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White beam synchrotron X-ray topography has been applied both to the characterization of two semiconductor heterostructures, GaAs/Si and InxGa1-xAs/GaAs strained layers, and a substrate to be used for growing semiconductor epilayers, Cd1-xZnxTe. In the case of the heterostructures, misfit dislocations were observed using depth sensitive X-ray topographic imaging in grazing incidence Bragg-Laue geometries. The X-ray penetration depth, which can be varied from several hundreds of angstroms to hundreds of micrometers by rotating about the main reflection vector, which in this specific case was (355), is governed by kinernatical theory. This is justified by comparing dislocation contrast and visibility with the extent of the calculated effective misorientalion field in comparison to the effective X-ray penetration depth. For the case of Cd1-xZnxTe, twin configurations are observed, and their analysis is presented.