Large area transmission and section topographs of semi-insulating gallium arsenide wafers grown by the gradient freeze technique are made with synchrotron radiation at HASYLAB in Hamburg and at ESRF in Grenoble. Several high-resolution images including stereo pairs are obtained on the same film at a time. A typical dislocation line is an arc of a circle which starts from one surface and ends at the same surface. From the disappearance of the dislocation image and using the g · b = 0 criterion it is concluded that the Burgers vector b of the most common dislocations is parallel to 〈110〉. Rather large volumes of the wafer are dislocation-free. Section topographs of epitaxial wafers show defects and strain fields at the interface between an n-type substrate and the epitaxial layers grown by chemical vapor deposition. The results are compared with those obtained from detector performance measurements.