The detection of near surface residual stress gradients in real space requires high depth resolution for any orientation of the diffraction vector with respect to the sample co-ordinate system. In order to meet this demand, the slits are no longer being fixed in the laboratory co-ordinate system as in strain scanning experiments but directly coupled with the sample. Hence, the gauge volume orientation within the sample remains constant and allows performing depth-resolved sin2ψ measurements in real space. The method’s accuracy is determined by the gauge volume definition, which is investigated in detail. Apart from the evaluation of the σ(τ) versus σ(z) relation, which is of fundamental interest in X-ray residual stress gradient analysis, the method will be shown to have a unique applicability in rather delicate sample geometries such as multilayer systems.