Would the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS make a noticeable improvement on this pic?

Started Nov 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
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geepondy
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Would the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS make a noticeable improvement on this pic?
Nov 21, 2011

This shot was taken with my Rebel XS (1000D) along with the kit 18-55 lens and a 430EX II flash. This is a typical school auditorium stage in that the lighting was harsh with two incandescent spotlights shining down on the stage. I adjusted the raw file the best I could using DXO Optics Pro. Still I don't think it's particularly sharp and this may be the best one out of ten pictures I took. My question is, would the 15-85 IS lens make a noticeable improvement in sharpness in this picture or because of the crappy lighting conditions, another lens would not make much of a difference.

Also, it seems like the focus is a bit off in a lot of my lower light pictures shot with both this kit lens and my 55-250 lens. As mentioned, I took about ten shots of above pictures and the focus is definitely off on some of them. I think with the flash, the shutter speed was always 1/60th of a second so don't think it's camera shake blur. Does this point to a possibly defective camera or just the fact that the lens are lower quality? In really good lighting, the focus seems more consistent but then again the shutter speed is usually higher.

Last question. I wasn't quite centered so as you can tell, this picture was taken at an angle. Is there some sort of perspective correction software that might make it look more centered? I have Adobe Elements but can get access to Photoshop at work although I'm not at all experienced with it.

Thanks for any insight.

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