Wedge factors have been determined as a function of field size and phantom depth for a 60Co gamma-ray beam and X-ray beams in the range from 4 MV to 25 MV. The results show an increase of the wedge factor with field size, up to 9.1% for the 25 MV X-ray beam. The magnitude of this increase is a linear function of the product of that part of the irradiated wedge volume that can be observed from the point of measurement, its mass energy-absorption coefficient and mass density. This relationship is independent of the photon beam energy, the type of wedge material and the wedge angle. Differences in variation of the amount of backscatter to the monitor with field size for the open and wedged photon beam yielded only a minor influence, up to 0.7%. For the 4-16 MV X-ray beams the wedge factor increases linearly with phantom depth, almost independently of field size, For the 60Co gamma-ray beam and the 25 MV X-ray beam the wedge factor variation is a more complicated function of phantom depth for a particular field size.