High-energy X-ray diffraction by means of triple-crystal techniques is a powerful tool for investigating dislocations and strain in bulk materials. Radiation with an energy typically higher than 80 keV combines the advantage of low attenuation with high resolution at large momentum transfers. The triple-crystal diffractometer at the High Energy Beamline of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility is described. It is shown how the transverse and longitudinal resolution depend on the choice of the crystal reflection, and how the orientation of a reciprocal-lattice distortion in an investigated sample towards the resolution element of the instrument can play an important role. This effect is demonstrated on a single crystal of silicon where a layer of macro pores reveals satellites around the Bragg reflection. The resulting longitudinal distortion can be investigated using the high transverse resolution of the instrument when choosing an appropriate reflection.