tiny 20% central obstruction, the GLADIUS suffers from none of the optical compromises you see with every single commercial SCT on the market
(typically 1/15 λ RMS optics and a massive 33% or more central obstruction!). A CERTIFICATE is provided with each scope.

Every part of the GLADIUS has been designed to work at its best in any observing condition.
ptically redundant parts have been eliminated to produce an incredibly lightweight instrument which is easy to handle and transport, both at home and abroad.


If it isn't there it can't cause problems!

  • In many ways the tube is the least useful part of a telescope. It's basic purpose is to keep the optics in place. But it's a very expensive item because, strictly speaking, special paint and accurate baffles are both required to eliminate incidental light.  The tube is also responsible for the most crippling problems in a high-resolution instrument - persistent tube currents and poor cooldown times.  Typically, some combination of fans or thermoelectric coolers are used in an attempt to counteract these problems.  Unfortunately, in most environments the use of fans fails to adequately eliminate the problem, and often creates other problems with image degradation, vibration, and dust circulation. 

  • Expensive carbon fiber materials are sometimes used to make the tube rigid and stable enough, but such tubes cause even more thermal problems because the carbon fiber acts as an insulating material.
    > Get rid of the tube and you instantly eliminate heat plumes and spirals: even when the telescope has been outdoors for just half an hour or less! And, provided the temperature gap isn't too large, no ghost reflections will be seen because the air surrounding the optics cannot reflect light! This means you can get up and imaging faster.

  • Extraneous light isn’t an issue either: the GLADIUS is designed to gather only on-axis light. No off-axis light can affect your view at the eyepiece. With the Gladius the background sky level is as dark as seen with the naked eye - or even better if there is some external light source interfering with your naked eye view.
    We can achieve this performance thanks to our custom black velvet wrapped around every critical surface along the light path. This is the most effective material known for blocking extraneous light. Paint simply isn’t up to the job because sooner or later dew will inevitably make painted surfaces shiny. But velvet absorbs moisture!

  • Under average humidity conditions our mirrors will only dew after many hours of exposure to the night sky - especially the primary mirror thanks to its high thermal inertia which keeps the glass slightly warmer than the air. In any case an optional dewshield or heater belt will ensure dry mirrors over a whole night of observing.


  • Our primary and secondary mirrors are made of the finest Pyrex® 7740. The innovative recessed spherical shape has been designed to avoid even the tiniest flexure caused by the weight of the mirror itself. The effective central obstruction is only 20% (by diameter) in all versions of the GLADIUS.

  • Both mirrors come with a classic multi-layer 88% reflective aluminum coating with a protective layer of SiO2. This quartz layer is specially enhanced to protect the mirror from direct contact with the open air.  A spun aluminum cover protects the mirror during transport.

  • Note that a D-K f/25 optical system is much easier to use thanks to a far higher tolerance to misalignment of the mirrors than any SCT, Newtonian, or  RC system working at f/10 will allow.

  • Furthermore, this optical system does not require additional elements to produce the right focal length for imaging. The average digital camera equipped with a small-pixel sensor (typically 4.5-6 microns) is the perfect solution for imaging with the Gladius (CCD cameras with larger pixel size may require a small amount of image amplification when the seeing is very good.)
    The field of view is perfectly corrected up to 10mm in diameter, so most cameras up to 1.4-2 Mpixel can be used with no problems.
  • This means there is literally nothing in the way of truly high quality imaging: no more expensive barlows to reach that all-important image scale; no more wasted photons from glass dispersion or refraction; no more ridiculously long optical trains causing image shift and flexure.

  • Remember: if it isn't there it can't cause problems!
    With the GLADIUS there are only two reflections between the planets and your chip or eyepiece!

  • Collimation is easily performed by adjusting the secondary mirror with the usual 3 collimation knobs and a central lock screw. The primary mirror is completely fixed and comes perfectly aligned straight from the factory.  Removal and installation is easy, permitting disassembly for transport or mirror cleaning.





May 23, 2008 - Primary mirror shield, new secondary mirror support and much more...



  • The primary mirror is now protected by a lightweight carbon fiber shield which prevents fingerprints and moisture. The shield can be added and removed by hand in a very simple way with no tools. The shield position is such that no boundary layers are usually seen during the final mirror cooling down.  In any case, the shield should be used in critical conditions only. The shield is included with the new GLADIUS CF315 version and it can be purchased separately for the GLADIUS  CF250.

  • The primary mirror cap now features a built-in mask to reduce the full aperture down to 230mm (9")  in  poor seeing.

  • The GLADIUS CF315 is now equipped with the Baader Planetarium SteelTrack 2" focuser replacing the early FeatherTouch focuser.
  • The secondary mirror is now held by a sectioned tube made of carbon fiber to improve the GLADIUS overall stability.  Optically, this support acts the same as the early aluminum ring with no difference at all in terms of diffraction. Both the diameter and the thickness are unchanged.
  • A new pair of carbon fiber "swords" now run  alongside the rail to dampen high frequency vibrations in windy conditions and on mounts delivering vibrations. These can be removed when the telescope must be broken down in 2 parts. Length is 98cm and weight is about 50g each.




Our new Carbon Fiber Frame (CF Series) now available!
  • The primary and secondary are held by a rigid but lightweight frame of carbon fiber.
    This innovative solution has some interesting benefits:Click to enlarge

    1.  An even more rigid structure - Any residual or previously negligible flexure or torsion is now entirely eliminated.
    2.  An even more lightweight scope - The new frame makes the scope 2.5 kg (5.5 lb) lighter.  The complete Gladius CF 315 weighs less than 26 lbs!  (The CF250 is under 18 lbs).   A conventional solid tube Cassegrain would weigh at least 50% more! 
    3.  A telescope even easier to carryThe new frame now allows the scope to be broken down into two parts.
    4.  A telescope immune to focus lossThe carbon fiber frame maintains exactly the same length regardless of temperature shifts.
  • All components are precision machined to ensure perfect collimation in any position - especially around the angle of the ecliptic where the GLADIUS chiefly does its work. Obviously, the two parts can be disassembled and reassembled without affecting the mirror alignment.

  • A Feather Touch 2" focuser (with 1ľ" Reducer) is included with each Gladius 315CF, and a standard Crayford focuser is included with the 250CF.  Focusers attach to the rear cell through a standard external 2"x24tpi thread (same threading used on commercial SCTs).

  • A standard Losmandy D Series dovetail allows the telescope to be fitted to most equatorial mountings on the market.




last updated 08/10/08

Last Update 07/15/07


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